No More Barrier
- Dr Eliezer Gonzalez
- Eternal Life
May 27, 2019 1974
Does it sometimes feel like there’s a barrier between you and God? As if the joy of your Heavenly Father never quite cuts through your sadness? When you talk to God is it as if your prayers don’t get quite through? You can feel it somewhere rooted deep within your soul, like a full deep ache. Have you ever felt what I am talking about, this awful barrier between you and God?
Even if you’ve never really thought about it, I can tell you where this sense of a barrier between you and God comes from. After Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible says that,
After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life(Gen 3:24, NLT).
Cherubim (plural) are powerful angels who serve God and attend his throne. Here in Genesis they are presented as the guardians of the way to paradise. That’s why they wield a flaming sword.
The mighty cherubim between fallen humanity and the tree of life were a representation of the real, spiritual barrier that Adam and Eve had created by breaking the bonds of love and trust when they had disobeyed God in the garden. God is the source of live and everything that is good. Sin separates us from God (Isa 59:2).
Later, when God told Moses to build a sanctuary in the wilderness, it was to teach his people important and fundamental lessons about salvation. In the sanctuary, the throne of God was represented by the ark of the covenant in the Most Holy Place. Covering the ark of the covenant was the mercy seat. Isn’t that a beautiful thought, that God’s throne is covered by mercy? (Ps 89:14).
That’s where humanity had to be to if they could be restored to a right relationship with God: right before the throne. To be saved, we had to be able to go right through the sanctuary: through the first door into the courtyard, then into the first apartment into the tent of the sanctuary itself, and right through into the Most Holy Place.
What we could never do, God did for us.
But there was a problem. God had told Moses to put a curtain in front of the Ark of the Covenant, between the first apartment and the Most Holy Place. And onto the curtain, he told Moses to have cherubim woven (Gen 26:1).
It doesn’t say that the cherubim on the curtain were to hold a flaming sword, but it might as well, because that’s what they represented: the barrier between fallen humanity and God, the source of life. This was dramatically reinforced by the fact that no human being was ever allowed to enter the Most Holy Place, except only the High Priest, and only once a year. And that was only because he represented God himself.
So, how could we ever pass through the cherubim, and cross this vast gulf between God and humanity? How could we ever find life and joy again?
What we could never do, God did for us. God sent a man who went through the veil on our behalf: a man who was God. It was Jesus who went through the cherubim and demolished the barrier between God and man.
Before Jesus was born, Simeon prophesied to his mother Mary,
This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.(Luke 2:34–35).
What Simeon said to Mary implies that her soul would be pierced by a sword as a consequence of Christ’s soul being pierced. Mary’s soul was pierced doubtless pierced as she saw her son on the cross. But it was nothing like the way that Christ’s soul was pierced by a sword, as he went through the seemingly impenetrable barrier of sin and pain, as he bore the sins of the world.
And when he had demolished the barrier between God and man, he victoriously cried out, “It is finished”, and at that moment
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom(Matt 27:51.
There can be no doubting the meaning of this. With the death of Christ, there was now no more barrier between heaven and earth. There is now nothing to separate you from God. All that you had to do was to believe it, and come in before the throne:
Brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place bythe blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings(Heb 10:19–22).
Jesus passed through the barrier. He did what we could not do. And he ripped the barrier of between God and fallen humanity apart. Now, if you accept it, there’s no more barrier.
The curse of the fall is broken. Don’t live in it a moment longer.
– Eliezer Gonzalez