“Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,…let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:19, 22; NASB)
Normally my office door stays wide open because I enjoy having people stop in and visit for a while. However, on occasion a project demands my full attention, so I close my door. In the early years of my ministry, periodically that closed door would burst open without any knock or warning, and someone would come running into my office, yelling loudly. But instead of quickly sending the “intruder” on her way, I would pull my two girls onto my lap and we would visit about the events of their day.
That’s the way it is with a father. His children have access to him when others do not. It’s that way with our heavenly Father as well. His children may come into his very presence because we are His children (Heb. 10:22). It hasn’t always seemed that way.
In the Old Testament, the temple revealed physically what the Jews believed to be the spiritual relationship between God and man. Gentiles and Samaritans were permitted only into the outer court of the Gentiles, separated by a wall from the next section, which allowed only Jewish women. In another area closer to the heart of the temple, Jewish men were allowed to enter. But only the priests could enter the sacred areas. And only one priest, once a year (on Yom Kippur), and only once in his life, was allowed access to the Holy of Holies and the presence of God.
Once for all, Jesus Christ eliminated all those divisions. At the moment of His death, God ripped the veil in the temple (Mt. 27:51). That which prevented access to the presence of God was forever removed. And now all men who know their sins have been covered by the blood of Christ may enter boldly and confidently into the presence of God. And because we can (Heb. 10:19), Scripture says we should (10:22). There is no more need for ceremonial washings, for our hearts are clean. There is no more need for artificial divisions, for God Himself has removed them. “Come,” God says. “Come close. I have made it possible.”
Because of Christ’s one-time death, we have all-time access to God. Now, like a father welcoming his children onto his lap, so God the Father invites the regular and intimate fellowship of those whom He has adopted as His children and heirs.