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Enter the Most Holy Place
Hebrews 10:19-25
Sunday, 14thth September, 2014

Wimbourne Court

 

Read Hebrews 10: 19-25

Enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus

When God instructed Moses on the setting up of the Sacred Tent or tabernacle as it is called, there were very specific no-go areas. There was a large courtyard where the sacrifices were carried out by priests. People probably were allowed in with their sacrifice but it was limited access because it was a holy place. Then there was the tabernacle itself. Only priests were allowed in it. It had several coverings to made is both waterproof and sealed off from the world. It was a sacred place. It was only for displaying reminders of Godís provision and burning incense as prayer. It was light by a grand oil lamp with 7 branches. When the Israelite moved camp, all this was covered up before taking out of the tent. It was too holy to be seen by the people. Beyond the holy place of incense was the most holy place. In it was just the ark of the covenant with the cherubim above it. This was never seen by anyone. It was pitch dark inside andOnly the high priest once a year was permitted into the most Holy Place. When they moved camp, priests entered the most holy place in such a way that they covered the ark without seeing it. The poles poked out of the tent so the Priests picking it up to carry it, never entered. The God was understood to be present above the ark and no Ėone could see God and live. Once a year the High priest entered having offered a sacrifice for his own sins and that of the people. He took blood from the sacrifice and daubed it on the ark. For safety they attached a rope to the ankle ofthe high priest in case he died inside.

 

So here we are told we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.

 

That is the most amazing statement for any Jew of the day. Even the High Priest had reason to be afraid for his life but you are to have confidence! Why? What makes the difference? We are told -20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,

Now at this point we need to remind ourselves that the writer is not talking about going to the temple in Jerusalem which still was functioning in his day. He is saying that whereas the Jews needed to approach God with fear and care and make sure they meticulously observed the instructions or face death, we can approach God entirely differently. We can enter the most holy place for ourselves. That does not mean God has given up on holiness, it means he has a new way for us to be holy. We are made holy through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. And we enter his presence because we figuratively carry his blood as recognition that his sacrifice is what makes us acceptable to God. The blood is like an identity pass. It says we check out Ok because we have Jesusí identity rating. That is amazing! We are sinners and would never pass any test of holiness that would be acceptable to God but he sent his only and only Son, Jesus, to die in our place for us so that we are acceptable to him.

There is so much more in this passage to enrich us but I want us to concentrate on this aspect today. When we pray, we are to have confidence.Not in ourselves but in Jesus. We enter the sanctuary ourselves, we do not send someone else. If we have put our faith and trust in Jesus, we have a safe way in to God. The curtains were the dividing wall, sealing off the holy place from sight and a clear barrier. When Jesus died on the cross that curtain was split by God from top to bottom. Jesusí death means we can have a relationship with God. But it cost Jesus his life. We must respect this. Our lives will either express our gratitude by living by his Holy Spirit in holiness or we will poison our relationship with God with sin. We have this wonderful privilege but we must live in it with care because we do not want to be seen as thankless and disrespectful ofour Saviour.

And what are we to do? Well draw near to God because we can and because we want to!

And listen to the reasons for confidence:

and since we have a great priest over the house of God, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience

and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Second:

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Third:

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, now the bit about giving up meeting together does not apply to you because you are here today to do just that to spur one another on toward love and good deeds

 

and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We have confidence and we have hope because one day we will be in his presence for ever. We will pass through a different curtain through death to eternal life. We have entered into the most Holy Place, one day we will be there for ever. Live like it today!

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