As my flight reached cruising speed, the flight attendant pulled back the curtain that cordoned off first class, and I was given a startling reminder of the stark differences between areas on airplanes. Some travelers get to board first, enjoying premium seating with extra legroom and personalized service. The curtain was a humbling reminder of my separation from those perks.
Exclusionary distinctions between groups of people can be found throughout history, including, in a way, even God’s temple in Jerusalem, though not due to one’s ability to pay more. Non-Jewish people were only allowed to worship in the outer court. Next came the women’s court, and even closer, an area designated for men. Finally, the holy of holies, seen as the place where God uniquely revealed Himself, was concealed behind a curtain and only accessible to one consecrated priest each year (Hebrews 9:1–10).
But, wonderfully, this separation no longer exists. Jesus has completely eliminated any barriers that might hinder anyone seeking access to God—even our sin (10:17). Just as the temple curtain was torn in two at the moment of Christ’s death (Matthew 27:50–51), His crucified body has torn away all obstructions to God’s presence. There’s no barrier that need separate any believer from experiencing the glory and love of the living God.