Our Identity in Christ
by Kevin Struyk
Remembering all the personal identification numbers, passwords, login names, ID cards, and the like that are a part of my everyday routine gets tiring. In order to conduct any business on the Internet, enter my residence, pay bills, access email, or enter my gym, I either enter a plethora of keystrokes or flash one of my various ID cards. Despite these little inconveniences, it is a relief to know that there are still a few places such as the homes of friends and family and the church where “secret handshakes,” ID cards, and special personal identification numbers are not required. In these places, my status as a friend or family member is the one thing that allows me access into each particular fellowship.
For believers to fellowship with God, His Son — Jesus, had to suffer and die on the cross. After He breathed His last breath and yielded up His Spirit, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:51). This curtain referenced in Matthew and Mark probably refers to the inner curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (see also Ex. 26:31ff). On the Day of Atonement, only the high priest was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place. Here he would sprinkle the blood of a bull and goat on and in front of the mercy seat to atone for the sins of Israel (Lev. 16:14–15). However, once the curtain was torn in half, access to God was no longer for the high priest alone, but for all believers.
Those who trust in Jesus Christ are essentially washed clean from their sins by the blood of Jesus. Not only that, but the benefits of Christ’s perfect life are imparted to the believer. As a result, we have a status as sons of God (Gal. 4:5). I know there are no cards for Christians that identify us as, “sons of God with full access to the Father,” but it might be a good reminder for some if we had them.
It is a tremendous blessing to approach the throne of God in prayer and worship. Too often, however, we forget that the “clearance” we’ve been given came not of our doing but of Christ’s doing. His steadfast love for us meant the giving up of His life — a life lived in perfect obedience to God’s law — so that we would not experience eternal separation but everlasting fellowship with Him. The next time you type in a password or flash an ID card, think of the gift you have been given — full access to God the Father, Ruler over all things.