Is God with us right now? How do you know?
In the beginning God made Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden so that he could live with them and so that they could enjoy God’s presence forever. But then Adam and Eve sinned. They decided that they would not trust God but rather would try to be equal to God. Do you remember what happened next?
Adam and Eve had to leave the garden and the presence of God.
The rest of the Bible is God’s story of how he would bring us back into his presence. God has always wanted to live with us because he loves us so much. But because of sin we haven’t been able to live with God and be fully in his presence. In the Old Testament God lived among his people in the temple (sort of like a really big church). But a very large, very thick curtain separated God in the center of the temple from the people. Why? Because sinful people can’t live with a perfect and holy God. They must be separated from God or they would be destroyed.
And so in the Old Testament nobody went past that curtain into the room where God was. Only one man, the High Priest, on one day a year was allowed by God to go into God’s room to ask him to forgive the sins of the people.
But when Jesus died on the cross something amazing happened. As soon as Jesus died that very large, very thick curtain in the temple that separated God and man was torn in half opening up the way into God’s room. Here’s how Matthew’s gospel records it:
Matthew 27:51. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
Later in the Bible it will say that Jesus himself was the curtain that was torn in half opening up our way to be with God forever. Jesus wasn’t literally a curtain was he? But when he died on the cross it became possible to be forgiven of all our sins and be holy and perfect when we receive Jesus as our Savior. Now when we trust in Jesus we can always be with God and God is always with us. Now nothing separates us from God’s love. Not even our sin. Jesus has taken all our sins away and he lives in our hearts forever.
Because of Jesus nothing can separate me from God’s love.
With Jesus I am with God and God is with me all the time.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch this scene from the Wizard of Oz together. When the curtain is torn down by Toto revealing the “wizard,” Dorothy and the gang are angry and disappointed. They got to see how weak the wizard really was. But when God tore down the curtain in the temple we got to see how powerful God’s love for us is.
And here’s a good song to sing and dance to celebrating God’s presence.
Because you died on the cross I can be with God forever. Help me to always remember that you are with me every day.
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