1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
In the past, slaves could not even speak to their masters. Some tyrants would also not allow them to speak to the servants to the high officials unless he gave them permission. The high priest of the Israelites used to go into the Holy of Holies once a year with a rope tied around his ankle, lest he should die. Jesus came to earth as the sacrifice for man’s sin once and for all. The curtain to the Holy of Holies was torn asunder. God graciously accepts all who come to him through his son, the Great High Priest. We have the freedom now to approach boldly, speak freely, and kneel unashamed at his throne.
Through this act of divine grace, Jesus made the holiest place accessible and the approach to God possible for all people. We who are believers are bond servants of the Most High God. Yet we have the all the privileges of a son or daughter. We can freely cry out, “Abba, Father.” He hears our prayers anytime, anywhere, about anything. We can abide with him in confidence, nothing holding us back, no shameful chains pulling on us, no stone of guilt dragging us down, no more burden of sin. We can always be sure of God’s reaching out to us in love and compassion.
“Let us draw near with confidence” (“come boldly” in the King James) is the most incredible invitation the world has ever received. This invitation allows us to freely and wholeheartedly pursue God. In addition, Jesus makes us new creatures. His word is trustworthy and true. We need not fear when Jesus comes back someday to make the church his bride. He will make a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem. He will be with us. He will be our God and we will be his people. Let this reality shape your everyday life, your every relationship, your every decision. Let life with Jesus now and in the day to come fill you with confident anticipation and joy. Today, listen to This I Believe by Hillsong as you consider these wonderful realities.
Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
By Donna Burns