Song of the Week – Before the Throne of God Above

by Kevin Lorow, Cuyahoga Valley Church Worship Arts Assistant

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This song is rich and deep in theology, and it connects so well with where we’re at in “The Creed” sermon series, it was an easy choice to use this beautiful song in our services this past weekend.

Before the throne of God above 
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great High Priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heav
en He stands 
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 11.25.28 AM.pngThe throne room of God might seem like a vast and intimidating thing to you.
That’s probably a good thing too. The might and power of God can be greatly diminished in our minds if we fail to meditate on it. When we consider our relationship with the Lord, this is perhaps what we must first consider. God is the Creator of the universe! Psalm 104 begins to cover some of the “hugeness” of God’s nature. “He established the earth on its foundations.” At Your rebuke, the waters fled from the mountains.” “The mountains rose, and the valleys sank down to the place which You established for them.”

Isaiah 40 says that he has “measured out the waters in the hollow of His hand. With the breadth of His hand He has marked off the heavens.” Scripture serves us with the reminder that God is the Creator of the universe, and that His very creation exists to scream out the greatness and glory of its Creator! (Psalm 19:1) When God is so big, why would He care about us who are so small? Psalm 8:3-4 “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

God is huge and holy. We are small and wicked. God in His perfect nature cannot be in communion with that which is sinful. Israel had this represented to them in their temple as Pastor Chad reminded us this past Sunday.

In Israel’s temple, they had an inner room called “The Holy of Holies”. It was in this space that God physically manifested His presence as a testimony to the nation of Israel that He was with them. However, no one could go into the Holy of Holies save the High Priest. He could only approach the glory of God after performing many cleansing sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. If he failed to do this, he would be struck dead for failing to be right in the presence of God. Separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was a giant curtain. This curtain ran from floor to ceiling and barred the entry into the presence of God. This curtain served as a physical representation that the people’s sin separated from God. They could not have communion with God in their sin.

What a dreadful and miserable place to be. Separated from the great Creator by our sin with nothing to do to fix things. But as we often discuss at Cuyahoga Valley Church, that’s where Jesus changes things.

Hebrews 4:14-16 says “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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.”

Jesus serves as our High Priest and our offering. When He died on the cross, the veil in the temple split in two, symbolizing that through His sacrifice we can have communion with God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth! We can run to Him as a Loving Father in complete confidence, knowing that our debt has been paid through the blood of His Son, and that He will provide us with what we need!

When Satan tempts me to despair 
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Verse 2 reminds us of the temptation of Satan, to believe that our sin is too great for us to have a relationship with God. But, when we are reminded that the blood of our sinless Savior, the fear-mongering and despairing devil’s words are hollow and powerless, because the redemption of Jesus is complete and powerful!

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb 
My perfect, spotless Righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God

Finally, Verse 3 reminds us of the permanence and security that we have with Christ as our Savior and God. He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through him, because he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Our lives are permanently protected and safe in the Hands of our God. And that dear brothers and sisters is the most reassuring of thoughts.

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