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Saturday, August 22, 2009

(25) The Tabernacle, Part 4, Exodus 25-31

Last time we talked about a special place that we hold value. But sometimes even within that room there are objects that have special stories that only you will understand. When you look at that certain object you get a feeling that no one else will get because it is the most sacred of all possessions you have. Many things can be moved. You can change a room around and rearrange items but this object can not and will not be moved. This is what the Holy of Holies is all about.
The last section of the Temple (Tabernacle) is the Holy of Holies. This was the inner most part of the sanctuary, the place where God resided or resides in the case of a Christian. There are three main objects in this room; the Veil, the Ark, and the Mercy Seat.
The Veil. The veil was a sign that there was something secretive hidden behind it that only special people could see. Just like a Bride in a wedding, the only one who can see behind the veil is the husband. There was an appointed time for someone to see her. In the tabernacle behind the veil was the Ark. The Ark was the sacred possession. Inside it were other objects that showed how important the Jewish people were to God. Most famous of these things was the Ten Commandments, the law. As a Christian we know the Law to be Jesus. God hid Christ in a safe place until His appointed time, such as the Bride. Christ is God the Father's most valued possession, a part of Himself that He sent to be with His people. When Jesus was crucified, scripture says that the Veil was torn in two. Sacrifices under the old law were always cut in half and separated. The space between them is called the path of death. On one side is life, the other side is death. The veil was split in two as the new path of death, the new law. To get to Christ at the end of our lives, we have to pass through the path of death by going through the split veil; the symbol of Christ's sacrifice. This says that we accept Christ as the sacrifice. We pass through His flesh (Hebrews 10:19-20). Josephus says that horses tied to both ends could not tear the veil apart. So imagine what the priests thought when they saw this non-tearable item being ripped from top to bottom!
When it split it opened up a way for us to approach the throne of God, or the Mercy Seat, without any shame. The seat was located on top of the Ark. This is the place where God would appear in the time of the Old Law. This is also where the sacrifice for atonement was done (Leviticus 16:15). When Jesus poured His own blood onto the earth, there was no more need for a physical Mercy Seat. We can go directly to Him. No matter what we have done His Mercy Seat is always there willing and waiting for those who want to receive it (Hebrews 9:14-16).

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