May 23 I Thursday

1 Chronicles 19-21

John 8:1-27

“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.”    —Acts 3:16


The New Testament temple layout served as a physical reminder of the distance and barriers between us and God. The outer Court of the Gentiles was where people who were not Jewish but still wanted to worship the God of Israel were allowed to go. The next layer was the Court of the Women, where Jewish women were allowed to worship. After was the Court of Israel, where Jewish men were permitted to go and present their sacrifices. Then only the priests were able to go further in the temple to the Holy Place to perform
sacrifices for whatever offering was brought. At the final layer, the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was, only the High Priest could enter once a year on the Day of Atonement.

In Acts 3, we read of a man who had been crippled from birth, ostracized from his people, and because of his disability, was not permitted to worship in this temple. Daily, he sat by the temple gate called Beautiful begging for money from people going into the temple courts. But the crippled man’s life was transformed the day he met Peter and John as they were going up to the temple. He asked Peter for money and Peter replied, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6). Instantly, this man stood up and for the first time in his life, he was allowed to enter the temple and close the distance between him and God.

Only a few months earlier, when Jesus died on the cross and declared, “It is finished,” the veil covering the Holy of Holies, that divided us from God, was torn top to bottom, indicating that we can enjoy a relationship with God without distance. Because of the work of Christ on the cross, the whole temple is metaphorically open to all believers. Forgiven and cleansed by Christ, we are now welcomed into God’s presence. The distance that once separated us from God is forever gone.

The day Peter met the crippled man, he not only healed the man physically but also spiritually: “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has completely healed him, as you can all see” (Acts 3:16). We may not be physically crippled, but we could be spiritually crippled when we believe that we cannot approach God because of our sins. There is power when we call on the name of Jesus. Thanks to His finished work on the cross, we have no boundaries keeping us away from approaching Him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that Your finished work on the cross takes away my spiritual crippledness, allowing me to approach and walk confidently in You.

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