Throughout Scripture, people went “up” to Jerusalem and the temple. Moses was invited “up” Sinai. Under the Law, the Most Holy Place was off limits, only the High Priest was permitted to go “in.” The Lord commanded Israel to follow Joshua as he led them to “go in and possess the Land.” The Old Testament revealed that fallen mankind wasn’t allowed “up” or “in” without a mediator. Yet, in order to meet with God one must go up and in.
But Adam was driven out of Eden. Cain, too, was driven out from the presence of the Lord. The Korah rebels went down to Sheol alive. Downward and cast out was the lot of fallen man.
Christ’s coming upended everything. He went out from the Father, and came down to us. Now by Him we’re brought up and enter in. You aren’t left far off, you aren’t cast down to hell. You who are in Christ are assured of your welcome. Indeed, in Christ we ascend to this banqueting table without a shade of shyness.
Not only are we brought up and in, but now a river flows from the Holy of Holies outward and downward to bring healing waters to the lowest and furthest of places (Rev. 22:1). The Gospel brings us up and in, only to send us out and down.
We’ve been redeemed in order to be rendered fit for service in God’s kingdom. He saves us, then sends us. As ambassadors of Christ, we’re first raised up and welcomed in, then sent out to descend down to the lowest hovel with the declaration of these glad tidings: “The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Act 2:39).” Come up. Come in. Then go out to the ends of the earth. In this meal we are encouraged and equipped to go out and down because we have first been brought up and in.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…