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CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215


It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending Him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Isaiah 6:1-7

Preachers need to discover fresh new ways to get the attention of their people; especially when it comes to preaching the gospel. For the old, old story of Christ’s death on the cross for the sake of humanity has been told so many times that there exists the real possibility that we might become inoculated to it. You know what I mean; “Yea, yea, yea; we’ve heard that a hundred times.”

That’s why I am beginning a series of messages that will attempt to view the cross from angles that we’ve never seen before; perhaps never even heard of before. Our departure point for all seven of these messages is one word: ATONEMENT.

The word atonement has an interesting etymology. It was coined by William Tyndale, the first to translate the Bible into English in the year of our Lord 1525. 1 He was searching for an English equivalent to an Old Testament Hebrew word that literally meant ‘to cover over,’ as when, for example, in Genesis Noah ‘covered over’ the ark with pitch to make it watertight. Later, when the sacrificial system was instituted, this word began to be used to describe the ‘covering over’ of sin with blood. Thus sin could be ‘covered over,’ if you will; hidden from God’s sight, that is to say, ‘forgiven,’ through the means of the blood of a sacrifice.

So the word began to take on the meaning of ‘appease’ or ‘satisfy,’ and in that sense, ‘to bring two parties together.’ Thus the covering over of sin brought about forgiveness for the sinner because it ‘appeased’ or ‘satisfied’ God’s loathing of sin and brought the two parties (sinners and God) together.

And Tyndale thought ‘to bring two parties together’ could mean ‘at-one-ment.’ And somebody, somewhere along the way, changed the pronunciation from ‘at-one-ment’ to ‘atonement.’

The word atonement has seven meanings that are fleshed out in the New Testament. All of them describe a different aspect of what Christ’s death on the cross secured on our behalf. These words are ‘covenant,’ justification,’ ‘passover,’ ‘reconciliation,’ ‘redemption,’ ‘sacrifice,’ and today we begin with the Old Testament Day of Atonement, which has to do with ACCESS.


The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who died after they entered the Lord’s presence and burned the wrong kind of fire before him. The Lord said to Moses, “Warn your brother, Aaron, not to enter the Most Holy Place behind the inner curtain whenever he chooses; if he does, he will die. For the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—is there, and I myself am present in the cloud above the atonement cover. When Aaron enters the sanctuary area, he must follow these instructions fully. He must bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He must put on his linen tunic and the linen undergarments worn next to his body. He must tie the linen sash around his waist and put the linen turban on his head. These are sacred garments, so he must bathe himself in water before he puts them on. Aaron must take from the community of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Aaron will present his own bull as a sin offering to purify himself and his family, making them right with the Lord. Then he must take the two male goats and present them to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle. He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the Lord and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel (wilderness). Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the Lord. The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive, standing before the Lord. When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will be purified and made right with the Lord.”

Leviticus 16:1-10

At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought He was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to Him on a reed stick so He could drink. But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

Then Jesus shouted out again, and He released His spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Matthew 27:45-51a

That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth. There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lampstand, a table, and sacred loaves of bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place. Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy Place. In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the Ark were the cherubim of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place of atonement. But we cannot explain these things in detail now.

When these things were all in place, the priests regularly entered the first room as they performed their religious duties. But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle and the system it represented were still in use.

This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established.

So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With His own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—He entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

Hebrews 9:1-14

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:19-25


Access Limited? Not!

Randy K’Meyer

Access is a big issue in our world.

Gail has been working from Florida since last Monday. She took an external hard drive that contains all of her church files. When she went to access them, a dialog box popped up that said, “don’t have user access.” This was frustrating for her as she was seeing sunny skies and she was hoping to get to the pool for some rest and relaxation before it got too hot. But work first; so she kept at the task and finally after some savvy sleuthing she was able to gain access to her files.

This past Thursday, I attempted to e-mail a link to a Polar Bear video to my daughter, but my computer informed me the file was too large and would have to be sent as a google doc. And then when I sent it, I received a message that I would have to grant access to Sarah before she could view it.

I met Annie and Sheri here at our church building on Tuesday. And Annie said, “Did you hear that noise?”
Sure enough, I heard a noise of something hitting the window in the nursery.
And Annie says, “A male cardinal keeps trying to get in through that window.”
And I walked over there just in time to see that redbird fly into the window again. But access was denied! Aren’t you glad?

Isn’t it frustrating to be denied access?

Most of us have had the experience of walking into a restaurant and being asked,
“Do you have a reservation?”
“No, I didn’t think I’d need one.”
“I’m sorry, we won’t be able to seat you.”
In other words, “access denied!”

Whew! Access is a big issue in our world.

As it was in the world of the Hebrew people who were, at times, denied access to their God.

One might ask, ‘Why would a loving God deny His people access to His presence?’ And the short answer is, the fall, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and as a consequence were expelled from God’s presence because God is a Holy God and cannot abide the presence of sin. But God is a compassionate God and after Moses led the Hebrews to freedom, God instructed Moses to build the Tabernacle, the portable tent-like structure, where God granted limited access to His presence once a year in what was known as the Holy of Holies which was separated from the rest of the tabernacle by a curtain.

Even so, it was not a simple matter to gain access to the presence of God. As a matter of fact, for many, it was a terribly frightful experience. Just ask Isaiah, who when he suddenly found himself standing in the presence of “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,” knowing full well that he was a sinner, assumed he was a dead man.

God was powerful and awe-inspiring and to approach Him in the wrong way invited disaster. My guess is that Isaiah was shaking and quaking in his boots because he knew the story of Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu, who when they burned a different kind of fire than the Lord commanded, were themselves consumed by fire. Their fate was an impressive warning to all that God must be approached carefully.

Indeed, for a long time, having access to the presence of God was extremely limited. People; even the people of God must not think that they could rush into God’s presence anytime they wished. Not even Aaron, the High Priest, was entitled to presume on the presence of God. The Holy of Holies was not to be entered into lightly. Anyone entering the wrong way or at the wrong time must expect to die.

Yet, on that one special day a year, the Day of Atonement (the day of covering over) the High Priest would meticulously prepare himself to enter God’s presence by taking a ritual bath to symbolize his cleanliness and then offering a sacrifice for his sin so he could be forgiven, and only then be granted ACCESS through the curtain of separation into the very presence.

But for 364 days a year, ACCESS to the presence of God in the Holy of holies was denied to all the people. And this situation continued until the day Jesus dies on the cross.

For the good news from the Book of Hebrews is that the death of Jesus provided unlimited access.

Today’s text tells us that the Old Testament Day of Atonement was only a shadow of something better to come. The NT fulfillment of the OT Day of Atonement is Passion Friday. For that is the day when Jesus, our High Priest, shed His own blood once for all. And His blood, the writer tells us, is more than sufficient to cover over our sin not just for a day, or a year, or ten years, but forever!

On the OT Day of Atonement, there was a partial cleansing for sin, but the cleansing offered to us through the death of Christ is a cleansing that lasts forever.

So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With His own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—He entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

Hebrews 9:11-12

And now that we have been cleaned up by the cleansing blood of Christ, we have unrestricted access to the presence of His Father and our Father. The Holy of Holies is no longer a restricted area; the way is open. That’s why Matthew records that when Jesus breathed His last “the curtain in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom!” (27:51). The way into the presence of God has been opened; no more curtain separating us from God, no more priestly representative having to approach God on our behalf. Each one of us has unlimited access to the very presence of the Living God!

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean (holy), and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:19-22

My question is, are we taking full advantage of the UNLIMITED ACCESS offered?

And if not, why not?

How ironic that although Jesus has opened the way for us to God Himself, for various reasons, some of us are reticent to boldly enter into His presence.

Many people have convinced themselves that their sinfulness disqualifies them from entering the Holy of Holies. You may be one of them.

We sin, we know we sin, sometimes we can’t help but sin. And we feel guilty because we think that by now; after all, we’ve been a Christian for years, and we feel that by now we should have mastered sin in our life. Every day when we look in the mirror we see a dirty face staring back. We feel so dirty that no matter how hard anybody, even Jesus scrubbed us, we could never be made clean. Like David, who said, “my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3) our sin is ever before us. And because it is, like David, we feel guilty and ashamed and that we don’t deserve to come into the presence of God, or that if we do take the chance, God will reject us.

If that describes you, my friend, my heart goes out to you. Because the end result of all that is that we find ourselves distancing ourselves from God. And we wonder why we avoid spending time with God’s word, or with God in prayer, or sometimes even with God in worship.

But today’s good news is that as far as God is concerned, our sin is covered over, washed away, and forgiven forever! And we stand before God as holy, clean, righteous. And because we do, He accepts us and welcomes us, not because of anything we have done, but solely because of what Christ has done for us.

One of my Disciple students texted me the following from a Lenten devotional:

The Lenten season is about the sin that was the reason for the suffering and sacrifice of the Savior. It is about taking time to reflect on why we all needed such a radical move of redemption, to confess the hold that sin still has on us, and to focus on opening our hands, in confession and submission, and letting go of sin once again. But as we do this, it is important to remember that the knowledge of sin is not a dark and nasty thing but a huge and wonderful blessing. If you are aware of your sin, you are aware of it only because you have been visited by amazing grace. Don’t resist that awareness. Silence your inner lawyer and the self-defending arguments for your righteousness. Quit relieving your guilt by pointing a finger of blame at someone else. And stop telling yourself in the middle of a sermon that you know someone who really needs to hear it.

Be thankful that you have been chosen to bear the burden of the knowledge of sin, because that burden is what drove you and will continue to drive you to seek the help and rescue that only the Savior Jesus can give you. To see sin clearly is a sure sign of God’s grace. Be thankful.” 2

In other words, if you know and recognize that you still have problems with sin, rejoice; that’s God’s Spirit within you. Did not Jesus say to His disciples, “And when He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness” (John 16:8). It’s when you or I go through life on a daily basis and sin and don’t even notice, or give a care about sin, that we are in trouble; big trouble.

But if you have come to faith in Jesus, He has cleaned you up and made you acceptable to His Father, and our Father. And there’s nothing that our Father loves more than when one of His children comes to this realization and begins to act on it by boldly coming into His presence to commune and meditate and pray!

The way is open, the curtain has been torn asunder and our Heavenly Father sits on His throne with arms wide open waiting with baited breath for you and me to run to Him!

Max Lucado tells about Maria and Christina who lived in a small house that consisted of one large room on a dusty street in a poor Brazilian village. Maria’s husband had died when Christina was an infant but rather than remarry, she decided to raise her young daughter as best she could. Maria was a strict disciplinarian. Christina got her independence from her mother and began to talk as a young teenager of trading her village life for exciting city life in Rio de Janeiro.

Just the thought of this horrified her mother who was always quick to remind Christina of the harshness of the streets. “People don’t know you there. Jobs are scarce and life is cruel. And besides, if you went there, what would you do for a living?”

Maria knew exactly what Christina would do, or would have to do for a living. That’s why her heart broke when she awoke to find her daughter’s bed empty.

Maria waited a week and when Christina didn’t return, she threw some clothes in a bag, stopped at one of those photo booth,s and spent half of her money on pictures of herself before boarding the next bus for Rio. Maria knew Christina had no way of earning money and that when pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were unthinkable before. So this mother began her search at bars, hotels, and nightclubs. At each place, she left her picture taped to a bulletin board or a mirror. And on the back of each photo, she wrote a note. It wasn’t long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and Maria had to go home.

A few weeks later, Christina descended a hotel’s stairs. Her face was tired, her brown eyes no longer danced with youth, and her dream had become a nightmare. Dozens of times she had longed to trade countless beds for her pallet at home. Yet she felt so ashamed of the person she had become that she doubted whether or not her mother would really welcome her home.

As she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar face. She looked again, and there on the lobby mirror was a small picture of her mother. Christina’s eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room and removed the small photo. Written on the back was this compelling invitation: “Whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it doesn’t matter. Please come home.” So she did. 3

Won’t you?

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tyndale

2 Paul David Tripp, Journey to the Cross, A 40 Day Lenten Devotional, [Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, © 2021] Page 14.

3 Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him Savior, [Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, © 1986], Pages 158-159.