Week of Monday, May 1 – Sunday, May 7
All Access Pass - Man as Chaplain

Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. And I fell on my face. And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the Lord and all its laws. And mark well the entrance to the temple and all the exits from the sanctuary.  - Ezekiel 44:4-5 ESV
Some concerts and events feature an “All Access Pass.” These passes confer special privileges to the pass holder, such as the ability to go backstage, having face time with the important people, enjoying special seating, etc. But if you aren’t willing to spring for the extra money, you have what can be called “Restricted Access,” meaning you can be present at the event but get none of the extra perks. Of course, if you don’t have a ticket, you get “No Access.”
Ezekiel 10 described God’s glory departing from the temple and exiting Jerusalem though the east gate. In chapter 43, Ezekiel has a vision of God’s glorious presence triumphantly reentering through the east gate and returning to a future temple. During this vision, God tells Ezekiel who will have “All Access” passes when it comes to His presence and serving Him in the temple, who will have “Restricted Access,” and who will have “No Access.” There are three groups mentioned: a prince, some priests, and some people.

First, we read that the prince enjoys “All Access” to the presence and fellowship with God (v. 3). This earthly prince, presumably a descendant of David, will enjoy the privilege of sitting in the very gate where Yahweh Himself will have entered and His glory resides.
Second, we read that some were to have “No Access” to the new temple (v. 5-9). God says: No foreigner who is uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary. Circumcised in the flesh is an Old Covenant reality, and circumcision of the heart is more of a New Covenant reality, but without these, these people had no access. Thankfully, Jesus paid the admission price for an “All Access Pass” for all outsiders through His cross, but all still must receive it by repentance and faith, as evidenced by the transforming work of the Spirit in conversion. He circumcises our hearts!
Then there are the Levites/priests. Of all the tribes, the Levites were supposed to be closest to God, leading the way by being mediators between the people and God. Yet, some departed far from Him because of their idolatry and sin. They were bad examples for the people and caused them to sin. This was true of the Levites of Ezekiel’s day, who were now living in exile. Consequently, some Levites were to only have restricted access. They wouldn’t have access to the holy place or offerings or stand before the Lord and serve Him directly (v. 10-14). This reminds us that there are consequences to sin. Those called to serve God as spiritual leaders are held to a higher standard in Scripture. And when there is a moral failure, like sexual sin, these leaders need to be sidelined. Can they be forgiven? If they repent, absolutely! But there are lasting consequences to sin. But thank God He still has a place of service for even these fallen priests. That’s the grace and mercy of God.
Finally, there were faithful priests who were awarded “All Access” to stand before the Lord in full service (v. 15-16). These were the descendants of Zadok, who was faithful to David and then Solomon when facing insurrections (2 Samuel 15:24ff, 1 Kings 1:32ff). The priests of Zadok’s line are the faithful priests who can come near, stand in God’s presence, and serve the Lord with full access. We should strive to live clean so we can stay close and enjoy the full privileges of serving the Lord.
Here are the big takeaways:
1) We all need a Prince and Priest with “All Access” to Holy God. Obviously, these human leaders and mediators fall short, but Jesus fulfilled this need perfectly. Jesus, our Great High Priest (Hebrews 2:17), lived a holy and faithful life and died a holy and faithful death, dying as a sinless sacrifice “once for all” for our sin.
2) Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we now have an “All Access Pass” to the presence of God. Now, every follower of Christ is a priest with full access to God (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6, 5:10).
3) Since we have an “All Access Pass, we should strive to be faithful in our service and keep clean so we can stay close. The fast track to being booted out of “All Access” is bad behavior. These unfaithful Levites who sinned had restricted access. Same for us. We need to maintain short accounts with God if we want full access in our fellowship and favor with God.
4) Although we have an “All Access Pass” we should still bow in awe of the Holy God’s glory (v. 4). Don’t let the “All Access Pass” go to your head and give place to pride. It is all of grace. Rejoicing in our access should give way to bowing in awe of the Holy God’s glory. After all, He Himself is our inheritance and reward (v. 28).
- As the Chaplain in your home, are you pointing your family and friends to Jesus for “All Access” to and fellowship with God?
- Given that you are the spiritual leader in the home, how are you guarding against sin and therefore suffering the consequences of limited or “Restricted Access” when it comes to fellowship and favor with God?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to search out those areas of sin and confess them before the Lord so that you can maintain “All Access” with God.