Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Throne Room of Grace

Dear friends,

We've been enjoying the series on the book of Hebrews at church for these past few months. Last Sunday, Benny Phillips preached on Hebrews 10:19-25.

The sermon reminded me of an oil painting I did in spring 1982, when I was 18, for my sister Barb's wedding present. The inscription at the bottom left of the painting reads "Hebrews 10:19-22." You can find that passage further down on this page. You don't see God's throne in this picture; the man is on his way in through the heavy ripped curtain of the Temple into the Most Holy Place. I couldn't figure out a way to adequately depict the Glory of God, so I left it to the viewer's imagination what they would see further down the path of the Cross that the man is walking. I know the Biblical symbolism of each facet of this picture isn't immediately obvious, but you may understand more if you keep reading this page. If you still don't get it, let me know, and I'll be happy to explain it in easier terms.

Who Is There Like Unto Thee?

by Virginia Knowles

Who is there like unto Thee, O Lord,

To Thy name give glory!

Full of compassion, righteousness and truth,

Full of strength and power, and clothed in majesty!

And yet on the cross, you were willing to bleed,

And you met us there, in our time of need.

And now at your Throne Room, we may boldly enter in,

To receive grace and mercy again and again!

Picture with me this scene:

You enter The Most Holy Place, the Throne Room of God, and bow before the King. Then after he embraces you and places a comforting hand on your head, he hands you this beautifully wrapped package. Inside are his gifts of Mercy and Grace. They aren’t generic brand either! They are specifically designed for your particular needs that very day. Whatever your problem is, there is the solution. Whatever your grief, there is a unique balm of comfort. What’s even better, his door is open whenever you choose to visit, and he has a different care package for you every time you come. All of these benefits can be yours if you trust in sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins.

The Scriptures paint this picture for us of the the tabernacle (and later the temple), where the Most Holy Place was blocked by a veil, a heavy curtain from floor to ceiling. Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place, and he could only do this once a year on Yom Kippur, the sacred Day of Atonement. When Jesus (the promised Messiah) gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins on the cross, the curtain in the temple miraculously tore in two, symbolizing open access to God in the Most Holy Place for those who believe. Now we too can enter into the Throne Room of Grace -- every day! Isn't God kind?

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22

You can read more of the Scriptures associated with this story at www.VirginiaKnowles.com/TheThroneOfGrace.

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