"What then is worship? The term comes to us in our modern speech from the Anglo-Saxon, "weorthscipe," which later developed into, "worship," meaning "to attribute worth to an object." Worship is the "worth-ship" of the one you worship."1 To worship God then is to attribute worth to him. How do you attribute worth to something or someone? You become devoted, focus your attention, spend time and money, make sacrifices, and show reverence to it or them. What do you worship?
For some they worship sports, or food, or any number of things or people. Take football for example. For what would thousands of people gather each week to yell, cheer, spend money on, lose sleep over and sit through terrible weather to watch except that which they worship? Several years ago I remember sitting through a snow storm to watch a Nebraska football game. By half time we literally had several inches of snow piled on us!
Jesus Enables Us To Worship
Back in the Old Testament the Jewish temple was the main place of worship. Inside were two rooms, the holy place and the holy of holies and they were separated by a curtain. Only the high priest, on the day of atonement, was allowed to enter the holy of holies where the arc of the covenant was kept. God would manifest Himself above the mercy seat, the cover of arc, and the high priest would enter appear before God and intercede for the priests and people of Israel. It was important for the high priest to be right with God and not have any unconfessed sin in his life. Because if he entered the holy of holies with sin in his life, God would strike him dead. For God's sinless perfection would not allow Him to be in the presence of sin.
When Jesus died on the cross an amazing thing happened to the curtain separating the holy place from the holy of holies. Matthew 27:50-51 50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.2 This tearing of the curtain showed that now people could come into God's presence because Jesus had atoned for our sins. Anyone who is a believer and follower of Jesus now can appropriate Jesus' perfection. This being the case we can now come before God in worship, Jesus has paid the way with His life.
1 Joseph Carroll, How To Worship Jesus Christ (Greenville, SC: Great Commission, 1984), 28-29.
2 Matthew 27:50-51, NIV.