Approaching the Unapproachable Light

“…who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:16)

Think back to your childhood for a brief moment. Your parents—specifically your father, simply for illustration’s sake—told you not to do a certain thing, like eating those incredibly delicious chocolate chip cookies before dinner. However, you were getting hungry, so you decided you would sneak a couple without him seeing.

Unbeknownst to you, Dad was watching from the hallway the entire time. As soon as you put the cookie in your heart, you turned to see Dad watching with a look of disappoint on his face. You quickly turned away and didn’t look at him anymore out of fear of what he might say or do. You couldn’t even look at him or approach him.

This, if we’re honest, is a universal experience because, even as cute kids, we were still sinners who didn’t have to be told to sneak things or lie. It just came naturally.

Allow me to give you another example, one straight from the Bible. In Exodus 33:12–18, Moses requests God to show him His glory. God granted his request, but only partially. The Lord agreed to show Moses his “backside.” It is simply a mystery as to what Moses actually saw; the point is that God could only show Moses some of his glory because, if Moses had seen the fullness of God’s glory, he would’ve died on the spot. It would’ve been too much. “But,” he [God] said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live” (Exodus 33:20). In light of this, God only showed some, and Moses’ face still shined because of it (Exodus 34:29-30).

How His Light is Now Approachable

The truth that God dwells in unapproachable light is true and will eternally remain true. However, for Christians–those of whom God has caused to be born again” (1 Peter 1:3)–that light is approachable now. How is that?

Two words: Jesus Christ. The only reason Christians are able to approach God–who dwells in approachable light–is because we are forever-united with Christ. We could never approach God by our own merit or volition. We would be destroyed, just like anybody else would. It’s all because of Jesus.

Even more, because were in Christ, we can approach His light boldly. Not only can we now approach Him, but do so with boldness! We need not be timid, shy, or scared. We should be bold, confident, and trusting in the righteousness of Christ that brings us to Him! The Father is ready to give His children a warm embrace because of what Jesus did.

Just like the curtain was torn in two, so now the light is approachable for those in Christ. We have unlimited, free access to the God who dwells in unapproachable light because the Messiah took all of our darkness. This is pure grace. When God extends His grace, there’s no need to back up, shy away, or flinch. He is ready for us. He has made a way for us to approach Him.

After you ate cookies before dinner you couldn’t look Dad in the face. On Mount Sinai, Moses’ face shined ever so bright by merely seeing God’s “backside.” But now, if you call upon the Lord Jesus, you can approach God with all that you have. Friends, that’s what He wants you to do! God has His arms wide open for all who stop trusting in their own works and start trusting in Christ’s. His arms are wide open for those, weary of “trying to be better,” and beckons us to come to Christ–who was the best for us.

Come to Christ.

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