Come with me.
Come let’s go back to 350 BC.
We are entering an Israeli hospital; the smell of drugs fills the corridor as we are ushered into a comfy office by a young Jewish nurse, she demands to know why we are here.
You speak up first “we are here to see King Uziah”
She double checks her file and leads us upstairs to a private ward. The sign on the door reads “Executive.”
She opens the door and we look straight into the eyes of a frail patient, leaning back, green bed sheets, white pillow and a jug of (what I later discover is) fig tree juice. As the door behind us closes, he signals us to sit.
We introduce ourselves as chaps from 2012 AD, way ahead of his times (don’t ask me how that’s possible) because King Uzziah himself doesn’t ask, but observes one thing and speaks up.
“I hear you guys have a privilege we don’t have today.” we nod in approval and he continues.
“You have the privilege of entering the presence of a holy God through Jesus; I didn’t have it, infact that’s why I am here on leprosy medication after attempting to directly enter the Lord’s presence last week to burn incense on the altar, a privilege reserved for only the descendants of Aaron. He pulls out a folded paper detailing what happened on that fateful day and asks us to go read the whole account of what happened from 2 Chronicles 26:16-18.
The nurse signals timeout and as we prepare to leave, you pull out your backpack and show me a passage from Hebrew 10:19-22.
The nurse impatiently looks on as you as whisper it from your big brown bible…
“Therefore brothers, since we have this confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body and since we have this great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to Godwith a sincere heart in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water”
As we walk out the hospital gate minutes later. We pat each other’s backs and congratulate ourselves for having been born at such a right time (as if we chose), with such a great privilege.
We remember those like King Uzziah, back inside, who never had a chance to enter the most holy place, a chance we, in the 21st century, often take for granted.
Great visit,great lessons.