New Hymn Text: Draw Near through Christ

I just finished a 4-week series on the concept of the Temple throughout the Scriptures. I can’t remember a time when I’ve learned so much about such a thrilling topic. Whether or not it’s been a useful study for others, my soul has been greatly blessed. I’ve enjoyed many lessons regarding the handling of the Temples throughout both Testaments in the past, but I feel as though various parts of a puzzle—enjoyable on their own—have been brought together into a beautiful whole. For example…

  • There are elements of Eden unmistakably present in the Tabernacle and Temple of the OT and in the New Jerusalem of Revelation. So the idea of “Eden’s joys restored” (from Come Quickly, Lord) isn’t just a compelling allusion, but will be a fulfillment of specific biblical passages.
  • I’ve not before considered the connection between the sword-bearing cherubim of Gen 3:24 that kept men away from the sanctuary of Eden and the tree of life and the cherubim of the Tabernacle—fashioned of gold on the mercy seat and embroidered into the veil between the Most Holy Place (Ex 25:18-22; 26:31-33). They serve the same basic purpose of barring sinners from a thrice-holy God. It’s a delight to think of these guards being “dismissed,” if you will, when Christ dies for sinners, rending the veil and giving sinners access to God (Heb 10:19-22).
  • Most importantly, though I’ve understood that Christ made the OT Temple obsolete, I’ve understood its greatest fulfillment to be in the church, the Temple in which the Spirit dwells (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19, etc.). However, the great fulfillment of the Temple—the place where God dwells and where sinner seek Him—is Christ Himself (John 2:19-21; 4:23-24; etc.)! Christ didn’t eliminate the Temple; He replaced it! It’s a beautiful, beautiful concept to understand, no less important than seeing Christ as the perfect High Priest or the Perfect Atoning Sacrifice!

There’s more to say on these great themes (which are extremely practical for daily living!), and I’ll probably say them here in time. In fact, 2 of the 4 messages are available online here, and the other 2 should be up soon. While they build on one another, if you’re pressed for time, messages 2 and 4 are the crucial ones, IMO.

I’m indebted in part to Allen P. Ross’ very helpful book Recalling the Hope of Glory and to G. K. Beale’s two sermons on Revelation 21 (part 1, part 2). I commend both to you—especially the book!

As usual, several friends have worked over this text for me, for which I’m grateful. It may go over a few more tweaks, but it’s getting close, I think. Here’s the new text rejoices in our direct access to God through Jesus Christ, which I hope will encourage those who read it to “draw near” (Heb 10:22)!

Draw Near through Christ

In Eden’s bliss we walked with God
Unhindered by the curse.
Yet we rebelled and were expelled—
Estranged; alone; perverse.
Two mighty cherubs barred the path
To Eden’s holy place;
No more could men, now stained by sin,
Behold our Maker’s face.

Beneath the Law we sought the Lord
Through sacrifice and priest.
One time each year one man, in fear,
Sought God with blood of beast.
Still mighty cherubs blocked the way
So sinners could not pass—
In curtain sewn, on golden throne,
They stopped the rebel fast.

Then Christ appeared to clear the way
To God for sinful man;
Fulfilled the Law without a flaw—
Our Temple, Priest, and Lamb.
Astounded cherubs stepped aside;
Each hid his flaming sword.
With nail and thorn the Veil was torn;
Draw near through Christ the Lord!

In Jesus’ name we boldly come
Before the throne of grace.
With empty hand, in Christ we stand
To seek Almighty’s face
Till saints and cherubs join in awe
Around the Savior’s throne.
With one great voice we will rejoice:
“All praise to Christ alone!”

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved.

2 Responses

  1. Bro Chris,
    Thanks for sharing some notes and references for our consideration, as well as this exciting text that has arisen from your studies. I hope it is handled in detail on the CWM website when you conclude the final tweaks (I am a reader more than a hearer). This is rapturous stuff for meditation!

  2. […] (Related, more detailed post here.) […]

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