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Daily Devotional for September 9

September 9                                                   Mark 15:33-39

         "And the curtain of the temple was torn in two
                             from top to bottom."

The religious Jews of Jesus' day were afraid to look on God
directly. The curtain of the Temple separated the people from
the holy of holies. Year after year, the people of God strove
to make themselves perfect by following the laws as closely
as possible. Year after year, the high priests offered sacrifices
for the people's sins. Year after year, the curtain between God
and the people remained.

Jesus' death changed all that. Jesus broke down the barriers
between God and us. The crucifixion speaks of the ultimate
sacrifice, the laying down of life for the forgiveness of all our

We're still not the perfect people of God, but we are a forgiven
people. Jesus' death on the cross united us with God forever.
Now, therefore, "... we have confidence to enter the sanc-
tuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which
Jesus opened for us through the curtain... for the one who
promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:19,23)

Sometimes the hardest thing to accept is the fact that God loves
us just as we are. Sometimes we twist ourselves into knots
trying to be perfect, thinking that if we could just achieve
perfection, then we would become God's children. Our effort
to follow the laws never justifies us; only Christ does. Through
Christ, we are all God's children. Through Christ, we are all

Reflect today on what is separating you from God. Do you
feel you must be perfect before you can receive God's
forgiveness? Are you convinced God will never forgive you
because you cannot forgive yourself? The good news Christ
brings is that no mistake, no fault, no sin can separate you from
the love of God. Draw near. Tear down that curtain.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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