Imagine the most beautiful mansion you have ever seen.
Now imagine that this mansion was your home and you had invited your best friends to come and visit. Upon arrival, they proceeded to stand in the front doorway and admire it from this view, never once moving beyond the threshold of this door. You invited them in specifically to spend time with them in your house and yet they wouldn’t come through the door.
From this perspective they might see the front entrance. I’m sure all mansions have an entrance hallway that looks very grand. You get a glimpse of what the rest of the house might look like but really you have no idea because you are seeing only a tiny section.
Now, I’m sure that if I invited my friends over and they didn’t come in I would be very frustrated and think they are incredibly odd for remaining in the doorway when I have invited them inside.
Now imagine that this mansion belonged to God, this was in fact the Father’s house. Jesus gave a glimpse into this house when he said in John 14:
“In my Father’s House are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
God has done everything possible to ensure that you are able to cross that threshold and enter the Father’s house. His house displays who He is and therefore it displays the fullness of His holiness. Unless we are covered with Christ’s righteousness we cannot enter into that holiness, let alone stand in it. In that sense, Christ’s death and resurrection is the doorway for us to enter into the Father’s house.
I was stood in a meeting a couple of weeks ago observing something that was going on when God gave me some revelation. He said to me that some people are stuck in the doorway marvelling that it is open to them. Some people don’t actually cross over that threshold, they don’t actually walk through the door and enjoy the house inside. They are caught up with the fact that Jesus died for them and rose so that they could have this access, but miss the inheritance because they don’t take that extra step.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m writing this on a very fine line. I never mean to say that we move beyond the cross. The cross is the centre of our faith because it is through Christ that we are able to enjoy this inheritance.
Through talking with God about this he revealed two of the possible reasons.
There might be an ignorance of the full gift of the cross; a lack of understanding of an inheritance and an all access pass that Christ has won for us. Some just accept the cross as their ticket to Heaven that will only come into use when they reach the gates and have to provide it to gain entrance, and until then remain oblivious to the intimate relationship glorious riches that God has for us which are meant for the present not the future.
Or there might a false sense of unworthiness, an undeserving nature. We are thankful that we get in but there is an inability to move beyond as we still carry the guilt of our sin. The thankfulness we express is limited as we accept the gift in part, aware of our own guilt and therefore holding ourselves under our own judgement. In this instance we have not understood the Father’s heart for us, his all consuming, passionate zeal and jealous pursuit of us that would draw us into His very heart, into the depths of His house.
Both of these things get us stuck in the doorway.
What I saw was someone stood in the doorway of this incredible house gazing at the door frame saying how wonderful it looked and how thankful they were to get to see it. Inside I had to chuckle to myself because if I saw someone doing that I would laugh hysterically and think they were very weird that out of the whole house they were fixated by the door!
What Jesus achieved at the cross for us was the restoration of relationship that he wanted to have with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. They weren’t stood at the gates to the garden admiring them and being thankful that they were in the garden and not outside of it. No, Adam and Eve moved throughout the garden, they explored God’s creation. What did their relationship with God look like? It looked like intimacy with God as they walked with Him in the garden. They had dominion over the land, they had responsibility to tend the garden. They were to reign on the Earth.
What Jesus did was to restore relationship and purpose. Christ’s death on the cross meant that we could receive the inheritance. So what does that look like for us? Well it looks very similar to Adam and Eve. We have intimacy with God where we walk in closeness with Him, and we reign on Earth by bringing God’s kingdom to Earth. We make this Earth reflect the atmosphere of Heaven.
It’s not just about us getting to Heaven, it’s about us becoming more like God, becoming one with Him.
Jesus died for us so that we can have the same relationship with the Father that he has. We now have the same mandate as Jesus – to be loved by the Father and to give away that love.
I love what Julian Adams says. He references Ephesians 2:
“…by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”
Julian explains that if we have died with Him, and we are raised with Him and seated with Him in the heavenly places then we occupy the same place in Trinitarian intimacy as Jesus. We get to join in on that love.
Judi Franklin explains it this way:
“God always has more for us. God has more for you! Above all, He wants to give you His friendship. This is the true purpose of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He created a way for us to be reunited with our Father, and it is as we learn to walk in relationship with Him that the full effect of salvation – the healing of our souls, spirit’s and bodies – begins to manifest in our lives. We don’t have to wait to finish our life on this earth before we begin to experience intimacy with God and the restoration that comes with it.”
The best way that you can thank Jesus for what he did on the cross is to enjoy and develop the relationship with God that he made possible. When Jesus came to Earth, He didn’t just come to die on the cross for us. He also came that we might know the Father. Hebrews 1 says:
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature”
We don’t just take the information he has shown us and hold it, instead we use it to pursue the Father knowing that the Father He revealed is passionate for us and relentlessly pursues us to have relationship with us. He invites us into His house and to explore it. He invites us to explore the depths of Him.
In the same way, we don’t just see the lifestyle that Jesus demonstrated and store it as information – we act on it. We are called to live the same lifestyle as Jesus which is one of intimacy and demonstrated power. Jesus saw what the Father was doing and did the same. How often are we living this way? If not all the time then there is more room for our relationship with God to grow!
If there is one thing I would want you to take away from this, it is to know that there is more for you. There is more intimacy! He invites you to receive the inheritance Jesus won for you – one of intimacy and purpose. He doesn’t call you to stand at the door, He invites you to come all the way in and take His hand as He guides you through His house, as He shows you the facets of His character, as He shows you the depths of His heart and His love for you.
The Father urges you today: