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April’s Verse - Calvary – the Key that unlocked the door

What is Easter about? We know that it’s about Jesus and a cross—but what was it all for?

Throughout the Old Testament God set up a series of elaborate visual illustrations to teach us important lessons about himself. Some of them centred around the temple, sacrifices and the High Priest. In the temple was a room known as the Most Holy Place. It symbolised God’s place. It was closed off—God was utterly separate from his messed up creation.

Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the people of God gathered at the temple where the High Priest offered a sacrifice for their sins. Then the High Priest, as the people’s representative, would enter into the Most Holy Place. Outside the people waited with bated breath. Would he/they be accepted or would he be struck down? Then, when the priest stepped out into the sunlight, they knew that everything was alright. God had forgiven their sin based on the sacrifice of another.

And that was only for their unintentional sins, because all through the year when they had broken God’s law they had to make the appropriate sacrifice for that sin. This was the catch-all sacrifice.

That’s how many people still think that we relate to God today. When you sin you need to make it up to God, either with sacrifices appropriate to the sin, or some general catch-all service. But how do you know if you’ve done enough?

But wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a simpler system? If there was a sacrifice so great that it covered all your sins, no matter how serious, so that you didn’t have to keep going back? The point of all those Old Testament illustrations was to create that very longing in us—a longing for a better way.

April’s verse comes from the book of Hebrews, a book dedicated to explaining that Jesus is that better way:

“He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption”
– Hebrews 9:12

It talks about Jesus entering, like the old High Priest, into God’s presence, with a sacrifice of such stunning worth—“his own blood”—that it would provide a forgiveness that would last forever. Calvary has unlocked the door to the Most Holy Place. Jesus brings us right into the presence of God. Elaborate sacrifice is no longer needed. Instead, Jesus has obtained the redemption (freedom from judgment) that we need. What we need to do, is go to him and ask him to pay for us so that we can have this great redemption.