God is holy. His character and basic nature is sinless, pure, beautiful, and completely separated from all that is evil. However, there is a problem; but it is not with God. Ever since humanity fell into sin, people cannot be near or approach a perfect Being. Just as we would go blind by looking directly at the sun – or be totally disintegrated by getting too close to it – so humans cannot be with such a holy God.
In the Old Testament, God graciously devised a system whereby people could approach him. A temple was built. It had very detailed and strict prescriptions about how it was to be built. There needed to be curtains, walls, and borders everywhere in order to protect and shield the people from being destroyed by the sheer holiness of God.
Entering the New Testament, Jesus is the exact representation of God’s holy being and presence. In Christ, God became intimately close to his people. Through Jesus we are delivered from the problem of being far away from God. If that were not enough, God sent his Holy Spirit to be the continuing presence of Jesus on this earth. The Apostle Paul tells us that, as the church, we are a holy temple which is graciously, patiently, and with great care being built into a spiritual house that can be the place where God meets with humanity.
Wow! Please do not miss the sheer grace of all this work on God’s part. He has gone out of his way to be with us. He has bended and pointed history for his purposes in order to make it possible to be with us. Like a lover separated from his beloved, God has pulled out all the stops to make us holy so that we can abide with him in his holiness. Praise to the God of heaven!
Loving God, you have gone to the greatest lengths possible in order to be with humanity. You have not destroyed us, but graciously sent your Son so that we can be with you forever. Forgive me of all the times I have jilted you. Instead, continue your work of making me holy so that I can be like you in all your wonderful holiness through the power of the Spirit. Amen.