Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1-2 ESV
There is a wonder to worship post-cross that we often miss because we don’t realize that Christ purchased our access to the Father through his sacrifice. He removed the veil of the temple so that God’s presence could freely dwell with us. Old Testament saints didn’t have it this way. Now, volumes have already been written about worship. I’m not going to say anything new, but nonetheless it is something that we need to talk about.
What Is Worship?
When I think of worship, I think primarily of two things:
- Ascribing glory to God (Psalm 96)
- Being in the presence of God – not just in the same room with Him, but sitting at His feet, learning from Him, and expressing my affection for Him (Luke 7; Luke 10; John 12).
I believe our lives need to be one continuous and passionate pursuit of God through worship for a number of reasons: He’s worthy of it, He created us for it, and we need it.
Worship is intimacy with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Worship is giving our whole selves to God.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
Worship is declaring His greatness while leaving our own at the foot of the cross.
Worship is encountering Holy Spirit.
Worship is seeing Jesus.
Worship is knowing we are loved and held by the most loving Father.
Worship is access.
Access to an exchange because of an exchange
You can converse with God. You can exchange thoughts and affection with the God of the universe.
And He wants you to be with Him.
He actually wants to sit with you and talk with you and hear from you and speak to you.
He wants to comfort you, to teach you, to whisper His love to you.
He wants access to you, too.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:19-21 ESV
Worship is an exchange that is made possible because Jesus made the ultimate exchange in taking on sin, breaking the curse once for all, so that you would not remain separated. Your body is now the temple and God’s manifest presence is not hidden behind a curtain in an inner sanctum that only a single priest has access to.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
Matthew 27:51 ESV
The priest is now Christ. And he has covered your sin with His blood so that you can approach the Father.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:14-15 ESV
Worship is God receiving us as we say yes to Him. We do not have to approach God with fear of rejection, but with boldness of faith knowing that He is always present to help, to heal, to comfort, to speak, to move on our behalf.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 ESV
Getting Out of the Valley
Worship, encounter with God, is the first step out of the valley of the shadow of death.
David said in Psalm 23 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
It’s the first step out of the pit of despair and despondency that comes with grief.
Because God is the only source of good.
Tragedy is evil, especially that which is wrought because of sin. Grief will keep you stuck focusing on the evil, the hopelessness that screams at you to give up and give in.
You do not have to live in that mess. You do not have to listen to it.
Run to God. Now.
Do not look back.
You have access.