Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. Psalm 118:19-20 (ESV)
According to the psalmist the only way to get into the presence of the Lord is by going through the gates of righteousness. And only the righteous are allowed entrance through those gates. That leaves us with a grave dilemma. Why?
The apostle Paul quotes King David in Romans 3:10-12 saying, None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. (ESV) The prophet Isaiah wrote, We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6 ESV)
Have you ever thought about what Isaiah meant by polluted garments? He is referring to a woman’s menstrual garments. If that is what our righteousnesses looks like what hope have we of ever being able to walk through the gates of righteousness to worship and fellowship with a righteous God? The only righteousness that can stand before God is God’s righteousness. Therefore, we must become God’s righteousness if we desire to come into his presence.
The apostle Paul wrote, For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV) Isaiah prophesied this, But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6 ESV) The “him” referred to in these scripture verses is Jesus; God’s only son (John 3:16).
The only way to enter the gates of righteousness is by the blood of Jesus. The only way to get to God is through his Son. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through the blood of his precious sacrifice (John 14:6). And it is through and by the blood of Jesus that we have any hope of coming before God to worship him (Hebrews 10:19). Peter wrote, For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. (1 Peter 3:18 ESV)
Have you become the righteousness of God through the blood of Jesus Christ? Are you seeking daily to walk in righteousness?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Corinthians 1:30
1 Peter 2:24