Posted: Tuesday, November 8
Verse of the day:
“For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established." (Hebrews 9:10)
I don’t know how you feel when you read about the old system of Jewish worship as recorded in the Bible. When I read about the sacrifices, blood, offerings, priests, temples and such, there is a holiness and mystery that clouds my thinking. Any thoughts of this system seem dim in a thick fog of holiness and separation. The idea that there was a Most Holy Place that only the High Priest could enter and that he could only enter once a year seems so different from the openness we feel today.
C.S. Lewis states that it is the “thick and bloody” parts of Christianity that make it feel real. Pushing through that heavy veil that separates brings us into the presence of God. Since there is no forgiveness of sins without the sheading of blood, we must enter into God’s presence with an offering. Yet in our white washed worship of today, we often enter into God’s presence empty handed. I am so glad that even though my hands are empty and stained with sin, Jesus found a better way. Instead of us having to spill blood to cover our sins each time we come to God, Jesus’ sacrificial death shed all the blood we would need. By his sacrifice he not only shed the blood of our offering, but he tore the barrier to God. We can now enter into the very holy presence of God.
With our glamorous worship style, fifteen minute tweet-filled sermons, and come and go in an hour service times, I wonder if we have let the “thick and bloody” be replaced with the “bright and shiny.” Maybe it would do us good to remember that this worship we enjoy each Sunday was purchased through blood. Maybe we should invite the Holy Spirit to come so thick into the atmosphere of our worship that we are reminded of the privilege we have to stand forgiven. I am so glad to live in a day where the smells, sounds and methods of worship are so different than they used to be. However, I pray that we would regain some of the holiness and mystery that surrounds our relationship with God. I pray we have not exchanged our something better for something else.