Today Elaine and I visited Hampton Court with our daughter and two of our grandchildren. Hampton Court was the royal palace on the banks of the Thames built by King Henry VIII almost 500 years ago, and enlarged at later dates by other monarchs. It was one of the most stunning buildings in Europe when it was constructed. And still is. Henry seemed to add rooms every time he married, and the fact he went through six wives may partially account for the extent of the building.
I found one thing about it particularly significant. Each wing, no matter which monarch built it, had a similar structure. The first rooms were the ones most open to people, and they were the largest and the plainest. In these rooms, people would often wait for days, hoping desperately that the king would make an appearance, so they could beg from him whatever favour they needed as he passed by. Each succeeding room became more and more exclusive, ornate and generally smaller, until finally you got to the room where the king actually spent most of his time, and where you were guaranteed to meet him. To negotiate your way into the inner rooms was your ticket to success.
What I kept thinking about during all this was Paul’s statement in Romans 5:1-2: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God though our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand.” The idea of obtaining access refers to being admitted to the throne room of a king for a personal audience.
We don’t have to mill around for days in the vain hope that the king might pass through the room and glance in our direction. We don’t even have to be like Zaccheus, who climbed up a tree to get Jesus’ attention.
Now because of what Jesus did for us, we have permanent and unhindered access to God’s throne room, to the innermost place of his dwelling. And we have it 24 hours a day.
It never ceases to amaze me how foolish we can be, how we find every other way to resolve a crisis except the one which is guaranteed to work.
Why don’t you try stepping into the throne room a little more often? The door is wide open.
You might be amazed at the results.