Yesterday’s devotion focused on how the wise men’s gift of gold underscored Jesus’ identity as King. In addition to gold, Jesus was offered a gift of frankincense. Like gold, this gift would have been costly and could provide desperately needed resources for Joseph to support his family. But frankincense is no less symbolic than gold in underscoring Jesus’ identity. The Jewish people knew frankincense was used to worship God in the temple, the place where God interacted with people. But only high priests could enter the space where God dwelled and only after they had been anointed and fragranced with a mixture of oil and frankincense. Priests had to meet strict standards in order to enter into God’s presence. Why all the fuss? That’s a question those of us living under grace are prone to ask. We sometimes forget that God’s holiness doesn’t allow Him to coexist with unholiness caused by sin. The priest would bring the worship and prayers of people to God in the temple.
Jesus would change all of that. Because He was both God and man, He would become the perfect Mediator (Priest) between the holy God and His failing children. Jesus was the only one who could meet the demands of God’s holy standards. No other human could ever qualify.
The place in the temple where God dwelled, a place off-limits to the rest of us, was forever made accessible to us when Jesus finished His life and work on the cross. We need only to cry out to Jesus for the Father to hear and respond to us! We never need to worry about how our falleness might impact our relationship with the Father.
Do you feel unworthy to engage God today? Hear Jesus saying to His father about you, “This one is with me!”