Today’s reflection is drawn from Leviticus 16.
It’s was a very long and drawn out process, but for good reason. The high priest had to be clean before God to enter before the mercy seat on the ark where God was said to dwell. Tradition has it that the high priest would wear a rope around his foot. If he was not clean before God, he would be struck down. And the other priests would have to pull him out, as they would not be able to physically enter the place and carry him out.
It was an extremely serious affair. And it’s such a contrast with the position we are in today. In the New Testament letters, there is much on our freedom to approach God with confidence. We are, by nature, just as sinful as the high priests during the time of Israel. The only difference is that we now have a high priest who has atoned for our sins once and for all. His name is Jesus. Hebrews 7 states that “unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”
It is through Jesus that we are righteous – without sin. It is by the righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus that we have the confidence to freely approach the throne of God. And how significant that is!