Let’s begin by reading Exodus 25:8, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” These words were spoken by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. God’s desire for the nation of Israel was to “dwell among them” and thus He gave Moses instructions for building a sanctuary in which He would live. This sanctuary was called the “Tabernacle” (or Tent) while they sojourned in the wilderness for 40 years and when they lived in Canaan a permanent “Temple” was built. You can read, in great detail, of the building of this sanctuary in Exodus 25:11 – 40:33. Once it was completed, we read these marvelous words in Exodus 40:34-35, “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”

Though we just read twice that “the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle,” we learn elsewhere that there were two main “rooms” that made up the tabernacle. Hebrews 9:2-3 says, “For there was a tabernacle prepared, the OUTER ONE, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the HOLY PLACE. Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the HOLY OF HOLIES” (NASB). A large veil separated these two rooms and it was in the second room, known as the “Holy of Holies,” that God lived. No man was allowed to enter the second room except the high priest, and that only once a year. We read about that in Hebrews 9:6-7, “Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing divine worship, but INTO THE SECOND, ONLY THE HIGH PRIEST ENTERS ONCE A YEAR, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance” (NASB). What does this teach us? It teaches us that the people were separated from God (pictured by the “veil”) and that access into God’s presence was only allowed by a blood sacrifice. Every year this sacrifice was offered by the high priest and it was the only means of God forgiving His people. It never took away their sins permanently, for it had to be repeated annually, but it did foreshadow the supreme sacrifice that Jesus Christ would offer on the cross when He willingly laid down His life and shed His blood so that our sins could be put away forever. After His death He entered into heaven (which was pictured by the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle) with the merits of that sacrifice. Hebrews 9:11-12 speak of this: “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

Because Christ has entered into heaven with all the value of His atoning blood, the believer in Jesus Christ has the right to enter into the Holy of Holies at any time. We learn of this in Hebrews 10:19-20, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh” (NKJV). You may recall that as soon as Christ died and shed His precious blood, the veil of the temple was torn in two (see Matthew 27:50-51). This signified that the way into God’s holy presence in heaven had been accomplished. I would ask my fellow-believers, “Are we taking advantage of this privilege to enter the Holy of Holies? Do we desire to be in God’s Presence where we can offer our prayers and praise to Him?” Surely it GOD’S DESIRE that we enter into His presence! This is brought out clearly in Hebrews 10:21-22, “And having a High Priest over the house of God, LET US DRAW NEAR WITH A TRUE HEART IN FULL ASSURANCE OF FAITH.”  (202.3)  (DO)