Paradigm shift

Passage: Luke 24:36-56 – The Crucifixion

Verse: Luke 23:45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

In 1962 Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and in it he argued that science does not proceed in a linear fashion, but instead there are paradigm shifts that vault science forward to a different level, a different reality. For instance, man would have never unlocked the power of the atom without Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which replaced Newtonian Physics as the ultimate reality of the universe. Today’s passage also describes a paradigm shift in the way man accesses and approaches God.

The veil of the temple refers to the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place within the temple complex in Jerusalem. The mercy seat and the ark of the covenant were kept in the Holy of Holies, and it is here where God himself would meet with the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement. But in the dispensation of the Old Testament only the high priest was allowed to meet with God, and only priests from the tribe of Levi were permitted to make offerings. Now, after the crucifixion of Christ, the veil that separated to two chambers was torn asunder, signifying that all believers now have direct access to God. This is why the New Testament describes every believer as a priest – we are priests through Christ and have direct access to God. This was indeed a paradigm shift.

In your own life, think of what it means to have direct access to God. Remember, for most of human history, only 5-10% of the people were literate. That is, only 5-10% of the people could actually read the Word of God for themselves. Now, 95% of the population is literate, but we can only get 5-10% of believers to read the Word of God for themselves.

Think about the comfort and consolation you have by knowing God. In my own life, I have been afflicted with a debilitating disease – one that has made it impossible to work in my previous capacity. I often joke with my daughter that I was once a leader of men, and now I’m not qualified to take tickets at the fair. That is partly true, but the reality is that apart from Jesus Christ and apart from my access and fellowship with God, I would be a very bitter and disillusioned person. But that is not who I am in Christ.

Prayer: Lord, help me to take advantage of the privileges I have in Jesus Christ, and let me never take them for granted.

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