photo by Emerson Peters
I went to church in a funk. Everything in me was screaming. “Guilty.” I had disappointed people by failing to follow through on promises. My heart was critical of another brother who I judged to be incompetent and I was judging myself a miserable Christian, at best.
The worship started but consumed with my guilt, I could not join in. I was sure God didn’t want to hear a peep out of me.
Standing with the rest of the congregation, for appearances sake, my heart was at war within. Eyes closed, hands raised, as if in praise, I was suddenly caught up with an internal vision.
I saw myself, dressed in dirty rags and carrying a bulging ragged burlap bag. Before me was a thick red velvet curtain. It stretched to my left and right into infinity. Looking up, I could not see the top of it.
Then I heard a voice, “Come in Beloved.”
I looked around to see if there was anyone else there. No, I was alone.
“Come in Beloved,” again, the invitation came.
Looking down at my appearance and now connecting with the pain in my heart, tears slipped down my face unheeded.
“I can’t come in,” I said, trying to get my feet to turn me around so I could run away.
“Come in Beloved. Put your bag down and come through the curtain.”
Love wrapped every word and I felt my warring heart warm and begin to melt. Slowly the bag slipped from my hand to the floor with a thump.
Mustering all of my courage, I made a step toward the curtain.
Instantly I found myself on the other side. Instead of dirty rags I was dressed in a brilliant white gown. Light emanated in every direction. All the heaviness and guilt was gone and tears of joy replaced tears of sorrow as my heart flooded with love.
Scripture filled my mind.
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-23
Every time we sin and choose to confess and go the Father, we walk through that curtain of His Blood and are redeemed to our oneness with Jesus…blameless and holy in His sight. Ephesians 1:4-5 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself.
I walked through this experience 26 years ago, and rarely a day goes by that I don’t replay it.
None of us will see the time, this side of heaven, that we don’t need to walk through that curtain and receive His forgiveness. And…He is EVER faithful to wash us clean.
Oh, how He loves us.
Romans 5:6-10 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Let’s forgive others the way He’s forgiven us.