At the start of the year I began reading The Bible from the beginning. It's almost the end of September and I am up to Chapter 22 in Leviticus, the third book of The Bible! Just so you don't think I am a complete slacker, I have been reading other parts of The Bible too - Proverbs, Psalms, and various books in the New Testament.
But I have struggled with reading the Old Testament. I've just calculated that it has taken me about 300 days to read 141 pages, so at that rate, I should finish reading the Old Testament by 2030!
I have this mindset that that says 'Some of the Old Testament is just not that interesting, so why should I read this.' Now I know that mindset is wrong. So I have pressed on and will continue to read it, simply because God has been speaking to me through each passage I've read from the Old Testament.
This morning I read from Leviticus 21 ....
"He may eat the bread of his God, both the most holy and the holy; only he shall not go near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest he profane My sanctuaries; for I the LORD sanctify them." And Moses told it to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel. Leviticus 21:22-24 NKJV
Now I don't pretend to understand much in these three verses, but these seven words stood out to me, 'he shall not go near the veil.' As I was reading those words this passage in Hebrews came to mind, thank you Holy Spirit.
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, 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. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-23 NKJV
Today because of what Jesus did we can approach the altar. Because of Jesus' blood we can commune with a Holy God. Because of Jesus, we have faith, hope and love.
The Passion Translation says it this way,
And now we are brothers and sisters in God's family because of the blood of Jesus, and he welcomes us to come right into the most holy sanctuary in the heavenly realm - boldly and with no hesitation. For he has dedicated a new life-giving way for us to approach God. For just as the veil was torn in two, Jesus' body was torn open to give us free and fresh access to him!
And since we now have a magnificent King-Priest to welcome us into God's house, we come closer to God and approach him with an open heart, fully convinced by faith that nothing will keep us at a distance from him. For our hearts have been sprinkled with blood to remove impurity and we have been freed from an accusing conscience and now we are clean, unstained, and presentable to God inside and out! Hebrews 10:19-22 TPT
Aside, there is a beautiful song, Clean, from Hillsong United's People -Live album, that simply declares that 'because of Jesus my heart is clean.' If you have a spare couple of minutes I think it is worth listening too, it very quickly centers your focus on Jesus.
Back to the scripture, let's read these words again ... He welcomes us to come right into the most holy sanctuary in the heavenly realm - boldly and with no hesitation.
I remember hearing these words soon after I became a Christian 20-plus years ago, and I took these words literally into my heart - because of Jesus I am welcome at the altar. How precious is that truth! This truth gave me the confidence to come, just as I am and ask.
The Amplified Bible translates verse 22 as ...
Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 AMP
So today, let's acknowledge that Jesus has opened the way for us to go to the Father. Let's draw near with confidence, not because of who we are or what we have done, but because of who our God is and His unconditional love for us.
Finally, just referring back to my Old Testament reading, lets encourage each other to read God's word, even when it doesn't seem very interesting to us. God is always wanting to reveal something more to us and remind us of His great love for us. He desires us to be purposefully drawing nearer to Him.
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