24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
Heaven itself — the very throne room of God is where Jesus resides. He is there now, appearing on our behalf. The sanctuary and earthly worship are to be a copy of what happens in heaven. Because of what Christ has done our worship is no longer simply a copy of what may be happening in heaven, but we are ushered into God’s presence as a result of Christ’s work. There exists then, a connection between heaven and earth, between the sanctuary made by men and heaven itself, made possible by Christ.
The life of holiness includes participation by way of fellowship with the divine nature. We are invited to fellowship with the Triune God and this leads us to a heavenly worship. Christ is in the heavenly sanctuary and our worship here on earth should be a reflection of the divine worship in heaven. If we are personally reflections of Christ, then we are, corporately reflections of what is happening in the sanctuary of heaven.
That brings us to a question about worship. Does our worship in an earthly sanctuary reflect what is happening in heaven? If we are all truly on a journey which takes us deeper with Christ — this is what the world will see.
Over 1100 years ago now the prince of Kievan Russ sent out emissaries in search of a religion for his people. When they arrived in Constantinople and went to worship at Hagia Sophia they reported that they had discovered heaven on earth. They had never experienced anything like that worship. As a result an entire people became baptized as Christians.
If people came to visit our churches today would they describe our worship as experiencing heaven on earth? There were no evangelistic methods or church planting strategies that happened when the emissaries arrived in Constantinople. They simply experienced a community of faith reflecting heaven and this led to their conversion and that of an entire nation.
Christ has already entered into the sanctuary of heaven. We are invited to participate with him but this only comes as we step into a deeper walk with him on a daily basis. This is the challenge, to seek him and his face more and more each day until the reflection of heaven becomes so clear in us that it draws the world toward him. Heaven itself — Jesus is there, interceding on our behalf! Let’s participate with him.
Lord, please help our community of faith to be a reflection of heaven itself. Amen.
Thank you to Nazarene Publishing House and Keri Mitchell for helping to create and publish Reflecting the Image. This is not a devotional book, but rather a collection of thoughts and stories which lead us in the direction of reflecting Christ. Click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.