“Wow! I never saw that before!” How many times have you said those words to yourself when you’re reading the Word? I highly suspect that you’re like me. It happens all the time to all of us, doesn’t it?
It doesn’t matter how long we’ve walked with the Lord or how many times we’ve read through the Bible; it’ll still happen. God throws a 20,000-lumen spotlight on a truth and illuminates it in such a way that we wonder why we never saw it before.
When I was translating the Bible into the Choco language of Central and South America, I could hardly wait till the next time that bright light would shine down. I always found myself praying: “Give me light, Lord. Give me light! Illuminate the truth of this passage to my heart so I can make it clear in their language.” Then I would always ask myself, “If Jesus were saying this in Choco, how would He say it?”
Not long ago, I had another one of those “I never saw that before” moments. I was teaching about communion at our Prime Timers senior retreat.
The cup, of course, represents Jesus’ shed blood. There are so many verses about what God does for us through that blood. Here’s truth from just a few of them:
- He forgives us.
- He purchases us.
- He paid the price for our sins.
- He justifies us—declares us to be holy.
- He reconciles us.
- He makes us holy.
In fact, there’s so much to say about what the blood does for us, I had to limit it and reduce my focus to only 10 quick points. Well, maybe I can use the other verses at next year’s retreat.
Then it was time to teach about the bread. I always had rather limited myself to the truth in the bread that we are healed by His stripes. And that is a great truth, for sure. But I wasn’t quite ready for the spotlight that was coming my way. Listen to what the book of Hebrews says: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have 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 … let us draw near to God …” (Heb. 10:19-22, NIV, emphasis added).
If you combine those italicized words into a stand-alone sentence, you have: "The curtain into God’s presence is His body." When Jesus died, that thick curtain was ripped apart from top to bottom. Without doubt, it was God Himself who was doing the ripping. And what He was doing was providing a fresh, new, life-giving way for all of us to draw near to God.
There I was, holding this little piece of bread in my hand and reading, “This bread is my body,” when that truth spotlight hit me. It was another one of those “I never saw that before!” moments. This bread is His body. The opened curtain is His body.
Put those two together and you have the big “A” word—what God is putting in the spotlight is His incredible gift to us: “access.” The door is forever open for us to come before His throne. And the little piece of bread in my hand was to always remind us of that.
Wow! Oh how we love it, Lord, when You keep brilliantly illuminating the truths that You left for us in Your Word. When we hold this bread (curtain) in our hands, we will be diligent to follow Your command, “Remember me.”
- Pray for freshly illuminated truth in your heart each time you are in the Word.
- Ask God for clear direction in the way that He will use you in your ministry as a restorer of broken lives.
- Be tenacious in asking God for wisdom, insight and clear direction in all your endeavors to see people set free from bondage.
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