Revised from my archives – over two years ago, this experience immediately came to mind as I meditated on the accounts of Jesus’ Crucifixion in my readings this Good Friday morning…
The day after Emily and I interviewed Rebecca St. James last year, we were given “All Access” passes to Rebecca’s concert that evening. As relative novices, we didn’t understand or appreciate the value of what we had been given. We knew that the passes allowed us to enter the concert venue hours before the doors opened, wander back stage, and attend the meet and greet, but it was days later that we realized just how much more access we had been given and how we failed to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Today, on this Good Friday, as I read the Scriptures and remember the passion of my Lord Jesus, I am reminded of the ultimate “all-access” pass I have been given. At the moment of Jesus’ death, the curtain in the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies – the place where God’s presence could be found – was torn from top to bottom.
And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” Mark 15:37-38
The temple curtain had kept God’s people separated from His presence, a separation that could only be bridged by the Jewish High Priest once a year with a perfect blood sacrifice (Hebrews 9:1-10 ), but Jesus, “the great priest over the House of God” was the ultimate, final and perfect sacrifice. The curtain was torn, the Holy of Holies was exposed, and through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, all God’s people had access to the Father.
” 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. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful….” Hebrews 10:19-24
When our evening at Rebecca’s concert was over, we returned the “all access” passes to her brother Joel, and our access to Rebecca and the Smallbone family came to an end. The opportunity for interviews and photos was over and much like the Jewish High Priest’s yearly entrance to the Holy of Holies, it would likely not come around again any time soon.
The “all access” concert passes were inexpensive to make. They were printed on cardstock, laminated, and worn around our necks on lanyards, and when Rebecca’s concert tour was over, they were useless to anyone.
In sharp contrast, my “all access” pass to the Father was costly indeed. It had been bought with blood, secured and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and written on my heart for all eternity.