So many people say that they follow Jesus, but they don’t. They can’t. They don’t know Jesus. They know their pastor’s idea of Jesus. They know their denomination’s idea of Jesus. But they don’t know him for themselves.
All they have to do is read the Gospels for themselves, and ask Jesus into their hearts. It really is that simple. But they’ve been taught for years that they aren’t good enough to follow Jesus on their own. They’ve been taught that they need an intermediary, a go between.
Jesus is directly accessible to every one of us. We don’t need someone else doing the interpreting. He speaks directly to us if we let him.
Many of us were raised in churches where we were taught that we are not worthy, or that we are not capable of even approaching the idea of Jesus. Just look at the physical layout of the standard church. The congregation sits in one place and the minister sits in another. The minister sits closer to the heart of the holy space, which is removed from the people. If your denomination has weekly communion the altar isn’t right next to you. It is far back, removed. Sometimes it is up stairs. Sometimes there is a rail. Only the priest and a few chosen people are allowed near the altar.
This is exactly the same as in the Holy Temple, where only the High Priest could approach the Holy of Holies. Not the people. Not even a regular priest. Just one, just once a year, a special person was allowed to enter this sacred space. There were different levels of approach all the time, but this area was more off limits than most.
When Jesus died on the cross, that all changed.
Let us look in Matthew 27:50-54. This is just as Jesus is dying.
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (NKJV)
The veil of the temple was torn. This is what kept the common people from seeing the Holy of Holies. The old way of doing things has been removed. There is nothing more that separates us from God. There are no divisions. There are no barriers. There is no need for intermediaries.
Jesus did this for you. Yes. You.
He tore away everything that stood between you and God. He still does it now.
And if anybody tries to make you think that you are not good enough, not smart enough, not capable enough to approach God directly, then they are standing in your way. They are not acting in the place of Jesus, as they might say they are. They are doing the exact opposite.