“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Holy of Holies

Exodus 25:10-22 -- "They shall make an ark of acacia wood. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside shall you overlay it, and you shall make on it a molding of gold around it. You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark by them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the testimony that I shall give you. "You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.

Our long path to the Holy of Holies has come to fruition, we now enter into that most sacred of places! We have come by way of the outer court and Holy Place and now we draw back the curtain that separates us from God!

What a time of expectation for the High Priest in the days of the Tabernacle! He only entered this place once a year on the Day of Atonement. This is the place where the Lord dwells!

Exodus 25:22 -- "There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel..."

What a staggering thought, that the Lord of the Universe, the God who created everything would deign to come and dwell in the midst of His people in the middle of the wilderness, above a golden ark!

I think it is important as we stand in this, the Holiest Place, that we remember that HE chose to meet with Israel, it was nothing they did that caused this. Deuteronomy 7:7, 8 -- It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

What a thought -- God chose this people, and delivered them from bondage, and then chose to 'dwell' with them! Is there any question as to why Paul breaks out in doxological joy as he reflects on God's goodness?

Yet, in the days of the Priesthood, God's people were still separated rom Him, and required the mediation of a High Priest, today we have something that the Priests in the days of the Tabernacle did not have; we have the ability to go into the Holiest Place, by the blood of the Lamb! What an incredible blessing!

The Priest could only enter into the Holy of Holies once a year, bearing with him a basin of blood to sprinkle the Mercy Seat, hoping that He had properly prepared for this service, so that the Lord would accept the sacrifice. We are able to draw near to the Throne of Grace through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What an awesome privilege; the ability to enter into the Holiest Place at any time!

THE ROOM

The Holiest Place is a representation of Heaven! We see this in all the details, from the perfect cube to the light that illuminated the room! The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube, 15’ X 15’ X 15’, and we find this to be a model of the Heavenly Jerusalem -- Revelation 21:12–16 -- It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed -- on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare; its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal.

The Menorah illuminated the Holy Place, but within the Holy of Holies we are separated from the Holy Place by a thick veil. How did the Priest see to minister in this place? In Moses day, the presence of the Lord illuminated the Holiest Place, and again we return to The Revelation to see what the Tabernacle was modeled on -- Revelation 21:22, 23 -- And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

We have moved from the outside world, through a linen barrier into the outer court, which was the place of the atoning sacrifice, to the Holy Place, a place much like the church in which we eat from the table of shewbread which is Christ’s body, and we are illuminated by Him, And our prayers go up together to heaven, and now, we are standing within the final place, the Holy of Holies, the place where we will spend our eternity in the presence of the Lord!

In the wilderness there was a small model of Heaven right within the midst of the people! Oh, what a day when we will stand before our Lord and Savior in the Holy of Holies, the new heaven, and His light will be shed abroard on His people!

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