Something beautiful has been on my mind this week.
On Sunday night, I preached on Hebrews 10:19-25. The specific text is beautiful. The NIV translation titles it, “A Call to Persevere in Faith.” I’d encourage you to read it sometime today.
It starts with the beauty of the opened curtain between us and God, calls us to hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, and inspires us to continue to meet together as believers to encourage one another.
I’d love to camp out in those seven verses and study them over and over again. It’s a deep well.
Too many times, I’d heard the expression that we are called to love everyone, but we don’t have to like them. Actually, I laugh a little to myself as I think about one of the all-time best movies, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Andy says, “I love you Binky, but I don’t have to like you right now.” That movie is the best. Anyways, back on track.
When I was in grad school studying counseling, I realized how interesting people are. I loved learning about how people tick, why they do the things they do, and how they have an incredible ability to heal through hardship. I love counseling because I get to narrow my focus to one person at a time. I get to show the love of Christ in a setting where I’m intentionally looking for the best in the person sitting across from me. It’s really easy to love and like people when you are looking for the best in them.
Although I’ve heard that I can love someone without liking them my entire life, I’m claiming it as untrue. On Sunday, talking with the students, I felt a deep conviction to tell them that God likes them. I saw a tweet this week from Ashley Abramson @ashleyabrmsn that said,
“Everything changed for me when I started reading the Bible with the assumption that God actually liked me. Highly recommend.”
How beautiful is that? God loves us, and God likes us.
In Hebrews 10, it calls attention to the curtain being open. This is referring to the veil in the temple. It may seem complex, but I’ll give you a fast forward explanation, and then bring home my main point. It’s worth sticking around for.
Before Jesus, there was a big curtain (or veil) between all people and our Holy God. This physical curtain was in the temple, but it was much more than just physical. It had huge spiritual implications. You see, God is Holy and he cannot be in the presence of sin. So this curtain kept us and our sin separate from God. It was only on very special occasions that one person was allowed to go beyond the veil. If you aren’t familiar with this, I pray you’d go find a mature believer of Christ and ask them all about it.
So, Jesus, being as amazing as He is, did something spectacular.
When He died on the cross, He tore the veil. He ripped it right open. He ripped it physically. Hear that, His death on the cross physically ripped the veil open. Spiritually, he made a forever path through His death and resurrection for us to be reunited with our Holy God, Creator.
I’ve always thought about how precious of a gift this was for us.
I’ve dreamed about how amazingly beautiful it is that we have access to God. It’s like a sunbeam bolting through our dark world through a ripped veil. A ripped veil that cost the life of the most important person in the whole world. My thoughts on this have, naturally, always been in my perspective. I’ve always thought about how great it was that we could go beyond the veil.
What if we imagined the view of the torn veil from God’s perspective?
The tearing of the veil was a view he was willing to pay the most excruciating price for. He wanted to be with us. He wanted it so bad. The view was a precious gift to Him. I’ve just got to believe He did it because He loves us, and He likes us.
He likes you.
Soak it in today, friend. I pray for you, and for myself, that we would take that into our lives with others. What if we were determined to love our neighbors, starting with a decision to like them?