Snail Mail and the Internet
And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Luke 23:45
My son and I drove to the actual post office yesterday to mail some documents. He found the whole experience quaint and obsolete. These were written documents that could have easily been sent instantly via email. The recipient however, wanted physical, paper documents. So, off we trudged to the post office, where we were told the package would take about 3 days to be delivered. There was a time when three days wasn’t so long, but in the world of electronic mail, that seemed like an eternity. My son was unimpressed.
Today’s passage, on the tearing of the temple veil at Christ’s death, describes a similar, if not more monumental, change in communication. Before Christ, God resided in a specific part of the temple, the Holy of Holies, which was walled off from the rest of the temple by a massive curtain. Because of man’s sin, to be in the physical presence of the living God meant instant death. Once a year, only one man – the high priest – was allowed into that place to offer a sacrifice for all of God’s people.
The common man apparently had only snail mail access to God, requiring an intermediary to commune with him. Jesus sacrifice on the cross changed all that though. At his death, he substituted himself for our guilt, washing us clean permanently in the father’s eyes, allowing us immediate access directly to the father. The veil was mysteriously torn, and we now have instant, internet-like access to the father.
God is everywhere of course. The level to which we experience his presence, however, depends largely on our behavior. We can have two radically different days, depending on whether we spend time reading, praying, and seeking God versus if we spend our day pursuing whatever we want. Though God has provided instant access to him, just like any person, we can distance ourselves from him or we can pursue our relationship with him. Just having the internet available doesn’t make us close to someone on the other end of it.
If we want to know God and if we want our lives to be transformed by his presence, then daily, we must choose to commune with him. Daily, we must read his word, meditate, pray, and follow him. We’ve got the access. Now the father asks that we use it.