Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Tabernacle: A Foreshadow of Messiah Part 7 - The Holy of Holies

Inside the tabernacle, the Holy of Holies was separated from the Holy Place by a veil.  Only the high priest was able to access the Holy of Holies, and only once per year on the Day of Atonement.

The veil was woven with fine white linen, blue, purple, and scarlet threads.  If you have read my earlier posts on the tabernacle, you know that these colors are symbolic of the righeousness, sonship, kingship, and sacrificial nature of the Messiah.  Also woven into the veil are cherubim (angels), symbolic of the very presence of God and of guarding His throne.

The veil was torn from top to bottom at the very moment of the death of Yeshua (Jesus).  No longer are we kept from the throne of God Almighty, and no longer is the Holy of Holies restricted to the high priest.  Yeshua Himself has become our High Priest, and we have been given direct access to Him.

Behind the veil we find the ark of the covenant.

The atonement cover, called the mercy seat, was the lid for the ark. On top of it stood two cherubim at the two ends, facing each other. The cherubim, symbols of God’s divine presence and power, were facing downward toward the ark with outstretched wings that covered the atonement cover. The whole structure was beaten out of one piece of pure gold. The atonement cover was God’s dwelling place in the tabernacle. It was His throne, flanked by angels. God said to Moses:

“There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.” (Exodus 25:22).

The fact that the mercy seat was made of pure gold is a representation of Almighty God.  The mercy seat was God’s throne in the midst of the Israelites. God is on His throne today in heaven and Yeshua, our high priest, is at His right side. When we come to God now, we approach a throne of mercy and grace.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

The ark itself was a chest made of acacia wood, overlaid with pure gold inside and out. It was over 3 feet  long and over 2 feet wide and high. God commanded Moses to put in the ark three items: a golden pot of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written.
  • The manna represented the bread of life that was given to sustain the Israelites in the wilderness.  Today, Yeshua is our Bread of Life.
  • The rod of Aaron had budded with almonds and blossoms, symbolizing God's choice of the Levites for the priesthood.  We are reminded that Yeshua has become our high priest.
  • The ten commandments represented the standard of living that was given to the Israelites.  The presence of the commandments is there to remind us that Yeshua fulfilled the requirements of the law while on earth.
As I study God's word, I am continually amazed at how He reveals the story of redemption through the tiniest details of scripture.  The ancient scriptures are like a giant gold mine, with nuggets of truth just waiting to be excavated and enjoyed.
Patterns can be discerned over and over again.  There is a reason that we see certain numbers used over and over again.  Seven.  Twelve.  Fifty.  Three.  Twenty Four.  My next post is going to talk about the amazing parallels between the seven Biblical feasts and the seven elements of the tabernacle, so stay tuned!

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