Holy Places

Jonathan Brownson

READ : Psalm 24

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? (v. 3)

In Michigan we make our own mountains. Michigan lacks this natural terrain, so when the
winter snows fall we build mountains by plowing the snow into huge piles. Maybe they are
impressive only to schoolchildren, but schoolchildren make the most of these piles with a
game called “King of the Hill.” It is a simple but furious game. Each child scrambles to
the top of the hill. The first one there is king and defends against all attackers. This
will include pushing, pulling, hitting, and sometimes kicking, and an eventual tumble down
the hill, only to look up and see someone else is the new “King of the Hill.”

Our verse for today suggests that “ascending the hill of the Lord” is quite different
from playing “King of the Hill.” When Jesus ascends, the psalmist cries for the gates to
open to receive the “King of Glory” (v. 7). The Lord Jesus is “King of the Hill” forever.
He alone is perfectly clean and pure (v. 4). He is the Lord of hosts.

And as we approach the throne, we do not find Jesus ready to repel our advances.
Rather, he invites us to join him. He promises that, “I will be [their] God, and [they] will be my [people]” (Rev. 21:7). His blood makes us clean (1 John 1:7). We can follow the
ways of the world and struggle to exalt ourselves or we can “humble [ourselves] before the
Lord, and he will exalt [us]” (James 4:10).

PRAYER

Lord, may I stand with you in the holy place. Amen.