*** This article is part of a blog series by a Guest Author: Nic Thackwray. It is a journey into understanding better God’s Zeal for His House. You can check out the Introduction to the series here. ***
For Jesus, establishing God’s house of prayer took drinking the cup of the wrath and fury of His Father against all our sin.
…when Christ came into the world, he said,
Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body have you prepared for me…
Then I said, Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.
What was this will (desire) of God that Jesus had come to do? God’s will was for Jesus to take on flesh (and vulnerability) and then to freely and fully offer His flesh to be tortured and put to death in order to bring us into God’s company (presence), to restore friendship, to establish prayer.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, hours before Jesus would completely fulfill this desire of God for His life, He prayed: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” The idea of facing God’s fury against our sin head-on was a contemplation beyond belief for Jesus. But for the Father it must have been equally so: to knowingly pour on Jesus, His all-loving and perfectly innocent Son and the chief delight of His heart, the full extent of His anger and fury against all our pride, our lusts, our hatred of God! “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him…when his soul makes an offering for sin.” (Isaiah 53:10).
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…
Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father as our very own High Priest, our Advocate, representing our best interests before the Father, bringing us to the Father’s attention and constantly reminding the Father that our sin is paid for and our adoption is secured. When we enter in to commune with the Father, we use Jesus’ access to His Father as our own access. In other words, to the extent that Jesus has access to His Father, is the extent to which we have access to the Father…He is now our Father! This is how the writer to the Hebrews can tell us to draw near with “confidence”; we are able to approach our Father with full assurance that we will not only be accepted but welcomed and embraced. But we have to use this access!
Let us not be fooled by the lie that the Father looks at our performance or our sins when we come to Him. He looks at Jesus on our behalf! Let us enter in and not hold back! He is waiting!
Jesus, thank You for making a way for me. Thank You for taking the full wrath of God against my sin so that I could draw near! Lord Jesus, make me zealous to draw near. Make me zealous for Your presence.