Preacher: Tony Hunter
Daily Walk: Tony Hunter
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 81:1-4.
Read: Romans 8:31-38 (ESV). As you re-read the text for the final time this week in the English Standard Version, what new insights did you discover about God’s character?
Reflect: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Jesus rose from the grave. It was the proof of hope. If death can become life, then anything is possible. Anything. But Jesus couldn’t rise until He first said “It is finished.” This is a story we have heard time and again. The story of the God/man Jesus, who lived, died, and rose again to pay for the sins of all. To fix what was once broken. And I think it’s easy to gloss over the story because we have heard it so much. To perhaps take it for granted and not give it its due consideration.
I know I am guilty of this. But there is a piece of the crucifixion story that gets me every time I think about it. It brings up a raw emotion that feels a lot like hope. And strangely, it’s not the part where Jesus died. It’s the part that comes next. In Matthew and Mark’s account, the very first thing that happens is that the temple curtain is torn. In Luke’s account, this happens the moment before Jesus dies.
Here is the significance of that detail. The temple curtain is the one that separated the Holy Place of the temple from the Most Holy Place. The Most Holy Place was where the Ark of the Covenant rested, and on top of it was what is known as “The Mercy Seat." This was also known as “The Thrown of God." No one could go into that part of the temple except the High Priest, and even he could only go once a year. With that one exception, the priests could only go as far as the Holy Place. That curtain was the dividing line between God’s location and man’s location. It represented the separation between God and man.
But at the moment of Jesus’ death, that barrier was torn and removed and the symbolism of that act was very clear: There is no more separation. I am no longer separated from my Creator. I can stand before God without fear. I have been accepted. I have been redeemed. My heart can be complete again. My soul can be complete again. I can be complete in God and God can be complete in me. I no longer have to be broken and alone. You no longer have to be broken and alone. God took the piece of His love that was you and mended it, healed it, back into His own piece. We are no longer alone. We belong once again. We are no longer a bunch of broken pieces separated form the whole. Now, we are part of the One.
Respond: Pray for the very real sense of being whole again in Jesus’ love.
Research: What are some examples of people who were made whole again in God in the Bible?