02 February 2008

Enter into His Presence with Joy

Last December, Royale and I enjoyed a visit to impressive Hampton Court Palace. Of the many things to see in that grand place, one section particularly captured my attention; the King’s Chambers. Designed to awe and impose, with its walls covered in ornate murals, a large gathering room welcomed those who desired the presence of the king. The invited were allowed to the upper level by way of a large winding staircase that opens into a guardroom wall-covered in weapons. To see the king, one passed through a series of rooms, each arranged to convey the king’s grandeur, wealth, prestige and power.

Before one was allowed beyond the lower entrance, up to the upper floor and through the several rooms to the throne room and the king’s presence, the visitors were examined to see if they were suitable. Did they deserve the king’s personal presence? Were they properly attired? Did they carry the right credentials? Was their business pertinent?

When I viewed the king’s chambers and heard of the examination folks received to see the monarch, my thoughts brought me to consider the Lord, who in his exalted place resides in splendour no earthly king understands. In fact, attempts to understand Him, all similes and metaphors, fail to connect and humanity is left no capability to fully take in the vastness of God’s glory.

If we desired to enter His chambers, could we pass the exam and gain access? Are we dressed correctly? No, all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in His sight. Are we positioned well enough? No, we are a son of Adam, who disobeyed at the first and ran from His presence. Are we powerful enough? Only a fool would think that possible. If these questions depended on us, we would be outside, where we deserve to be.

But wait; listen! What is this? It is a message from the king. In its first statement, it calls “Sinner, come in!” That is a hopeful sound! A sinner can come in. But does it mean me? Then, by the mercy of God, the words change—we are called by name—“Come in.”

Entrance into the inner private chamber of the King of kings, without any dress, credentials or demand of business to offer? Amazing! How did this entrance happen? It was through the love of God for us in the death of Christ, who bore our punishment. His blood stands as the basis for our forgiveness and right of entrance.

Jesus, though righteous, was betrayed, apprehended, condemned, spat on, scourged, buffeted, mocked, crowned with thorns and crucified. In so doing, He saves our soul from being betrayed by the devil and sin; from being apprehended by justice and condemned by the law; from dying the second death. One author put it so well:
“He wrestled with justice, that you might have rest; He wept and mourned, that you might laugh and rejoice; He was betrayed, that you might go free; was apprehended, that you might escape; He was condemned, that you might be justified; and was killed, that you might live; He wore a crown of thorns, that you might wear a crown of glory; and was nailed to the cross, with His arms wide open, to show with what freeness all His merits shall be bestowed on the coming soul; and how heartily He will receive it into His bosom.”

And so, should the devil ever whisper in your ear doubt about the Lord’s willingness to receive you into His glorious presence in the intimacy of His chamber, simply point out that you wear, not your own finery, but the righteousness of Christ. Remark that you carry not a seal bearing your stamp, but one given to all the adopted children of God. And your business is now one you gladly own—the kingdom of God. And then, enter in. Enter! Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5)

1 comment:

Cherie said...

It's truly humbling and amazing to think He would know my name.
Many thanks for this!