In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”Isaiah 6:1-7
Do you remember Sammy Davis Jr? This amazing man sang, danced, acted, and joked his way into my heart. He visited Clark AB in the Philippines and performed for the troops when Keith was stationed there. Keith and I were fortunate enough to attend a reception with him after the performance. Although he walked by, I was in so much awe of him that I didn’t stick my hand out to shake his hand until Keith got frustrated with me and pushed me to shake his hand!
If I was in that much awe of Sammy Davis Jr., how much more awestruck am I going to be when I approach the throne of grace and mercy?
I can only imagine what it will be like, how I will act.
How about you? Has there been someone in your life who you hesitated to approach because of that person’s greatness or fame?
Can you imagine approaching the throne of the Lord of Hosts?
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22
Jesus consecrated a new way for us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that we became new creations when we accepted Jesus as our Savior—old things have passed away and all things became new.
We can now approach God Almighty seated on His throne because Jesus became our sin offering, our trespass offering, our burnt offering, our meal offering, and our peace offering. Jesus offered His blood and took it into the true Holy of Holies as the final sacrifice.
When Jesus said “It is finished!” and gave up His Spirit and died on the cross, the veil in the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was torn in two from the top to the bottom. That veil was Jesus’ torn flesh. He now serves as our High Priest, speaking on our behalf to the Father.
“[In Jesus], we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” Ephesians 3:12
Are you like Isaiah when you think about approaching the throne room of the Lord of Hosts? I am. “Woe is me! I am a woman of unclean lips, living in the middle of people who have unclean lips and hearts.”
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:23
True heart—it means that your heart defines who you are. Your nature is what you are called by. Who is true? Only one, Jesus. Because of His saving grace, we are true in Jesus.
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20
Mardi Gras began yesterday. People hide behind masks and do silly things in New Orleans. But in Italy, Carnevale is a time that people have invested in throughout the year. Many look at it as a peak in their artistic lives.
The lady above is beautiful, but we don’t see her true self. We see only the beauty that she wants to reveal through her mask.
Sometimes we hide behind masks that we fashion, don’t we? We might have a mask for church, another for work, and another for a social gathering. Sometimes, our masks don’t come off until we get home.
Our mask might be a friendly face, a concerned face, or a carefree face, but deep inside, we’re hurting, we’re worried, or we’re angry. The author of Hebrews beckons us to draw near with our true heart, confident or bold in our conviction of the promise of our faith.
Why? Because Jesus has sprinkled our hearts with His blood and swept away our evil conscience. He has washed our bodies with the pure water, the water of His Word. He loves us as we are. He loves our true essence because with Him, all things are new. Our hearts are new. Our ways are new. Our relationships with God are new because of Jesus.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
Because of the promise we have from Jesus as our Perfect Sacrifice and our Superior High Priest, we can boldly enter the throne room of grace and mercy, the Holy of Holies and draw near to God as we are, with our true hearts.
Can you imagine a world focused on drawing near to God?
Eyes and hearts focused on the Majesty of God.
I can only imagine. Can you imagine?
Glorious Lord of Hosts, thank You for providing a way to approach You in all Your glory. Jesus, thank You for taking Your blood into the heavenly Holy of Holies and offering it as the final and ultimate sacrifice for all. For God, You loved the world so much, that You gave your only begotten Son, so that whoever believes, holds fast to the promise You have given us through Jesus, and enjoys eternal life in Your presence. Thank You, Father.
May you imagine God in all His glory as you draw near to Him, holding fast to the promise of the Faithful One, and considering your sisters and brothers in love.