The Beauty of the Veil

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Last year, I wrote a post about the Cross being an invitation. This year as we approach Easter weekend, I am seeing the Cross so differently yet beautifully.

When I see that old rugged cross, I realize how privileged yet unworthy I am to sit at His feet. I was recently studying God’s Covenant where we looked at the Tabernacle in the old testament versus what we receive today.

In the old testament, on the Day of Atonement, the priest was the only one allowed to walk through the veil (curtain) and go into the Holy of Holies to put the blood of sacrifice on the mercy seat. During this time, all of the other people could go into the tabernacle but it was the veil that shut them out. It was the veil that separated them from having access to the mercy seat. And it was the mercy seat which allowed them to meet with God.

In the new testament, we see the veil mentioned again in Matthew 27:50-51 which says “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.” 

Friends, the veil was torn to give us access to kneel at the mercy seat and talk to Jesus for ourselves. It is the veil that grants us that nearness that our hearts long for. We no longer need a priest to go on our behalf, we have been given an invitation to a V.I.P. seat to meet with Jesus.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death,Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him.” – Hebrews 10:19-22.

We can’t take this for granted. Jesus died for our sins and gave us the privilege to meet with Him in a way that makes us one with Him. It is my hope that you grasp hold of this truth today.

As I prepare my heart to remember all that Jesus did for me on the cross, I am so appreciative that the veil doesn’t keep me from His presence. I am so in awe of all that He endured for me. And I truly want to reverence Him for who He is.

I want to leave you with Jesus’ prayer for His followers. It my prayer that you dwell in these verses this week. That you truly allow it to prepare your heart for this weekend to remember all that He did for you and the oneness you’ve been given when you accepted Him in your heart.

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!” – John 17: 20-24

Amen.

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The Cross is an Invitation

Empty tombWhen you see images of the cross what do you think about?  It is and has always been a reminder of how Jesus died for you and me. It’s a symbol of sacrifice and love.

Today, when  I look at the cross, I see more than a symbol, I see the cross as an invitation.

When you’re invited to a special event, you are often sent an elegant invitation because someone has deemed you as important to attend this event. Whether that invitation comes by mail or email, it includes a part where you take an action to RSVP…yes or no.

When Jesus died on the cross, it was to fulfill the purpose of saving us from our sins. And through His death, there has been an invitation to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

He has sent this personal invitation to each and everyone of us but it is our job to take the next action, which will guide the rest of our lives.

The invitation allows us to be an ambassador of Christ. It’s an invitation to put on our new self and begin to walk in what he has planned for us. I can’t imagine how He felt being nailed to the cross and people chanting awful words against Him. Others stood around wanting him to prove his identity to them and take Himself off the cross.

I believe Jesus could have very well taken Himself down.  We know that He experienced treacherous pain because He cried out to God through all of this. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). But yet He endured it all. And He did it for you and me.

If you allow yourself to grasp the severity of His death, I mean truly, visualize how and why He did it, I believe it will help you to see how special you are to Him. God loved you so much that He gave His only son for us to have eternal life (John 3:16).

If He would have taken himself down, it would have just been to appease man and not fulfill God’s plan. This makes me wonder how many times have we done this in our own lives? We know what we should be doing but because we want to be like the majority, we stop  doing God’s will to appease others and forget about our intended purpose. But when we drift, we don’t fulfill His plan. His perfect plan.

I’m so honored that Jesus endured and fulfilled His purpose for us to have all that He invites us into.

With an invitation, you get to make the next decision. If you check yes, you have the opportunity to experience something great. You have the opportunity to sit at the table with the other special guests who took the time to be present and in the moment for this special event.  And who is more special than our Lord and Savior? Who would ever endure all of that for us? And who extends the invitation time and time again no matter how many times we fall?

I can recall many instances in life, where I circled yes and no.

“Yes, Lord you can have this part of my life but I still want to control this other half.”

He is waiting for us to accept His invitation and truly live in all that He has provided. Not the yes and no response but fully saying yes to Him. He wants us to know that He has already carried our burdens and died so that we may live.

The Message translation says, ” I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”-John 10:10.

This, my friend, is what I desire for you; “real and eternal life…a better life than you ever dreamed.”

Jesus has sent you a personal invitation. How will you RSVP?

 

Palm Sunday Reflections: A God of Second Chances

AdobeStock_21347373.jpegAs we reflect on this Palm Sunday, I think it is important to read the resurrection and truly understand the magnitude of what Jesus did for us. I want to take today to revisit The Resurrection from the book of Mark.

Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” Mark 16:1-7 (NLT)

I keep thinking about verse 7: “go and tell his disciples, including Peter”. I pondered here for some time because Peter was one of the twelve disciples so why does it read his disciples and Peter?

I had to study this further to truly grasp the context here. Peter walked with Jesus and had the opportunity to see first-hand some of the most amazing miracles. But Jesus made it clear before he was nailed to the cross that Peter would be the one to deny him three times. It’s hard to grasp how someone who experienced so much could deny Jesus but he did.

In the book of Luke, it says that after Peter denied him the third time, Jesus turned and looked at Peter. I imagine that it was that look your mom would give you as a child when you were misbehaving: that look of disappointment that makes you want to go cry in the corner.

I can only assume that in that moment, Peter no longer felt worthy of being a disciple. Peter had done the very thing he said he wouldn’t do. He disappointed his Savior in a way that he probably felt could not be forgiven.

I truly believe Peter was called out in this conversation to show that our God is a God of second chances. It was a sweet and humble reminder that although Peter denied Him, God still welcomed him with open arms.

That same invitation is available to us. The Lord knows we will make plenty of mistakes and will fall short but He is here, available and waiting for us. I think we could all substitute our names there to show that regardless of our past mistakes, our Savior will still make sure the invitation is given to us.

I pray that as we enter into this week, we truly take time to reflect on the greatness of our Lord and all that’s available to you today because of His sacrifice for you.  It doesn’t matter how much you have fallen short there is nothing too bad that you can keep you away from His presence.