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Bob Slosser
Spiritual Life Channel

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Theres Good Reason for Confidence About Your Prayers if....

By Bob Slosser Columnist We need confidence as we wind down this second week of Advent in the year 2001, confidence and expectation about the national and worldwide revival we may already have entered in some places. There is plenty of support for this confidence and expectation.

I want to take a big jump from this end of the second week of Advent today to the very end of the Lords life to look at two related, well-known passages of Holy Scripture. The first is Luke 23:44-49, about the final moments of the Lords death on the cross, which Luke addresses in his clear, reportorial style. He says, "The darkness...came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining." The NAS Bible, noted for special adherence to the original languages, says "darkness fell" and the sun was "obscured," which suggests clouds or some such thing. The Book (Living Translation) says, "The light from the sun was gone." It was surely dark.

"And" very importantly "the curtain of the temple was torn in two." This was some distance away, in the temple, and Luke doesnt say how he knew it. He simply says it. The curtain between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was torn in two, symbolizing Christs opening the way directly to Almighty God for the people.

Hebrews 10:19-25 discusses this. The sanctuary of Gods presence was closed to the people under the former covenant because the blood of animal sacrifices could never completely atone for sins. But once the perfect sacrifice the Lamb of God, Jesus had been offered, atoning for sin once and for all, the people could go directly to the throne. Hallelujah! They (we) could talk to God themselves.

Four conditions are given in this passage for drawing near to God, on the basis of scholarship in The NIV Study Bible. The unknown author of the Book of Hebrews took the supreme sufficiency of Jesus as his major theme. You and I, beloved, must be confident of this theme to secure the confidence and expectation of which I spoke. Let the truth of these conditions sink into your mind and spirit:

  1. A sincere heart (Hebrews 10:22, NIV) Undivided allegiance in the inner being.

  2. Full assurance of faith (v. 22) Faith that knows no hesitation in trusting and following Christ.

  3. Hearts sprinkled from a guilty conscience (v. 22) Total freedom from a sense of guilt, a freedom based on Christs sacrifice.

  4. Bodies washed with pure water Not an external ceremony presumably, although one could suppose it refers to baptism. But this most likely is a figure for inner cleansing. Of course, the washing of the priests under the old covenant was a symbol. Ezekiel prophesied of this washing with pure water when he, speaking of God, said: "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols" (Ezekiel 36:25).

So, here we are, going face to face with the Living God who loves us. We are to hold fast to our hope, for "He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23b).

Furthermore, we have a great high priest sitting at the right hand of God (10:12b) and making intercession for us. His name is Jesus, the same One who in our Luke passage died for us and rose again in three days.

The sun has come out. The darkness is gone. We can move forward no matter what the circumstances. That is good hope. Get into that Holy Place and pray for revival right now with confidence.

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