“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?  Or who shall stand in His Holy Place?  He that has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully.”

Psalm 24:3-4

     The answer is “None of us”. . .in our own strength.

     “Clean hands and a pure heart.”

     O Lord, Your requirements are impossible to meet—for none of us “have clean hands and a pure heart and not lifted up our soul unto vanity or sworn deceitfully.”
     We’re all guilty.

     Dead-to-rights guilty.  Without any possibility of lessening the requirements and having nothing to offer to you guilty.

     Stinking like sin guilty.  Stained with indelible shame guilty.
     “Who, then, shall ascend Your Holy Hill?  Or, which of us can stand in Your Holy Place?”

     None of us.

     No “bridge of good works” can cross the “great gulf fixed” that separates us from You (Lk. 16:26).  Neither can we appease You by devoting our lives to benevolent deeds or unceasing acts of kindness.
     Our garments are still filthy, no matter how many times we wash them in remorse or regret (Is. 64:6).

     That’s why we cry out as the men did that day when Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost:  “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  (Acts 2:37).  Or, like the disciples, when confronted with the conditions for “entering in,” we cry “Who, then, can be saved?” (Mt. 19:25).
     The silence is deafening. . .until we hear His still, small Voice from Heaven:

     “And all who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).

     It’s a desperate call.  It’s a cry from “Wits’ End Corner” (Ps. 107:27-28).  It’s the cry of one who’s helpless and hopeless—no light in the darkness they see.
     But, into that darkness the Light has come (Jn. 1:4-9).

     With Him, He brings Life, Grace and Truth (Jn. 1:17) and forgiveness of sin “as far as the east is from the west” (Jer. 31:34c).

     He specializes in “clean consciences” (Heb. 9:14). . .“clean hearts” (Ps. 51:10). . .and “new beginnings” (II Cor. 5:17).
     By His Blood we are able to “draw near to God and boldly enter into Heaven’s Holy of Holies” (Heb. 10:19-22).  No other way will suffice—and no other sacrifice will atone.

     Only His Blood can cover “unclean hands, impure hearts and souls that have been lifted up in vanity and sworn deceitfully.”  Only His Blood can do that (Rom. 5:6-11).  Our spiritually bankrupt vault (heart) becomes His Divine Depository for His Most Precious Treasure (II Cor. 4:7).  And, only then are we able to “ascend and stand” (Eph. 2:4-10).  Only then.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated March 23, 2010

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