The Tabernacle : The Most Holy Place Hebrews Chapter 9 Part 4

04 December, 2021

Hebrews 9:1-5

Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread;this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant.This ark contained the gold jar of manna,Aaron’s staff that had budded,and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover.But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

We are still in the first five verses of Hebrews chapter 9.

What’s the tabernacle, what’s it’s shape, what’s it’s dimensions, what’s  its design, what’s inside it, what’s its purpose? We need to have the answers for all these. Only then can we understand the priestly work of our Lord Jesus. Then we can understand how it is applicable in our lives.

We already explored the outer courtyard and then the Holy Place.

Today we will take a closer look at  the most Holy Place of the tabernacle. This place is separated from the Holy Place by a very thick curtain. The Most Holy Place or the Holy of Holies is a 15*15*15 feet cube.

All worshipers stay under open sky in the outer courtyard where the animal sacrifices and washing happens. Only priests are allowed inside the Holy Place.  No one else is allowed in. However only the high priest is allowed entry into the most Holy Place.

Once inside the most Holy Place it’s pitch dark in there. There is no lampstand here. However it’s here that the presence of God resides and his glory shines through. And God is its light!

Once every year on a particular day the high priest enters the most Holy Place with the blood of the sacrifice. This  day was the day of Atonement also known as Yom Kippur. On this day the high priest would enter through the thick curtain wearing garments prescribed by God himself and bearing the blood of the sacrifice.

On the day of Jesus’ crucifixion it was this very thick curtain that tore top to bottom as we read in the gospels.  This curtain was inches thick.

We read in the next chapter of Hebrews :

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, – Hebrews 10:19-20

If during the Old Testament time only the high priest could enter into the most Holy Place,  now  anyone, anytime, for any need can boldly approach the mercy seat  of God.

The only furniture in this most Holy Place   is the Ark  of the covenant which is made of Acacia wood and coated with gold. The ark was small in  size, 3.45 ft length, 2.15 ft wide and 2.15ft height but it was very   significant.  On top of the Ark were  two cherubs which are highly ranked angels also made of gold. They had  spread wings and in   between the wings is the  place called the mercy seat of God. It is here that the blood of sacrificed animals is poured. In old testament days there was only mercy available and mercy is when the punishment due  for something  wrong is cancelled. In the New Testament we have both mercy and grace.  Grace is the empowerment required for leading  our   life.   The two cherubs symbolises the two angels that were at the entrance of the garden of Eden when Adam sinned. These angels had swords that fell on Jesus as he died for the sins of mankind. Inside the ark there were three things,  a  golden jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the two stone tablets of Moses. It was forbidden to look inside the Ark.

1 Samuel 6 :19

But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them.

Here we can see people looking inside the Ark of the covenant and dying.

The golden jar of manna represents the provision by God for people as food. However people murmured against God about its taste. God had warned them to never store them for the future as it will spoil easily. But the Manna that was placed in this  golden jar never spoiled even after many years. This is because it was placed in God’s presence. This manna also represents the word of God  (the bread that came from heaven) penetrating  deep into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. This word will then become life within us.

Aaron’s staff that had budded represents rebellion and disrespect of authority God had placed over the people.

The stone tablets were the ten commandments God gave through Moses.   Not one  person could keep the ten commandments. This jar represents our failure to keep God’s commandments.

In short, when God looks inside the Ark he sees failure to keep his commandments, ungrateful attitude, and rebellion.

There is also a positive side to the Ark. The blood of all sacrificed animals were poured over this Ark of covenant every year for the covering of sin of the people.  Years later when Jesus died for our sins once and for all, He  poured his blood not here on  earth but  upon the original  mercy seat of God in heaven.

We will look into some comparisons of the tabernacle to different earthly representations.

If earth is seen as the outer courtyard the holy place is the mid-heaven and the most holy place is the third heaven. In the old testament  high priests poured blood of animals only on the day of atonement. It was not full forgiveness of sins, it was just a masking process. Jesus however did the full washing off of our sins once and for all.

Remember all furniture in the courtyard was of bronze but both the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies were made of gold.

Then we can compare the tabernacle to man. Man is made of three parts body, soul and spirit. The body can be compared to the outer courtyard which is visible to all. The holy and most holy place is the soul and spirit which is invisible.

Another  similarity is  in the  spiritual growth of a person. First an individual is  born again. This can be compared  to the  outer courtyard, next Holy Spirit baptism to the Holy place and being led by Spirit to the most Holy Place.

Three types of baptisms. Water baptism can be compared  to the  outer courtyard experience, next Holy Spirit baptism to the Holy place and baptism by fire to the most Holy Place.
The bible talks about three types of man natural man, carnal man and spiritual man. The natural man can be compared to the outer courtyard, the carnal man to the Holy place and the spiritual man to the most Holy place.

The various levels of acceptance can also be seen as the parts of the tabernacle. Firstly the common people as the outer courtyard, serving priests as the Holy place and the high priest as the most Holy place.

Our spiritual maturity phases or stages can also be compared to the three parts of the tabernacle. The little children ( 1 John 2. 12) to the outer courtyard, the young men (1 John 2. 13) to the Holy Place and   fathers to the most Holy Place according to their spiritual maturity.

The lights that are present are also unique as natural light or sunlight is present in the outer courtyard, in the Holy Place light comes from the  lampstand or menorah. One is God created light and the other  is manmade light. However, in the most Holy Place God himself is the  light. In the book of Revelation we read

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. – Revelation 21:23

If everything shows the reflection of our   spiritual life  let us examine  our inner self and find out where we belong. Are we outside the outer courtyard? Or are we in the  outer courtyard or the Holy Place or in the most Holy Place? Let us yearn to be in the most Holy Place.

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About the Author
Ps. Damien Antony
Born and brought up in a Christian family, Ps. Damien Antony possessed an unquenching quest for truth right from his boyhood days and eventually his relentless search led him to the Bible. He is a Revival Preacher, Bible Teacher, Leadership Trainer, Author and a Life Coach. He moves under the anointing for Prophetic, Healing, Deliverance, Inner Healing and Financial Breakthrough. God has also blessed him with an Apostolic Mandate to take the Universal Body of Christ to the next level of revelation and anointing.

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