Have you ever read Exodus 25-27? It is the story of how the Israelites were to build the Tabernacle. I have to admit that until today I’ve never really spent much time with these chapters. At first glance they seem boring and a bit confusing, but today I took the time to really pay attention to the words I was reading and the enormity of what was involved in the Tabernacle’s construction.
And I have come to this conclusion. We, as modern day Christians, greatly underestimate the power of God’s presence and the power of Jesus’ death on the cross.
The amount of time, energy and materials that were required to build the Tabernacle would have demanded immense sacrifice on the part of the Israelites. These chosen people of God invested HOURS into creating a sacred place where they could experience God’s presence. Then even when the sacred place was finished, only a select few were actually allowed to enter into the presence of God.
Now think about our lives today. How often do you consider the fact that we are allowed into the presence of God with just a simple whispered prayer? We can invite his presence into our life in the quiet of a morning but we can also experience his presence in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. We really do take his greatness for granted.
Let’s examine this concept a little closer. In the Old Testament, before Jesus’ arrival, entering into the presence of God was a rare experience and for the few that did experience it, many steps of sacrifice and cleansing were required before meeting God was allowed. But the part we mostly forget is that anyone who tried to enter the presence of God without taking these steps died. It wasn’t that God killed them on the spot, it was that God’s goodness is so beautiful and their sin was so ugly that the two could not exist within the same space, and the beauty of God always prevails.
And yet we can whisper the name of Jesus and invite the presence of the Most High into our human space.
Jesus died on the cross so that the ugliness of our sin would no longer prevent us from entering into the presence of a Holy God. This is a truth that we need to stop taking for granted. We may no longer experience sudden death when we try and enter God’s presence full of sin and filth, but we will experience permeant death if we try to enter eternity still covered in sin and filth.
So the next time you call upon the name of Jesus, really take a moment to consider the power of God’s presence and the power of Jesus’ death on the cross. God forgive us for ever taking these lightly. Entering His presence should always be a Holy experience!