And he [Moses] brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Sin separates us from God. It comes between us and cuts off the blessings of God in our lives. Scripture details God’s holiness and His zero tolerance for sin. Even though our culture has become comfortable with sin, God has not. Without grace and mercy, His holiness would consume us.
In the book of Exodus, God told Moses that He wanted to dwell with, to tabernacle with the children of Israel. However, the sin issue had to be addressed. He commanded Moses to create a barrier, a veil, in the Tabernacle. He dwelt between the cherubim above the Ark of the Covenant behind the curtain in the Holy of Holies. The priests and the people lived on the other side of the curtain because if they approached God in their sin, His holiness would destroy them.
This was no ordinary curtain. God gave specific design instructions to Moses. Bible scholars say the veil was 50 feet wide and 30 feet high, made of fine linen with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. It was so heavy that it took 300 priests (150 to the right and 150 to the left) to pull it back for the high priest to enter through the middle. To raise and lower it, 150 oxen were used to pull it into place. It was comprised of 200 embroidered squares that, when put together, displayed beautiful gold cherubim.
In the Old Testament, forgiveness was not a simple matter of confession. A significant amount of effort had to be extended. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to atone for all the sins of Israel for the year. Bearing the sacrifice, he went in with bells around the hem of his robe and a rope around his ankle. If the bells ceased to ring, the priests would use the rope to pull out his body. The sacrifice was unacceptable. This was serious business.
When Jesus died on the Cross, Hebrews 9 tells us that He, as our perfect High Priest, entered the heavenly Tabernacle with His own Blood to make atonement once and for all for all of us. As Jesus breathed His last, God ripped the Temple veil from top to bottom (Mark 15:38).
His body was torn on the Cross, His Blood was shed, and we now have bold access to the throne of grace where we can obtain mercy (Hebrews 4:16). No ordinary Savior became no ordinary sacrifice to tear through no ordinary curtain.
Heavenly Father, the perfection of Your plan amazes me. Thank You for the shed blood of Jesus, for His body that was torn to give us free access to Your throne of grace. Through the name of Jesus…amen.
Today’s Bible Reading:
Psalms & Proverbs