In the Old Testament we see one of the important pictures of worship is the lack of approachability to God after the fall. The holy of holies in the temple was so unapproachable that only on the Day of Atonement was the High Priest and only him allowed in to approach God and then only after he had gone through a complex set of purification rituals and several barriers. Do it wrong, death was a possibility. Talk about inaccessible!
When it comes to our relationships and being hurt, we often throw up barriers, rules, and threats of death unless the offender has done everything exactly right. We make it so hard for someone to ask forgiveness that we find ourselves also in a difficult position of not wanting to forgive. We become unapproachable. Even if the offender wants to say “I’m sorry” they are too afraid of our wrath.
I am so glad God does not do that to us. Yes, the OT picture does help us see the seriousness of our sin and the holiness of God. But God also planned our forgiveness before sin had entered into the world. God loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus into the world to die for us two thousand years before us. God expects us to follow His example. Plan on forgiveness before we need to forgive. Make it clear that we are approachable to forgive. Follow Jesus’ direction to forgive without keeping count. Just as God tore the curtain to the holy of holies from top to bottom we need to remove barriers and become approachable. Forgiveness can not have barriers. We must move together in His forgiveness. Let’s move!
What makes you unapproachable? What can you do to become more approachable?
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. -Colossians 3:13