Summary: Today, we want to take a look at the PRICE THAT WAS PAID FOR THAT PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER.
The Price That Was Paid For His Presence
For the past few weeks, we’ve been taking a look at this ROOM WITH A VIEW. We’ve been talking about prayer and how we can all call on God at any time, at any place. That we can enter His presence any time we wish. Today, we want to take a look at the PRICE THAT WAS PAID FOR THAT PRIVILEGE.
2000 years ago, the temple was the center of worship. In the midst of that temple was a special place. A place called the Holy of Holies. This is the place of God’s presence. The place where He dwelt. So holy was this place that a veil was placed over its entrance to separate everyone from this place. For no one was worthy, no one was holy enough to enter this place. Or, even to look inside.
Jesus often went to the temple to worship the Father, but when he arrived, he kept on referring to it as “HIS house.” He often referred to this place as His Father’s house. He said that He and the Father were one.
So hated was Jesus by the Jewish leaders by this act, that they plotted to kill Him. They were infuriated by His insistence that He could forgive the people of their sins. This was blasphemy for only God could do this. They hated Him because He claimed to be God. They hated Him because He went throughout the land healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out the demons and performing miracles that confounded the wise.
John 11:47-50 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”
Caiaphas had no idea as to the truth of his words. You see, Caiaphas feared Rome would come and punish the Jewish people for following a new “king,” so Caiaphas wanted to kill off Jesus to save their POLITICAL standing…but, again, Caiaphas had no idea as to the truth of his words! For what he said for political gain…is the very thing that brought spiritual gain!
And so, the religious leaders of the day sought to kill Him. They planned His death. They did everything possible to ensure His death. And…they were successful. They plotted with Judas to betray Christ. They came to the garden where Jesus was praying. Jesus was captured. He was tried, He was beaten, and He was killed. His pain was excruciating. And His death was real.
Try to imagine, if you would, that moment – that sad, solemn moment – when our precious Lord died once and for all for the sins of the world. After all of the beatings, after all of the pain He suffered. After the humiliation of hanging on that cross. That Jesus died!
As soon as Jesus died on the cross,
all creation shook…
all of hell’s fury raged…
all of heaven cried out in mourning…
The rocks literally split wide open…
The graves rumbled…
And to the Jewish citizen – the worst possible event had occurred…
The VEIL to the Holy of Holies RIPPED in TWO!
The veil that protected them from their God who was to be feared was gone.
Thus, exposing the one sacred area of their community. For this veil divided off the common areas from the most precious place in their temple – the “Holy of Holies.”
To them, this is where God dwelt. It was a place to remain a light of hope and a place where the priests would commune with God Himself.
They knew God as unapproachable – but for selected times – in the Holy of Holies.
BUT Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Their understanding of God was a God to be feared. BUT Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
They believed that God dwelt in this place. BUT Jesus said in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”