Continuing from *Chapter 1, let us consider ‘hallowed be Your name’ and ‘Your kingdom come.’
To ‘hallow’ something or somebody is to make it or them ‘holy’. The most Holy Place for the Old Testament Israelites was the inner sanctuary of the Temple (1 Kings 6:16) where the High Priest would go once a year to atone for the sins of the people and for his own sins (Leviticus 16:6, 11). He would sprinkle the blood of a bull (Leviticus 16:14) and the blood of a goat (Leviticus 16:15) on the mercy seat. Aaron, the first High Priest who officiated at the tabernacle, was obliged to go through a number of sacrificial rituals on the Day of Atonement for placating the wrath of God upon the people and himself (Leviticus 16). These sacrifices of dead animals and the sprinkling of their blood were inadequate for the permanent forgiveness of their sins (Hebrews10:4).
Later, in New Testament times (Ephesians 3:1-7; 1 Peter1:20), it was revealed there was only one acceptable sacrifice that could be offered to God for the forgiveness of sins, and that was the shed blood of the Saviour (1 Peter 1:18, 19) that flowed from His body when He died on the cross for the elect (Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20). The perfection of holiness found in Jesus, His righteousness, is imputed (Romans 4:11) to those for whom He died and rose from the dead (Mark 16:6).
God is holy (Joshua 24:19); He is perfectly pure (Proverbs 30:5), immaculate in moral character, and without blemish. He has always been holy (Isaiah 6:3), and will remain so for evermore. He sanctifies His saints (Hebrews 2:11) by setting them apart in His holiness (1 Corinthians 6:11). To a certain extent they are conformed to His image. God confers holiness upon them for His purposes.
So how can we understand ‘hallowed be Your name’? Holiness is the central characteristic of God. He is holy (Joshua 24:19; Psalm 99:9). There is no person like Him. He is separate from, and vastly different to His creatures whom He has made to worship HIm. He is to be revered by them; therefore when they come into His presence for prayer, their disposition should be one of humility, gratitude, praise, thanksgiving and awe (Psalm 100).
Because of what Jesus has done for believers, they have unhampered access to the Father through His Son (Hebrews 10:19) who intercedes for them (1 John 2:1). They are empowered and sanctified by the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:16).
In consideration of ‘Your kingdom come’, Jesus has already come to usher in His kingdom and **God’s kingdom, which are the same.
When holy Jesus comes again to the earth in glory and power (Mark 13:26, 27) He will place us who believe into His new kingdom. We shall have a share in His glory (Ephesians 1:18), as we shall be like Him and we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).
From the moment of our salvation, we were spiritually transported into God’s holy kingdom (Mark 9:47), where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:1).
In our next study (Chapter 3) we shall consider ‘Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’
* The Lord’s Prayer (Chapter 1)
** God’s Unified Kingdom