Matthew 3.16-17 cont.
16 Now, having been baptized, straightaway Jesus went up from the water, and the Heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God coming down upon Him, coming as a dove.
17 And see a voice from the heavens said: “This One is My dearly loved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
In Luke’s account of the baptism of Jesus he states that it was as Jesus was praying that Heaven was opened.
The wonderful privilege of prayer is that we have access to our Father, through Jesus. When Jesus cried out on the cross that it is finished, the veil in the temple was torn in two. Before that only the high priest was allowed to go beyond the veil into the most holy of holies. Now, through the death of Jesus the veil has been torn in two and everyone who receives Jesus as their Lord and Saviour has access to the Father; for us the heavens are opened.
The heavens were also opened by God whilst the people of Israel were on their travels from Egypt to the Promised Land:
All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently – Exodus 19.18 (NLT).
At the baptism of Jesus Heaven was opened as He commenced His journey to lead sinners from the slavery to sin and death into the Promised Land of eternal life with Him.
The prayer of Isaiah is this:
Oh, that You would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! – Isaiah 64.1 (NLT).
This, and other prophecies were now being fulfilled as Jesus was baptized.
As we shall see, following His baptism Jesus spent forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. The Israelites spent forty years in the wilderness. Both events saw Heaven being opened.
We may still want to pray for Heaven to be opened, and that is good, because we desire to have a greater experience of intimate fellowship with our Heavenly Father.
John the apostle was blessed to experience this:
After these things I looked, and, wow! (see), there was a door in Heaven, having been opened, and the voice that I previously heard speaking like a trumpet said to me: “Come up here and I will show what must take place after these things”. Immediately I was in the Spirit – Revelation 4.1.
As we pray may we all experience the reality of Heaven being opened to us in a personal way.