Summary: There is a difference in thronging around Jesus and really touching Jesus. There is a difference between just showing up for church and showing up with the intention of touching Jesus.
In the beginning of the Bible, in the book of Genesis it tells us of a close and personal and intimate relationship that Adam and Eve shared with God. God would make Himself known to them in the cool of the day or the evening time. What an awesome time of fellowship that must have been when almighty God was making himself known to mankind.
God planted a garden, the Garden of Eden, for Adam and Eve to dwell in. He provided for them everything that they needed. The only thing that they were not to do was eat of the fruit of the tree that was in the middle of the garden. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Only “ONE THING” they were not to do but they touched the tree and then they ate of the fruit of that tree.
After that instance Adam and Eve find themselves hiding from the presence of God. They hear the sound of God walking towards them in the cool of the day and they hide themselves.
ß What was once a wonderful relationship was now ruined.
ß What was once a beautiful time of fellowship was now destroyed.
ß What was once a great friendship being developed was now damaged.
From that point on the relationship with God seemed to be impersonal.
ß There were so many laws to follow. (Over 600 laws)
ß There were so many rules to obey.
ß There were so many regulations to comply with.
ß There were so many things that they could not touch.
Throughout the pages of the Old Testament God seems to be a distant friend. He is a God that we cannot see with our eyes. He is a God that is in the Heavens while we exist down here on earth. No one can, it seems, touch him for themselves.
There were sporadic times recorded in the Old Testament where an individual had a special encounter with God but for most people he was a long way off.
The people would come once a year and offer their sins to someone else and then that high priest would take their sins to the Holy of Holies so they could be pushed back for another year and for another year they would have mercy. They were never totally wiped away but just pushed ahead. It was so impersonal and so distant that it seemed like the blood of bulls and goats got closer to God then the people did. The only ones that came in contact with the presence of God was the high priest when the glory of the Lord settled down on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies.
The only real hope that things would ever change was the prophecy that there was going to one day come a Messiah. One day there was coming to this world a savior that would take away the sins of the world.
I am thankful today that I know that he did come to this world. The angels one day declared his arrival.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The prophecy was from Isaiah that thou shall call his name Immanuel which is being interpreted “God with us.”
The writer of Hebrews had this to say about Immanuel – God with us:
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
ß No longer was he a God that was way up in the heavens somewhere.
ß No longer was he a God that was impersonal.
ß No longer was he a God that was distant.
ß No longer was he a God that could not be touched.
But that day in Bethlehem he burst on the scene longing for and crying out for somebody to touch him!
I have good news for you today and that is that God is still walking on this earth today. As a matter of fact he is here right now. The devil thought he killed him one day but the fact is:
ß I feel him in my hands