When my father went to be with the LORD fifteen years ago, someone told me “You have been seriously upgraded, God has now taken the place of your father. God is your new dad. You should be happy.” Perhaps I was so overcome with emotion at the time that I never really understood what a tremendous blessing it was for me to have God take the place of my earthly father. “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” Psalms 68:5 KJV

I have said it before that I am certain I was my father’s favorite child though every single one of us believed this for themselves too because he had pet names for all of us and treated us all the same. I know he loved me very much and we had a special bond too because as the last of his children to leave home, I lived at home with my parents till I was in my mid forties when I got married. So I was quite close to both of my parents.

Naturally, there is expected to be an intimacy between parents and their children when you can talk to them about almost anything under the sun. Yet when a child does not have direct access to a parent intimacy could very well be missing. As human beings it is typical that we grow up imitating the behaviour of those around us so when a father is not present or when we have to relate to him by proxy one might not get the full benefits of a parent/child relationship.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites, God’s children, did not have direct access to God. They had to go through an earthly chief priest who himself did not have direct access to God but still related to God on their behalf. In those days too God was related to mostly out of dread rather than of reverence. For example when Uzzah touched the ark of God he was struck down and everyone including David the king became afraid.

“The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God. David was afraid of the LORD that day and said, “How can the ark of the LORD ever come to me?” 2 Samuel 6:7&9 NIV

But now we need no longer be afraid of God or see Him as dreadful. Because one of the things Jesus came to do was to reveal God to us as our loving “Father”. And reconcile us to Him. “My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who truly knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so they can know him too.” Matthew 11:27 Contemporary English Version

When Jesus gave up the ghost on the cross it was recorded thus: “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” Matthew 27:50-51 KJV

As Jesus breathed His last on the cross, He brought to an end, the era of going to God through middle men. There was nothing again hidden behind the temple curtains. We can now go directly to God. There is no more limited or restricted access. The significance of that is simply “Go to God for yourself.” We do not need to approach God by proxy any more. He is our Father whether or not we are fatherless in earthly or biological terms. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 NLT

Therefore let us praise God who has not left us as orphans with nobody to care for us. God cares for us deeply and Jesus has come to show us how much God loves us by taking our place of punishment on the cross. All our sins have been nailed with Jesus to the cross and when God looks at us now He sees us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and not in the sinful fallen state of Adam.

We have a Father who loves us so much more than we can ever imagine.