A few weeks ago, I was out of town while Suzie remained at home in West Palm Beach. I was only away for one night and we did speak on the phone several times. However, it was nice to come back home and be able to not only talk to her and hear her, but to be able to see her and touch her.
I do enjoy spending time with my wife. I enjoy spending time with other members of my family. It is a big deal when I am able to spend time with family members that live in other states. I enjoy spending time with my friends. I also enjoy spending time with God.
But spending time with God seems to be more of a challenge. We don’t see him nor can we touch him. However, for those who are in relationship with him through Christ, we are invited into his presence. This is such an awe-inspiring concept.
In the Old Testament the tabernacle and then the temple were symbols of God’s presence. The design of these facilities limited access to the presence of God. A separate courtyard existed for Gentiles and another for women. Only Jewish men could advance. Then only priests of the tribe of Levi could advance farther.
For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place.
— Hebrews 9:2
This Holy Place was where the priests would go regularly to perform their ritual duties. A second place existed, but with even more restrictions.
Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat.
— Hebrews 9:3-5
This second place, the Most Holy Place, was restricted so that only the high priest could enter. He was only allowed to enter one day a year. This place was were the high priest would be in the presence of God on behalf of the people.
What an amazing day that must have been for the high priest — the enter into the presence of God. What is even more amazing is that because of the death of Jesus all who are in relationship with God are now granted access to that Most Holy Place. It is no longer a physical structure with curtains and furniture. When Jesus died on the cross, the separating veil leading to the Most Holy Place was torn in two. Thus opening the way for entrance. In fact, the author Hebrews exhorts Christians to enter themselves into the Most Holy Place — or into the presence of God.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
— Hebrews 10:19-22
So we have the opportunity and the privilege to enter into the presence of God. In the next few days, I will use the tabernacle/temple structure as a guide to our journey into the Most Holy Place.
Here are a few steps of the journey which we will cover:
- Confessing and Repenting
- Sacrificial Presentation
- Reading the Bible
I hope you will join me in this journey into the Most Holy Place. For here, we will meet with God.