By Benjamin H. Liles
"This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the Lord God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut. As for the prince, because he is the prince, he may sit in it to eat bread before the Lord; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way...No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel...It shall be, in regard to their inheritance, that I am their inheritance. You shall give them no possession in Israel, for I am their possession" (Ezekiel 44:2-3, 9, 28, New King James).
When Jesus Christ came to fulfill the promises of the Old Testament we see Him say, "Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill...But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17-20, Holman Christian Standard).
The shorthand version of this is to say that while we cannot by any means be holy and pure before a just and righteous God, Jesus Christ came to extend His righteousness and holiness to us through His death on the cross and His resurrection from death. In other words, we cannot do anything on our own accord to "work" for righteousness before God. It is in and by the Son of promise, Jesus Christ that we have this way available to us.
It is why Ezekiel wrote the words, "I am their inheritance, I am their possession," which means it's being said to Israel. It's only extended to us as foreigners because those in the days of Jesus refused to listen and obey His words. They had him for three and a half years and yet they did as it was prophesied to Daniel: "And after threescore and two weeks (62 weeks) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and its end shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined" (Daniel 9:26, King James 2000).
I know the last part of Daniel refers to an end-times event, but considering how some act in this day and age it makes me wonder just how close we are to the good Lord returning to earth. "And when He returns will He find faith?" (Luke 18:8) comes to my mind on that note. But we need to consider our stance before a just and Almighty God who renders His judgment and justice on all people, great and small, old and young, infirm and healthy. My question here is how are we to do that without Jesus Christ in our lives? It's impossible to do on our own, as Jesus says: "With man this is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God" (Mark 10:27, Berean Study).
Friend, we cannot come to salvation on our own terms or even by our own strength for, as scripture tells us, "All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind" (Isaiah 64:6, Holman Christian Standard). We need a new and different way; a radical way. Jesus fulfills so much of scripture so that we can stand in Him and His Spirit before a holy God whose desire is to see every man, woman and child set free from sin and death. Paul echoes these sentiments by saying, "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
It is my constant hope and prayer that I have done well in the sight of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that I not only proclaim His gospel message to you. At the same time I pray that others may be set free as captives from sin and death through Jesus Christ in the hopes of being called children of God. I do what I do because I am compelled in my faith Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, and when He was raised to everlasting life from the grave so that I also may partake in eternal life with and through Him. I actually do love others enough to continue on in my faith in proclaiming the good news of Jesus's death and resurrection. It is in this that I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Edited: I am updating this as I want to truly help others in their walk with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. If you feel led to give something to help me adequately teach scripture better go to this page and find out more.