06 Nov Access To God: Limited Then Restored
31 “Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker. 32 Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases. 33 Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. 34 Put the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law in the Most Holy Place. 35 Place the table outside the curtain on the north side of the tabernacle and put the lampstand opposite it on the south side.
36 “For the entrance to the tent make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer. 37 Make gold hooks for this curtain and five posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold. And cast five bronze bases for them.
Background to the structure of the tabernacle
|Outer Court||Priests and Levites served, other Israelites could come|
|Holy Place||Only Priests|
|Most Holy Place||Only the high priest, once a year, must come with blood sacrifice and smoke of incense|
Solemn reminder: God’s grace does not reduce His awesomeness, sacredness and glory one bit!
Holy Place, three articles:
- Table for the bread of presence: Fellowship, divine provision
- Lampstand: Guidance, illumination
- Altar of incense: Prayer
Most Holy Place, only ONE thing: The ark of the covenant
- Presence of God.
- <Heb 9> 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.
Inside ark of covenant:
- Manna: Life-sustaining bread >>> Jesus the Bread of Life <Jn 6:35>.
- Aaron’s staff that had budded <Num 16-17>
- “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious.” <Num 17:10>
- Submit to God’s sovereign choice of the priestly mediator between man and God.
- Perfectly fulfilled by Jesus Christ (cf. <Heb. 5:4-5>).
- Tablets of covenant law.
- God’s commands and words stand forever.
- Jesus is the only one who fully satisfied the demands of God’s laws.
Ark of covenant:
- “Atonement cover”, “mercy seat”.
- Atoning blood of Jesus.
Separation between Holy God and Sinful Men
- <v33> “The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.”
- Human sin formed a barrier between God and His people, separating us from God.
- By faith not by sight.
- Cherubim on the curtain:
- Guard the way to the tree of life <Gen 3:24>.
- Symbolically guard the way to God.
- Need a God-appointed representative.
- Through the OT tabernacle, there was already greater, but still not full and free access to the presence of God.
Jesus had torn down the curtain separating God and sinners.
- <Mt 27> 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split
- Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” <Jn 14:6>
- Jesus brought not limited, but full and free access to God.
- We can “…have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body…” <Heb 10:19–20).
- The body of Christ was that “curtain” that was torn/broken for our sake.
- In Christ, there should be no more barriers between us and God.
- The holiness of God does not dwindle even after the curtain is torn Approach God with due reverence even today.