Since my first encounter with the Anglican stream of Christianity, I have absolutely fallen in love with the Book of Common Prayer. Within this formative text lies the Daily Office—daily Scripture readings for the follower of Jesus. With morning and nightly Psalms, there are also Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospel readings for the immersion of the saint. It was only a few years ago, if I can be honest, that I fell in love with the Psalms and the rhythms found within the prayerbook for God’s people throughout the ages.
One of the past set of readings on Holy Saturday stressed the brokenness of humanity, particularly the brokenness of individuals. In the Psalm and the writings of Lamentations, I was confronted with the loneliness that the Son of God must have felt upon the cross. How separated he was from others, from the community he had with the Father and Holy Spirit from the very foundations of eternity.
Then I stumbled into this passage where the writer to the Hebrews penned,
11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.
12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I’m terrified of the notion that everything is under the eyes of God. All of the good things, all of the bad, and everything in between are laid bare before the eyes of Creator of the cosmos.
While I’m aware of my own weaknesses and mistakes, while in the middle of my own rebellion of God, I am reminded of the high priest Hebrews 4 describes for us. This high priest, the one who created the universe so long ago, took on flesh and took on the sins of humanity.
Now we are able to approach God’s gracious throne without fear of being smitten (a certain Bruce Almighty quote comes to mind here) and without the need to constantly offer sacrifices. No, now we receive grace and a restored relationship with God through the sacrifice of this great high priest.
How do you respond to all of our lives being laid open before God?