Thursday, December 6, 2012
25 Days of Christmas Presence—Day 6
Friends of ours visited us this week. Our casual pizza sharing times usually become church—a gathering and fellowship of the Body of Christ. We laugh, we spill, we pray, we interrupt, we joke, we cry, we eat. Usually we laugh some more.
These friends are some of our trusted iron-sharpeners. And I am always honed after being with them. Inevitably there is a phrase in our conversations that prompts an insight and births a concept in my spirit. Whole trains of thought and pages of writing often result. Perhaps only in my journal, but it happens.
This week a passing mention was made of the Tabernacle of the Old Testament and the Temple of both Old and New Testament. Apparently this had been a topic of conversation in their vehicle before they came to our house (I wish I had been a fly hiding in the heating vent.). This contrast and comparison of these two places lodged in my mind. I was thinking about it while studying Ephesians.
God commissioned the constructing of the Tabernacle and the building of the Temple to be symbols of his Presence among his people. Holy and sacred places.
The Tabernacle was transitory and could be moved to follow the nomadic people of God. The Temple was stationery and was a place to gather in His people who were scattered. These were the epicenters of the Presence of God. They were, however, places of limited access—not everyone could enter every court.
In ancient eastern courts citizens could only enter into presence of the king through an official called a prosagogeus.
When Esther came before the presence of Xerxes she bypassed the prosagogeus. Normally as she entered the court this official would have announced her into the presence of the king. She certainly was not to enter the king’s presence without his summons. .Esther’s name was not on the agenda for the day. But because Esther had a relationship with the king provisions were in place to allow her access to him.
Very few people have direct access to a king. Protocol must be followed. Not every one is given access to the king’s presence. Think about Prince William of England. Someday he will be king. And during his coronation week I will fly to London and take a black cab to Buckingham Palace and knock on his door. And he, Kate and I will have scones and tea.
No. Security would detain me before I ever placed my foot through the gate at the drive way. I would be denied access to William. I do not know the king. I do not know anyone who does know the king.
Jesus’ birth began the provision of access not only to a king, but to the Father.
Jesus came to be both the Tabernacle and the Temple. Jesus was sent (commissioned) by the Father to usher in the age of unlimited access to his presence through the Spirit.
Provisions have been put in place for us to enter the presence of the Father. The veil was torn in the Temple when Jesus died on the cross, but in the event of his birth the doors and gates were swinging open.
This provision of Jesus causes my eyes to burn. This provision of Jesus causes me to hold my breath until my chest gets far too tight. This provision of Jesus has provided unlimited access to the very throne room of God.
Oh, what an incredible thing!
Christmas reminds us that the world needs some thing. The world needs a prosagogeus. We need someone to let us in. We don’t’ need someone who knows just the king, we need someone who knows the Father.
Jesus will and does.
He is our Prosagogeus.
Merry Christmas to us!
Heavenly Father, I praise you for the greatest present I have ever been given. Thank you that the temple and the tabernacle are no longer closed to me. I am praying and being heard in your throne room at this very moment because of your Jesus. Because of him, this sinful, marked woman has access to the King. Jesus has provided access for this orphaned girl to enter your presence, Father. I bless you for this privilege. May I abide there continually. And may I forever proclaim this provision of Jesus to anyone who will listen. May I learn to be a prosagogeus. Amen and amen.
Daily Activity: Read Ephesians 2:18 ; Ephesians 3:12
Read Esther's Entrance ; Esther's Entrance 2
There is someone in your life who needs to know that they have real access to God. They need to understand that provisions have been made. Be a prosagogeus and in prayer take them before the throne of God.
prosagogeus William Barclay. The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, page 117.