Gwydyr Rd, Crieff, UK, PH7 4BS

In February I attended a series of lectures by Dr Jean Claude Verrrecchia, NT lecturer at Newbold College. He spoke and challenged us on the topic of the gospel in the book of Hebrews.

I came away with a vivid picture in my mind of the contrast of approaching God portrayed by the OT Mosaic covenant and the NT Jesus covenant. Let me put it very simply.

The OT covenant said to:

Women – no you can’t approach God!
Gentiles – no you can’t approach God!
Deformed or disabled – no you can’t approach God!
Jews who were not Levites – no you can’t approach God!
Levites who were not Aaronic priests – no you can’t approach God!
Levites and priests who were not the High Priest – no you can’t approach God!
ONLY one man – the High Priest – and even then he could not approach God except with blood.

The NT covenant says:
You are a woman – you can come
You are a child – you can come
You are a Gentile – you can come
You are a Jew – you can come
You are a Scot – you can come
You are Polish – you can come
You are from Ghana – you can come
You are by nature a sinner – you can come
You are disabled – you can come
You are an outcast – abhorrent in the eyes of my fellow man – you can come!

Wow what a contrast!

But it is more than a contrast – it is the essential power of the new covenant. This ‘welcome’ is the mysterious power that helps turn the wanderer home to the Father. Note these two statements from the pen of Ellen White.

‘Medical Ministry’ pp109-110

“Tell the suffering ones of a compassionate Saviour. . . . He looks with compassion upon those who regard their case as hopeless. While the soul is filled with fear and terror, the mind cannot see the tender compassion of Christ.”

‘Lift Him Up’ p206

“Study the life and character of Christ, and seek to imitate His example. The unconsecrated course of some of those who claim to be believers in the third angel’s message has resulted in driving some of the poor sheep into the desert; and who is it that has manifested a shepherd’s care for the lost and wandering? Is it not time to be Christians in practice as well as profession? What benevolence, what compassion, what tender sympathy, Jesus has manifested toward suffering humanity! The heart that beats in unison with His great heart of infinite love will give sympathy to every needy soul, and will make it manifest that he has the mind of Christ. . . . Every suffering soul has a claim upon the sympathy of others, and those who are imbued with the love of Christ, filled with His pity, tenderness, and compassion, will respond to every appeal to their sympathy. . . . Every soul who attempts to retrace his wanderings and return to God needs the help of those who have a tender, pitying heart of Christlike love.”

That’s what each of us needs to know. It is what our neighbours need to know. You are welcome to come into God’s presence.