Holiness-inside or out?

Last week we were in Barcelona and went to see some of Antoni Gaudi’s garden works and the church,Sagrada Familia, which is being re-built today. It’s a fascinating place. We made our way to catch the metro when one of our family said,”Where are you going !? you haven’t seen the other side yet!”  So back we walked to see the more recent structure-the scene of Judas’s betrayal and other events of the Lord’s death all sculptured. The word that caught my eye all the way around the building was “SANCTUS”,the Latin word for holy. I thought of what the Lord said about holiness in His own ministry recorded for us in the Gospels.  He warned people of the danger of an outward form of religious holiness which is not acceptable to God at all. Judas Iscariot himself was one of Jesus’s disciples- he accompanied the Lord on His journeys-saw His miracles,listened to His words. Even more Judas went out with the other disciples teaching and possibly doing miracles in Christ’s Name!  Yet it was all a sham. He was a hypocrite and had no inner change of heart. “Sanctus” was written on the outside but not inside.

An old hymn by Thomas Hughes puts it well : “Set up Thy standard Lord ,that we, who claim a heavenly birth, May march with Thee to smite the lies that vex Thy groaning earth.

Yet who can fight for truth and God,Enthralled by lies and sin-He who would wage such war on earth must first be pure within.

O God of truth for whom we long,O Thou that hearest prayer; Do Thine own battle in our hearts and slay the falsehood there.” 

Or as King David prayed in Psalm 51,”Create in me a clean heart O God.”