So, it's like this.
The High Priest in the old testament was a representative for all the people of the nation or land. He had to be completely holy. Everything about him had to be clean, and free from sin. Every year he would go into the Holy of Holies, which was in the temple. The Holy spirit, and presence of God resided in the Holy of Holies. At this point the people were still separated from God, and the only way to get to God was through the law. So every year the High Priest would sanctify himself and enter the Holy of Holies to sacrifice a spotless lamb in order to bring bounty to the people for that year. If the High Priest had any sin in him, he would be immediately struck dead because the power of God was so heavy in that place.
If the High Priest did not die, and was found righteous before God, then all the people in the nation were found righteous as well, and they would be blessed that year. However, if the Priest was not righteous and died in the Holy of Holies because of it, that would reflect back to the people as being full of sin as well. It's sort of like the Governor General reporting to the Queen as a representative for all of Canada.
The amazing thing about Grace is that Jesus is our representative. He is the High Priest of every single person who was, is, and will be living on this earth. Therefore, when we, as Christians come before the Throne of God. God doesn't see us, and the imperfections we've made, and the sins we've committed, but instead he sees Jesus standing before us as our representative, perfect in every way. God then says, "Hello my beloved, you are perfect, spotless. Please enter my kingdom. I love you."
This blows my mind; I don't have to do ANYTHING to receive this gift other than believing that Jesus did in fact pay the price for me. I don't have to work for it, I don't have to pay for it. It's completely and utterly a gift. If your best friend gave you a gift for Christmas and you told her you would pay her back for it, your friend would say, "No. I gave this gift to you, it wouldn't be a gift if you had to do something to earn it. I love you, that's why I'm giving it to you." It's the same thing with Jesus.
I'm writing this down more for me, than for you probably because this was the message I heard tonight at church and I want to remember it. It made me see a completely different perspective on so many things. If it helps you, awesome. Have a grace filled week.