Sacred Space (Lent 9-2013)

All analogies fall apart when pressed. 

With that caveat out of the way, I’d like to offer an analogy for today’s passage: Space Maintainers. 

 They’re necessary to avoid space invaders (not this kind).

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Baby teeth lost prematurely may require a child’s receiving a metal space maintainer to save the space.

We have baby teeth for a variety of reasons, among which is that they normally save space for a permanent tooth which will erupt into its position as the baby tooth is lost at the right time.

When baby teeth fall out prematurely, spacers perform that function.  However, they were never designed to be permanent. They are removed when the new tooth erupts or the adjacent teeth become loose.

There is a Sacred Space called righteousness When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, they were created to be righteous, in right relationship to God.

But when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, it’s like their baby tooth of righteousness fell out.  God watched as everything began to shift out of place, so He gave us a space maintainer: the Law and the Prophets.

The Law was not the space.

The Law testified to the Sacred Space of right relationship.

The Prophets were not the space.

The Prophets testified to the Sacred Space of right relationship.

But neither the Law nor the Prophets were the Sacred Space.  When Jesus came, He came to us as Emmanuel, “God with us.”  He indwelled that Sacred Space perfectly because He is holy.  The Law and the Prophets were not replaced because they never were that space at all.  The Law and the Prophets circumscribed holiness.  They kept that space sacred.  They maintained that space from encroachment by sin and showed us that we are on the outside as sinners.  All we could do was look into the cordoned truth and become conscious that our own sin was keeping us out.

In the past, believing God was credited to faithful people as righteousness in anticipation of the day that Sacred Space would be filled.  They drew near to that Sacred Space by faith waiting for the cordon to be removed.

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”   Romans 3:21-22

The Sacred Space has been filled by Christ Jesus.  The saints from the days before Christ and believers today find our right relationship with God by the grace shown in the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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Give it up for Lent: Relying on Spacers of Legalism or Religion

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For further study, read all of Romans 3:19-26

    1. Why is it often easier to trust in what we can see and do (like the law and good deeds) than in Jesus whom we cannot see?
    2. Read Galatians 3:15-25.  In what ways are we “locked up” and like prisoners of sin?  Is there anything prisoners can do to free themselves and no longer be declared guilty? 
    3. Hebrews 7: 18-19 reads, “The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”  In what ways is Jesus a far better hope for humanity?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on February 22, 2013

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