The shadow of Reality!
Scripture reading for November 8th: Hebrews 9:1-10
The first covenant had an earthly tabernacle designed according to the pattern that Moses had received from God on the mountain. This tabernacle had two rooms. The outer room had a lamp stand, a table with twelve loaves of bread. This room was called the Holy Place and the priests would go in there regularly to keep the lamps burning, change the loaves of bread. The second room, the Most Holy Place, was behind the curtain and it contained the Ark of the Covenant made of pure gold overlay and guarded by two golden cherubim with wings outstretched. The ark contained the tablets of stone with the ten commandments on them, a jar of manna from the Israelites wilderness journey, and Aaron’s rod that budded and produced fruit. In front of this Ark was a small golden altar of incense. (Hebrews 9:1-5)
The writer of Hebrews did not want to discuss the articles he had just listed. As we think about the Ark and its contents, we are reminded of Jesus Christ. The lid of the Ark was called the ‘mercy seat’ where the glory of God dwelt. This ark was made of common Acacia wood, overlain with gold. Jesus had the appearance of a normal human, but was really the royal Son of God who was King of Kings. He was the One who came to fulfill the law written on the tablets of stone, perfectly obeying the Father. He was going to give His own body as the true ‘bread from heaven’ as an offering for sin. His body would be dead and in a grave but God the Father would resurrect Him as His chosen authority to be ruler and High Priest forever! Jesus would offer His sinless blood on the real Mercy Seat in heaven once, for all!
The priests of Israel could enter the first room to minister daily, but only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place once a year on the Day of Atonement. He must bring sacrifices for his sins and for those committed in ignorance by the people. As Jesus breathed His last breath, the curtain blocking the Most Holy Place to ripped apart! Now reality is ours in the new covenant! We have access to the Most Holy Place through the torn body and blood of Jesus !