by Pastor Tim Burt
Dear Friends, Renee and I pray you have a wonderful Easter weekend reflecting on the magnitude of God’s love demonstrated through Jesus, to us all! We pray His resurrection power work in your life every day! Happy Easter!
One night Renee and I went to an event that we had been invited to. We had no idea how to dress for it. There was nothing in the invitation to give us direction in how to dress. And I was unable to get a hold of and ask the people who had invited us. We decided to dress nice casual. When we got there, what Renee had been wearing seemed to fit fine with what everyone else was wearing. For me it was a problem. Most every man had on a tie and jacket or suit coat and I had neither. I felt woefully under-dressed and felt self-conscience about it. I apologized repeatedly that night for my dress and never felt comfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is never good and especially when you feel that way toward God.
Prior to my receiving Jesus personally as my Lord and my Savior, I ignorantly believed that Almighty God—the God of the universe—the God over all mankind, was high in Heaven on His throne having to respond to billions of people and couldn’t possibly think or care about all that I was concerned with in my life. Again, in my ignorant thinking, He was up there. I was down here. He was busy. I was insignificant. My thinking was, I’ll bother Him only in extreme emergencies and even then, I won’t get my hopes up too high. That was ignorant and blind thinking and has nothing to do with the reality of whom and how God is. That kind of ignorance can hurt us and keep us from God’s love and help. It did me! Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
The Bible teaches us about the Holy of Holies. It was an interior portion of the tabernacle. There was a huge veil—a type of heavy, think ornate curtain that hung down separating the Holy of Holies from the first tabernacle. No one was permitted to enter past that curtain except the high priest. When Jesus died upon the cross, an earthquake happened. Powerful spiritual forces were in operation. We read about them in Matthew 27:50-54 NKJV. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up His spirit. And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks were split; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, truly this was the Son of God.”
You read it… “…the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom…” The significance of this to us is powerful. Jesus had given His life as a sacrifice for our sins. That sacrifice destroyed the veil—that separation between us and God. Man previously had to go to a priest to ask and get forgiveness of sin. Now that was abolished through Jesus. Jesus became the priest who offered Himself—the perfect and final sacrifice for all. After He gave His life, the veil keeping us from God was torn in two. If we believed Jesus died for our sins received Him as our Lord and Savior, we would never be separated from God again. That is what makes the words of Hebrews 4:16 so powerful and such a grace to our life: “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.”
When I come boldly before Him, I live by faith in the fact that Jesus has washed my sins away. That is what allows me to come boldly. The Bible says He has washed me and put His robe of righteousness on me and that is His doing. Yet, when I come before Him—in the presence of His Holiness, I can still feel woefully unclean and woefully inadequate. I feel this way because I know the thoughts that run through my head. I know the inappropriate conversations I enter into. I know actions that fall short in my life. I am humbled and could easily feel inadequate to stand in His presence. But because of His doing, I am not! I’ve been made righteous in His eyes. Knowing of the magnitude of His love only makes me want to live Him that much more. He loves me despite my shortcomings. He’s cleansed me from all unrighteousness. My love for Him grows knowing that He desires to help me, love me, and allow me to partake of His grace—His supernatural supply of wisdom, resource, and ability, where I would otherwise be bankrupt and without hope.
We don’t need an appointment with God. He is not too busy. He does not want us to be uncomfortable around Him. We won’t be under dressed or unacceptable. God is able to love, cherish, nurture and help countless billions of people—each one personally and with great affection and all at the same time. That is what makes Him God. Comfort, peace, and intimacy with God come from knowing this and standing strong in it by faith!
He has removed the veil—the force of sin that had previously separated us from God. Jesus’ death accomplished that. He calls out to love and help us! That is the Easter message. Isaiah 55:1-7 says it wonderfully! “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you… Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.”
God bless you and have a blessed Easter!
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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