April 3, 2013 by Jess
Stewart Island, or Rakiura, is New Zealand’s third largest island and lies 30 kilometres south of the South Island across Foveaux Strait. On a clear day you can look out from Bluff Hill and see the hills off in the distance. The various hues of blue portraying the stillness of Foveaux Strait on the beautiful Southland day. Believe me it is not always so!
We have just come through a busy Easter weekend and so, as I look at this and consider the theme I can’t help but look at it with Easter goggles. From this distance this Island looks like a beautiful tropical island. It looks beautiful but from this distance we know nothing more. I see it with slightly more knowing goggles. I have been there, I have seen its beauty and know that it is a more rugged beauty than this picture suggests. There is more to know than this distance allows. This is similar to what I have been contemplating this Easter. We were far off, distant from God. We could not come near to God because of our sin. His holiness would consume us if we did. But at Easter we remember Jesus, God’s Son who came to make a way for us to again draw near in relationship to God. His blood was shed on the cross, facing God’s wrath on our behalf, gifting His holiness and purity to us, that we might draw near to God.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13 ESV
We sat on Good Friday and listened to our Pastor preach on the temple curtain being ripped in two at the moment of Christ’s death. This curtain, 18 metres tall and 10cm thick, was ripped as Jesus died, opening up the holy of holies, the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence. No longer were people to come to God from a distance, the temple and its sacrificial system were no more because in that moment a way had been made. Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
In him, we need no longer wait at a distance. Through him we can draw near
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16, ESV
Stewart Island might look good from a distance but it is well worth drawing near to take in more of it’s beauty. What about God? Are you content to peer from a distance? Jesus has made a way and believe me, it is well worth drawing near to know more of our glorious God.