For worship throughout this series, check out 'Face to Face' album by Brandon & Caleb Seibert.
Day 5: Jesus for Eternity
John 17:1-19, John 14:1-6
The Final Challenge:
I encourage you to take time to think about eternal life. Where are there gaps in your understanding? Does anything feel difficult to sit with? Trust that the Lord cares & bring this to Him, today.
"...people find it very hard to grapple with eternity in respect to who all might be there & who all might not. (Praise be for us, that is not our job to the eternity ‘bouncer’ so-to-speak!) I think that some of that frustration exists because we don’t have a clear vision of what eternity actually will be."
"Maybe more of us, myself included, need to be reminded that Jesus is motivated that we would live."
"The beginning pages of the Bible hold an account of man & woman being in beautiful communion with God. That’s how our story began. I believe that is also how God wants our story to end."
Does the concept of eternity freak you out a little bit? C.S. Lewis spoke of this in his book Mere Christianity, writing: “Most of us find it very difficult to want ‘Heaven’ at all...One reason for this difficulty is that we have not been trained: our whole education tends to fix our minds on this world” (135).
That certainly feels true. Taking a look at the words of Jesus in the Gospels paints a case for me that he wanted to help us think that way & even live with eternity in mind.
In John 15, Jesus says ‘you are not of this world, but I chose you out of the world’ (verse 19) & reiterates later, in John 17, saying to His Father in verse 14, ‘they are not of this world, just as I [Jesus] am not of this world.’
What does that mean?
Perhaps what Paul offers us in Philippians 3:20 will extrapolate this for us: ‘our citizenship is in heaven, & from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.’
Does this sound a lot like John 14 (what we read on Day 1 of Jesus Spiritual Hikes) to anyone else?
Jesus was talking to his disciples just before he is about to die on the cross for them & for me:
“‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? & if I go & prepare a place for you, I will come again & will take you to myself, that where I am going you may be also.’ Thomas said to hm, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:1-6).
Beyond what we might glean here about God having lots of space in eternity, about Jesus going to be with His Father again but returning for us, & giving His Spirit to his people forever (later in that chapter), Jesus seems to gives us a bit more space to think of eternity (& specifically what it is) through what is recorded other places in the Scriptures.
Going back to John 17, an extended prayer that Jesus gives to His Father, Jesus says this: “This is eternal life, that they know the only true God, & Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
This verse seems to say: the forever life is knowing God & knowing Jesus.
Here’s another nugget: “...God gave us eternal life, & this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11- 1 John 5:12).
I’ve had conversations in which people find it very hard to grapple with eternity in respect to who all might be there & who all might not. (Praise be for us, that is not our job to the eternity ‘bouncer’ so-to-speak!) I think that some of that frustration exists because we don’t have a clear vision of what eternity actually will be.
Jesus seems to say that eternal life is knowing him & God. John writes in his letter that eternal life was given by God through God (Jesus). If we have Jesus, we have life, if we don’t we do not.
I think that when people speak of accepting Jesus death for us on the cross, it is perhaps too often spoken of in respect to evading something awful like death or separation. When Jesus spoke of what was coming next, I feel that he didn’t want to leave the threat of dying in our sin undisclosed (that would be unloving & opposite His character of being the truth) but it seems that he wanted to empathize life.
Take this universal favorite, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16, emphasis mine).
There are other examples as well:
“‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I [Jesus] came that they may have life and have it abundantly’” (John 10:10, emphasis mine).
“Jesus said to her [the woman at the well], “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4:13-14, emphasis mine).
Maybe more of us, myself included, need to be reminded that Jesus is motivated that we would live.
& it seems that Jesus made it very clear that he is life. If eternity/Heaven is life with him, it seems to me that to be without him would be no Heaven at all, no life at all. Would we not deteriorate without him? Is there not evidence of this on our earth & the creations as we wait to be reunited with life himself for everlasting?
In Revelation, we hear of what awaits those who have entered into Jesus’ saving work on the cross as God dwelling with his people: ‘He will dwell with them, & they will be his people, & God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, & death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’ (Revelation 20:3,4).
The beginning pages of the Bible hold an account of man & woman being in beautiful communion with God. That’s how our story began. I believe that is also how God wants our story to end. Man & woman from all across time & all over the globe filling up the rooms of His house, swapping stories, celebrating, feasting together, pranking the angels (I hope), & sharing life everlasting with God & His beautiful creations.
Day 4: Jesus Our Treasure/Joy
John 1:1-42, John 3:22-30
This spiritual hike makes a case for John the Baptist having Jesus as his source of treasure & his joy. As much as we might wish to produce this in ourselves, I believe it's a gift from the Lord, Himself. John 15 says that apart from Him, we can do nothing. Note: Luke 1:15 says that John was filled with the Holy Spirit. For us to love Jesus, for us to hold joy in Jesus, I believe it's a gift from the same source that John received. Galatians 5:22 says that love & joy, among other things is a fruit of the Spirit. John 15 also says that we bear fruit as we abide in Him. So here's the challenge: let's abide in Him & his goodness.
& if you have yet to surrender your heart to Jesus, I believe that is as much the work of the Holy Spirit as joy & love is the work of the Holy Spirit. So I encourage you to do this: Consider how the Lord may be drawing you to Himself. I believe he is! & if I may be so bold, I ask you to consider saying 'yes' to Him.
"...from the time John the Baptist was in the womb, he was turned over for Jesus; you might even say that before he was even born he was head over heels for him."
"John the Baptist had big love for Jesus, but I believe Jesus had bigger love for him. He came to die for him, after all."
The pressure is off. We don’t have to worry trying to figure out how to make much of ourselves, because we get to have Christ as the center.
A man, I feel, lived this out wonderfully was named John the Baptist. We learn about him several places in the Bible, but I want to draw our attention to a couple of places in the Gospel of John, especially.
Before John was born, God let John’s parents know that his life was to hold great purpose. In fact, way before John’s parents were born, this message was set in motion.
In an early account of John’s life (while he was still a babe in the womb) we hear that John literally leapt for Jesus because of the Spirit of God (see Luke 1:41). On John’s life was the mark of being a forerunner for Christ (Luke 1:17), a voice proclaiming the coming of the Messiah. Since centuries & centuries before, the people of God were aching for this Savior to come. In particular, John was marked to be ‘the voice of one calling in the wilderness’ (Isaiah 40:3) letting the people he was coming & that his name was Jesus!
Let’s just say, John seemed to take his wilderness assignment very seriously, because he made camel hair his attire & locust his appetite. When I get to Heaven, I’d be curious to ask God if John went a little rogue on that part. Might God say something like this?: ‘John, buddy, I told you to proclaim in the wilderness, not put the wilderness in & on your body.'
I say this lightheartedly, because I actually feel like the lengths that John takes with his call show us how little he was committed to magnifying self, but rather, looking to elevate Christ with all.
Because we live in an age of social media, I imagine you, like many others, have been struck by the struggle of the ‘followers’ count. I don’t personally hold such social media accounts anymore, but when I did, I was unfortunately concerned about what my ‘following to followers’ ratio might say about me.
Well, it seems that John held no concerns of developing a brand or trying to gain high standing. In fact, when John the Baptist is boasting of Christ as he enters the scene in John 1, two of John's followers seem to immediately drop their buffs & joined Jesus’ tribe.
If John didn’t care about what he wore, about having insta-worthy eats, or about maintaining followers, what was he concerned with?
Remember, from the time John the Baptist was in the womb, he was turned over for Jesus; you might even say that before he was even born he was head over heels for him.
John was heard actively addressing that he [John] was not the best, but that Jesus ranked before him (John 1:15), that the strap of Jesus’ sandal he was unworthy to untie (John 1:27), that Jesus must increase & that he [John] must decrease (John 3:30).
Some of John's disciples seemed concerned of what they saw happening with the arrival of Jesus, saying to John, ‘Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness--look, he is baptizing [that has been your thing!], & all are going to him [instead of you, homeboy!]’ (John 3:36, notes added by me).
How did John reply?
All I have is from above.
I’m like the best man of the groom & I’m just delighted hearing his voice & standing beside him. “Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Here’s the point: When Jesus was elevated & the attention/work/followers shifted from him to Christ, John seemed zero parts dismayed but a held a mentality of ‘mission accomplished’ & maximum joy attained.
So is John some superhuman of humility & love for the Lord?
I don’t know about you, but there are no records of me leaping in Patti Backous’ womb at word of Jesus (sorry, Lord! I hope it happened).
But here is something helpful for you & I to know:
Hold your gasps.
John was arrested & put into prison not long after he was in the river baptizing & beholding Jesus in Bethany.
We read in Luke 7 that ‘calling two of his disciples to him, [John] sent them as messengers to Jesus, asking, ‘Are you the one who is to come [the Messiah], or shall we look for another?’ (v.20). I wonder if, in that dark, dank prison cell mega doubts crept in for John between the bars of the cell window, despite having utmost confidence of Jesus & saying that he was complete with joy. Maybe my parents didn’t hear from God after all…maybe my life was one big lie...Maybe Jesus isn’t all I thought he is…
When the men approached Jesus, the Messiah had just healed many & gave blind sight. We read, starting in verse 22, ‘& [Jesus] answered them, ‘Go & tell John what you have seen & heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, & the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.’
For Jesus to send word to him this way, I hear Jesus letting John know, ‘I gotchu, boo.’
I hope on their way out the door John’s disciples caught some of what Jesus said about John: ‘I tell you, among those born of women, none is greater than John’ (John 3:30); Jesus is also recorded in that time to have called John the Baptist God's messenger & ‘more than a prophet’.
This doesn't sound to me that Jesus was disappointed with John.
John the Baptist had big love for Jesus, but I believe Jesus had bigger love for him. He came to die for him, after all.
Why ought we have Christ as our treasure, our joy, our hope? Why ought we be like John?
His life seemed to say this:
Jesus is the fulfillment of what I & my people have needed & been promised from God.
He gave my life purpose.
I had direction from day one.
Being beside Christ Jesus & his voice was joy complete.
Or maybe John would just recite Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life; in your Presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever.”
Day 3: Jesus Our Source of Life
As you find yourself feeling entitled to blessings, be gracious to yourself but redirect your heart to the Giver and not the gifts.
"When we are more interested in Christ than what he can offer us, it frees us up from the snare of idolization."
"Mercifully, Christ is more interested in our eternal well being than we are."
When we are more interested in Christ than what he can offer us, it frees us up from the snare of idolization.
One thing I get excited about is dreams in the night. In Psalm 16, David writes “I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.” Knowing that Jesus told his people parable stories to learn from, I like to think that the Lord might teach me a thing or two from stories I see when I am asleep! So when I have regular vivid dreams, I like to jot them down in case there is something to glean from them.
While it feels like such a treat to wake up this way, I can be tempted towards entitlement with these dreams, however, by feeling cheated if I don’t wake up remembering clearly what I had dreamt that night. Doesn’t the Lord want to use this as a way of teaching me? Would He withhold dreams from me?
We can do this with other things too, be it with relationships, health, finances, success… Doesn’t the Lord want me to have a job and be financially secure? Doesn’t the Lord want me to be successful in this endeavor? Would He withhold a cancer-free life from me? Would He withhold a significant other from me?
I imagine that the multitude of people mentioned in John 6 could offer up a similar argument when they were trying to get more from Jesus after he performed his miracle. Doesn’t the Lord want us to be fed? Would He withhold bread from our mouths?
Dreams, success, finances, good health, even food are worthless in comparison to Christ Jesus. Take note of verses 48-51: Jesus points out to this crowd that they are going to be hungry again unless they are sustained by Christ, who is the true source of life. Christ is life-giving in eternal measure. The other things we receive by Christ, such as the loaves & fish for the multitude, can be life-giving in temporary measure.
So then, I believe it was actually a loving thing for Christ to point out where their hunger was (physical bread) & where it needed to shift to (the Bread of Life). In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us that our Heavenly Father knows that we need [food, drink, clothing]... here, Jesus is moving the men from the multitude away from what they need to what they need more. We serve a God Who thinks of the long game. Mercifully, Christ is more interested in our eternal well being than we are.
Day 2: Following Jesus with a Cross
Luke 9:22-25, Galatians 5:16-17, 1 Peter 2:24
Take time on this question today: "When Jesus told his disciples ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself & take up his cross daily & follow me,’ does that apply to me?"
"Both denial & following were probably concepts the disciples were relatively used to hearing from Christ. After all, they were called away from tax booths & fishing boats, one of them was told to skip the funeral… but to pick up their crosses daily?"
"...taking up my cross daily looks like asking the Lord to flat-line anything in my life that does not serve Him..."
"Help me remember LORD, that this is a temporary placement before eternity with You...I am not entitled to any form of comfort. I choose You today, again, & try, as a human can, to say 'You can have access to it all. All Yours'...May my heart be soft to You, my pride dissolved, my selfishness crucified. May I take up my cross & follow."
Before Jesus went upon the cross to say ‘it is finished’ on our behalf, Jesus had a conversation with his disciples, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things & be rejected by the elders & chief priests & scribes, & be killed, & the third day be raised” (see verse 22 of Luke chapter 9). In the Gospel accounts written by Matthew & Mark (16:21-28 & 8:31-9:1, respectively) Jesus gives a strong rebuke to one of his disciples who says, ‘Far be it from you, Lord! This [suffering] shall never happen to you’ (Matthew 16:22). Jesus was not down for what Simon Peter had to say & let him know. From what I perceive of the situation, Simon Peter was presenting something palatable & not offering truth. Mercifully, it seems Christ is more interested in our finding the Way, the Truth, the Life (himself) than a counterfeit version.
Let’s read on. This next part feels really important:
He said, continuing in verse 23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself & take up his cross daily & follow me.”
Both denial & following were probably concepts the disciples were relatively used to hearing from Christ. After all, they were called away from tax booths & fishing boats, one of them was told to skip the funeral… but to pick up their crosses daily?
Because Christ called himself the ‘Life’ (John 16) & that he came that we might have life (John 10) wouldn’t this instruction to carry an instrument of death contradict that? & yet, we find all four Gospels recording this conversation, three out of four saying that to come after him they needed to ‘carry’ the tool for the most horrific kind of death at that time. Yikes, right?
Five chapters later in Luke’s Gospel account we see Jesus say it again, this time a little more forcefully: “Whoever does not bear his own cross & come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).
Oof. Because it seems Christ is so serious in this message, I want to try to understand it. Not only because I want to love Christ, but due to a belief that whatever the Lord calls us to do is for His benefit, but also for ours.
Let’s read the recorded words of Jesus in the following two verses of Luke; hopefully that will clear things up more:
(24) “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (25) For what does it profit a man if he gains the world and loses or forfeits himself?”
Or, as Matthew recounted the conversation with the disciples in his Gospel account, “...whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world & forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25,26).
In a book called A Beautiful Defeat, author Kevin Malarkey shares one woman’s struggle with feeling helpless as she finds herself having become ‘a worshiper at the altar' of self & career, feeling empty, yet searching for God. Malarkey writes, “Death---it looks ugly to us. But...the death we fear isn’t nearly so ugly as the continued life of our flesh. [Jesus] loves you & me so much he wants our enemies dead” (70, 71).
If we examine our lives, I don’t imagine we will have to go far before we notice icky, unfulfilling things we do that promise to feel good but do not sustain. I’m talking about the ways we wrestle again & again with sin that we feel weak to rise up against, be it gluttony, deceit, pride, porn… whatever is stealing from you.
Maybe Jesus, out of love for me, would also rebuke the Simon Peter response that says, ‘Far be it from you, Zanne! This [death] shall never happen to you.’ To me, taking up my cross daily looks like asking the Lord to flat-line anything in my life that does not serve Him, trusting that He (Life, Himself) knows best. Taking up my cross daily looks like surrendering to Him the things I want to 'let live' in myself or in my life.
When Christ said ‘it is finished’ on the cross for you & me, didn’t that mean it was, truly, finished?
YES. Definitely, yes.
We have no power, not even an ounce, to earn or achieve freedom from sin which produced separation from the Father. It is by the grace of Jesus alone that he took the wrap for my life & yours to reconcile us to Him.
John 8:36 says '...if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'
Galatians 2:20 says 'I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.'
Something I gathered from Watchman Nee in his the book, A Normal Christian Life, is that it may help us to think about ‘sin’ & ‘sins’ in conjunction but also distinct. Sin, Jesus, dealt with on the Cross. Hallelujah for that. We were set free from the thing that separates us from God & are able to enter into the Presence of God, by Jesus. AMEN!
From what I see, sins, the Lord continues to draw us away from in our life of walking with Him, by His Spirit.
Let’s look at a passage in Galatians 5, verses 16-25.
In this letter, the apostle Paul writes to churches in a place called Galatia about one’s life before & after Jesus. In the fifth chapter, we see Paul prescribing to the churches this instruction:
‘...walk by the Spirit, & you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, & the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do’ (verse 16-17).
I’ll give you a lighthearted illustration. I cannot seem to consume cane sugar without getting hives; every time I eat those tasty little crystals, I start feeling itchy & splotchy red for hours unless I take an allergy pill. Despite knowing in my heart & mind that I’ll be better off without its effect on me, the sweet-tooth part of me can rationalize, easily, that this time the Cheerios are a good idea.
When I accepted Jesus’ invitation of salvation, it happened when I was young tot, & not on a deathbed, so it didn’t mean a direct transport to the ‘Pearly Gates’ so-to-speak. With saying ‘yes’ to Jesus, I signed up for a life with the Lord; with saying ‘yes’ to Jesus, the Lord seemed to sign up for faithfully wrestling sins ‘that so easily entangle’ (& cane sugar) out of my hands.
Watchman Nee writes, “I need forgiveness for my sins, but I need also deliverance from the power of sin. The former touches my conscience, the latter my life...I appreciate the blessed fact of God’s forgiveness, but I want something more than that: I want deliverance. I need forgiveness for what I have done, but I need also deliverance from who I am” (A Normal Christian Life, 3-4).
Here’s something encouraging to leave you with.
Remember how Simon Peter was saying at the start of a carry-the-cross conversation, ‘Far be it from you, Lord! This [suffering] shall never happen to you’ (Matthew 16:22)? Simon Peter seemed to think that what was best for Christ was to not undergo death; Jesus, for the joy set before him (I imagine something like seeing huge, beautiful parties in eternity with the ones his Father created) endured the cross & scorned its shame (Hebrews 12:2).
While there is debate on the authorship of this letter in the New Testament, some believe that Simon Peter himself shared the message in 1 Peter. Considering this may be the case, it seems that Simon Peter changed his view about Jesus dodging such a death, writing,
“‘He himself [Jesus] bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins & live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed’ (1 Peter 2:24, NIV). Simon Peter seemed to come around to the idea of ‘death’ as gain; maybe we can too.
Day 1 : Jesus Our Atonement/Way to the Father
John 14:1-6 // Matthew 27:51
I encourage you to take time today to think about Jesus on the cross (& his resurrection!) & what that means for you & me. Where are there gaps in your understanding of that gift? What feels tricky to grasp?
"Christ offered a way in his life for commoners (fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, the sick) to experience the glory of God & His sustaining Presence. But even better for its eternal ramifications, Christ offered a way for us in his death."
"...the sound of the curtain tearing has the sound of God saying, ‘I want you near.’"
"We come to the Father...by Jesus, who gives our sin to the grave & our souls to eternity when we take him up on his offer of salvation. We do not enter in any other way. It’s only by Jesus."
At the moment Jesus yielded up his spirit on the cross, we read in verse 51 of Matthew 27: “& behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.”
The temple was a place of great holiness. It wasn’t a place where common folk like you & me would have been meandering around looking for the post-sermon donut, at least not in certain places that were set apart. Priests would regularly do their duties in the ‘Holy Place’, but only one appointed could enter into the innermost part of the temple called the ‘Most Holy Place'; it was a space that the high priest entered into only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to offer sacrifice for the sins of himself & of the people (even then, there were rituals & physical barriers in place to keep the high priest safe). These people were serving the holy God & couldn’t be in the presence of such holiness without probably combusting.
A man named Moses was connecting with the Lord on a mountain one day & wanted to see the glory of God (a beautiful request!) & here is what we have recorded for how God responded: ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you & will proclaim before you my name, ‘The LORD.’ & I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, & will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.’ & the LORD said, ‘Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, & while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, & I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, & you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen’” (Exodus 33:19-23).
Perhaps not unlike God covering Moses with his hand, we read in Exodus about the forming of the tabernacle (let’s think of it as the earliest version of the temple) & that there was a special veil/curtain to block of the red-hot space so-to-speak of the temple: ‘the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy’ where the Presence of God dwelled among the people (Exodus 26:31-33).
Because God loved Moses, he protected him from dying upon seeing the face of God.
Because God loved the priests, he set-up a curtain to keep the red-hot space blocked off; because God loved the high priests, he protected them from dying upon seeing the ‘mercy seat’ (the hottest of the red-hot, apparently!) within the Most Holy Place.
& I believe, because God loved the common folk, he protected them from entering spaces in search of that post-sermon powdered donut and turning into powder themselves!
All this about not entering into the place of His Presence safely due to sinfulness & His holiness points to how significant an act of love it was that God became flesh to be among us. The people were able to walk literally with the Lord, kind of like the way that Adam & Eve did in the Garden. But unlike the very start of Adam & Eve’s story, the Lord among them (who knew no sin) was among a lot of sin…sin that was separating the common folk from entering the ‘Most Holy Place’ where the Presence of God dwelled. Christ offered a way in his life for commoners (fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, the sick) to experience the glory of God & His sustaining Presence. But even better for its eternal ramifications, Christ offered a way for us in his death.
This quite incredible thing occurred on Good Friday (the day of Jesus’ crucifixion): the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Mark 15:38).
To me, the sound of the curtain tearing has the sound of God saying, ‘I want you near.’
You & I were not enough before Jesus (who became for us our spotless sacrifice as well as our new high priest). God, out of his great love for us, made a way through His Son so that we could have access.
Jesus is our invite to enter into the Presence of the Lord.
Jesus is our way to the Father.
There is a lot more context in the pages of your Bible [which the book of Hebrews does a sweet job drawing our attention to in chapters 7-10] about the blood of Jesus as the spotless lamb, about Jesus being for us the new high priest & enacting for us a new covenant… but for now, let’s try to land the plane:
In John 14 (before he went on the cross for our sins & before the veil was torn in two) we hear of a conversation that Jesus has with his disciples, one of whom seemed to have the Moses desire: ‘Lord, show us the Father, & it is enough for us’ (Philip, verse 8).
Here’s what Jesus tells them:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? & if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again & will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. & you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:1-6).
We enter in the Presence of God by Jesus. We come to the Father (who is holy) by Jesus, who gives our sin to the grave & our souls to eternity when we take him up on his offer of salvation. We do not enter in any other way. It’s only by Jesus.