Separation Anxiety

Scripture Lesson:

  • Exodus 26:31-35
  • Matthew 27:50-51
  • Mark 15:37-39
  • Hebrews 10:19-22

“A little knowledge of God is worth more than a great deal of knowledge about Him.”

J. I. Packer

A Veil That Created Separation

God has always desired to have fellowship and friendship with His children. However, sin made that very difficult in Old Testament times. (Adam and Eve hid from Him in the garden after their sin.) In Old Testament times, only a few people like Moses, Abraham and David had seemed to have an intimate relationship with Yahweh. The high priest only had access to God once a year on the Day of Atonement. There was a veil that created separation. (Exodus 26:31-35)
Jesus prayed in John 17:3 that the disciples would know the Father as He did. That prayer would also apply to us as His followers. The Greek word for “to know” is “ginosko”, which shows familiarity gained through experience. Experiencing God is difficult when we’re separated from Him. This is true on a human level. Two weeks ago, Nancy and I had the opportunity to go to Colorado Springs. I hadn’t seen my younger son, Jason, in two years. Although we had exchanged phone calls and emails, I hadn’t experienced his company. He drove two hours to meet us, and I gained more knowledge/experience in our relationship than I had in the prior two years. In both our human relationships and with God, it’s important to spend time together without separation.

Separation Takes a Toll

Sin and a fallen world have taken a toll on both our relationship with God and our human relationships. There is much brokenness in our world caused by death and bereavement. Also, divorce and separations are common, even among believers. Even now, some have expressed, and many of you may feel, the separation of our church family caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Separations not only cause anxiety, but often leave deep emotional scars. I wasn’t aware until I was much older how deeply my mom’s death at eight years old affected many aspects of my life. I’m sure each of you have your own stories, and can think of how separations have caused anxiety and left wounds in your life.

The Sun was Obscured

As we approach the good news of Easter, we must first go through Passover week and the Cross. As our Lord hung dying on the cross, the sun was obscured. (Luke 23:45) Jesus yielded His Spirit to the Father and the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:50-51; Mark 15:37-39)
You see, what no one could do by human strength and from top to bottom; God reaches down as our Lord dies and shreds the veil of separation.
As a result of the death of Christ and the subsequent resurrection, Christ (the first fruits) not only brings forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life, but mankind’s separation from God has been removed by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross.

Healing Our Brokenness

Our relationship with the Lord heals our relationship with the Father. It also heals the human brokenness we often face in this life.
As believers, we need to take advantage of this great benefit. Hebrews 10:19-22 instructs us to have confidence, and since we have a great high priest, Jesus Christ, draw near with a sincere heart and full assurance. The remedy for separation anxiety is experiencing “ginosko” - God more fully.
Rev. John D. Guess, Pastor

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