Thursday, June 19, 2008

This week's Sabbath School lesson: Christ's priestly ministry

"For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence" -- Hebrews 9:24, NIV.
Ron Howard's been filming a prequel to The Da Vinci Code.

No surprise there -- he made enough money on the first movie, it's only natural he'd want to film another.

But when he asked permission to film part of his movie in a couple of Catholic churches, the Vatican turned him down.

No surprise there -- any film series based on the belief that Catholicism is run by a bunch of bloodthirsty fools, liars, and knaves cannot expect too many favors from church leaders.

What's more, we take it for granted that holy places are not always open to anyone and everyone who might want to go there.
  • No, if you want to make a movie inside a Catholic church, then you're going to need permission from Catholic leaders.
  • If you want to visit an LDS Temple, then you'd better have a temple recommend.
  • If you want to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, then you'd better be prepared to prove you're a Muslim.
Even concerts follow much the same rule -- if you want to see Bruce Springsteen's dressing room, for instance, then you're going to need a backstage pass.

That's why this week's lesson is important -- it's important, because it lays down two principles:
  1. The only holy place worth worrying about is God's temple in heaven.
  2. The only one who controls access to that temple is the same Jesus who loved us so much that he died for us.
Jesus gives us a backstage pass to the only show that's worth seeing, in other words . . .

And if you have his permission, then nothing else really matters.

No surprise there.

No comments: