Through the Veil
by Guy Cohen and wife Tali, Harvest of Asher Congregation leader, Tents of Mercy Network
Too often we take for granted the invitation to enter into the holy of holies. We have become numbed to the majesty, to the undeserved privilege we casually read about in the Bible. The high priests were not so insensitive. For them it was an exalted, transcendent moment of awe.
When we make an appointment with an important person such as the owner of a company, we do not just walk into his office. There are terms of entrance and a protocol for setting the appointment. There is a waiting room. Only when the owner is available and notifies us, can we go into his posh, oak-paneled executive suite and meet with him from the far side of his oversized mahogany desk, and even then only for a brief visit. He is busy.
How much more weighty is it to be invited into the presence of God in His heavenly tabernacle!
Hebrews 9 describes the Tabernacle God commanded Moses to build on earth, giving intricate details of the work and the sacrifices to be made for the people and for the priests (Exodus 25:9-40). We read a description of the Holy Place and what it contained, continuing on into the Holy of Holies where the ark of the covenant rested holding manna, Aaron's rod and the tablets of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4).
The veil (parochet) separated the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. Only once a year could it be entered, and then only by the high priest (cohen gadol) on the Day of Atonement with intensive preparation. The veil was a double veil, with an interior and an exterior layer. When the high priest went in with his incense he entered the veil through the side and not the middle. The south end of the outer veil was open to the Holy Place. The north end of the inner veil was open to the Holy of Holies.
The earthly Tabernacle was built by the hands of men, whereas the heavenly one is the work of Yeshua. At His death the veil was torn in two down the middle (Luke 23:45).
"Messiah came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation." (Hebrews 9:11)
Sprinkled and Washed
The Holy of Holies, the most important place in the Temple, was not entered lightly. The high priest had to follow many conditions and processes of purification. God spelled out these instructions for purification and sacrifices in Leviticus 16.
What about us as believers today? Unlike the high priests, we have been granted an open invitation to continually enter in! God's grace purifies us - not the work of our hands but the work of His. He gave all men a way, through His blood and sacrifice, to enter the Holy of Holies.
"Therefore brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Yeshua, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh ... let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:19-22)
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