March 23rd, 2016
Todays verse: Mark 15:16-47
Jesus’ death gives us access to God’s presence
Today’s reading takes us through some of the most painful moments of the Easter message. Jesus mocked, dressed in purple as a sign of royalty for the occasion. He is whipped and abused so violently that he is not able to carry the cross to Calvary, which was common practice for the one who was crucified.
We see that Jesus is tested in verses 29-30:
«You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”. But Jesus could not be our Savior if he were to give in to the people’s pressure and mockery and save himself.
Jesus stood firm in his purpose, to carry all sin, shame, disease and pain by dying on the cross. In verse 34 Jesus expresses the intense despair he felt, and it was not just the physical pain he felt. He was weighed down by the burden of humanity’s sins, and through his complete identification with us as sinners in addition to knowing that God really had left him, he cried with a loud voice: «My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? «
As Jesus drew his last breath, the veil of the temple tore. The curtain which was the symbol of division between us and God. The curtain that kept us away from the Holy of Holies, which meant that only the priests could enter God’s presence. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil tore and gave you and me free access to God’s wonderful presence. The requirement to present sacrifices to get close to God was gone. Jesus opened the way for us to have fellowship with our heavenly Father. What a FANTASTIC truth!
Today I encourage you. Take a few minutes and express your gratitude. Thank Jesus that he was willing to walk the path of suffering so that you and I could have fellowship with him. You can freely draw close to him and be in his presence, anytime, anywhere, just as you are. If you don’t have any other reason to be thankful today, then this is more than enough..
Have a blessed day filled with gratitude!