During this current pandemic, many of us have experienced ‘shut doors’, places where we have been denied access. At the height of our ‘lockdowns’ this has affected care homes, churches, childrens, playgrounds, clubs and pubs, even countries and so much more. Even when places were not completely closed access has often been limited, and conditions of entry have been tight. Today the thought, that I believe the Lord has put on my heart, is that our access to Him is never denied or even limited because Jesus is the ‘door’.
This is important because it is one of His ‘I AM’ statements, so we need to take note. He said “I am the door (gate); through Me if anyone enters, he will be saved”. John 10:7-9. A door signifies a transition. A shift from one location to another. Interestingly enough, in this life we can only be in one place at a time, and a door therefore signifies a change, a leaving of one place or room and an entering into another.
Jesus knew that He was going to be the entrance point, ‘the Door’, for mankind into God’s presence, for all eternity, because He was going to remove the ‘virus’, the thing that would disqualify us – our sin. In Hebrews 9 and 10, we have a wonderful description of how Jesus, our High Priest, through His own blood has made a way for us all into the Holy of Holies, God’s very presence. The writer concludes –
‘Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter into the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that is opened up for us through the curtain, that is His body……….. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full of assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience……..’ Hebrews 10:19-22.
Our ‘Accuser’ the devil, however, will always point to our ‘filthy rags’ as he did with Joshua the High Priest. Zechariah 3:1-5. He will always try to get us to believe that we are still ‘outside’ of God’s presence. God’s response was to rebuke satan and get Joshua a change of clothes. A divine exchange; rich garments and a clean turban for those ‘filthy rags’, and that is exactly what He has done for us.
Spiritually, we have already transitioned. We are now citizens of heaven. God has ‘rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves.’ Colossians 1:13. God has ‘raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus….’ Ephesians 2:6, and He has already ‘blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ’. Ephesians 1:3.
That is the spiritual reality, but even though we know these truths, we too find ourselves troubled by the accuser of the brethren. How often when we seek to come to the Lord in worship or prayer, we find ourselves feeling unworthy. ‘I haven’t done so good today’, ‘I haven’t read the bible very much lately’. I’m feeling full of doubt and fear, God won’t be happy with me today’. On and on he goes with his accusations, endeavoring to resurrect our guilty consciences, and make us feel that we are back in his domain.
The picture I have in my mind today is of Jesus, standing at the door of the heavenly throne room, and as we approach He has a big smile of welcome. He has in His hand a beautiful robe of righteousness which He just delights to give us in exchange for whatever ‘filthy rags’ that we feel we have on today. As we approach God ‘through Jesus’, it’s like, at this ‘door’, we get to take off our ‘sin stuff’, and even our own righteousness, which is like ‘filthy rags anyway, Isaiah 64:6, and we get a robe of righteousness in exchange. Isaiah 61:10.
Now the truth is that we are already dressed in ‘robes of righteousness’ because of what Jesus has done. We have already, as it were, ‘gone through the door’. This picture can, I hope, help us to appropriate this truth in the moment day by day. God never ever wants us to feel that we are going to be denied access to that Holy place, because He’s paid the price for our new beautiful garments.
That is the spiritual truth, but how do we get our minds and hearts to catch up with this. The key is ‘thanksgiving’. As I give thanks for these beautiful fresh garments, my mind gets into line with the spiritual truths we have been sharing. Thanking Jesus for our new clothes defeats the enemy, it sends him packing with his accusations and it releases our faith, that however unworthy we feel, access to the Holy of Holies is never going to be denied us because we are ‘clothed in His righteousness’.
We just have to end today with the words from Isaiah 61:10.
‘I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of Salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness’.