Have you ever tried to read the Bible and got bogged down in the Book of Numbers or Leviticus and wonder why God put them there?
Like our body, all parts of the Bible are necessary, some parts are not as attractive as other parts but often these parts are vital for our salvation.
Have you ever heard a sermon preached on the Sanctuary in the Old Testament?
Why did The Lord institute in the Old Testament, the Sanctuary service where He required the sacrifice of animals to atone for the sins of the Israelites, His Chosen People?
The sacrifice of animals was to point forward to His Sacrifice for us on Calvary. The blood of animals can never atone for our sins; it was a symbol of His death on the cross.
Did you know the Sanctuary service was instituted to teach us about the Plan of Salvation? After Jesus death as our Sacrifice, at the third hour, the exact time the paschal lamb was about to be slain, the High Priest raised the knife to kill the lamb, the curtain to the Most Holy Place was ripped from the top to the bottom by an unseen Hand, Mark 15:38, disclosing The Most Holy Place to all eyes and signifying the end of the sacrificial services because Jesus is our Sacrifice and He died once to save us all. Hebrews.
The furniture in the Sanctuary is placed in the shape of the cross.
We enter through the door of the Sanctuary; Jesus is the Door to the sheepfold. We are now in the Outer Courtyard reserved for Gentiles or unbelievers, we see the Altar of Sacrifice, which is at the foot of the Cross. We lay our burdens at His Feet. We are invited to accept His Sacrifice on our behalf. Hebrews 9:11-13; Romans 2:28-29.
Then we move to the Laver which points to the Baptismal Service where we are washed clean from our sins by immersion under the water, which signifies death to our old way of life, and we rise to newness of life in Christ. A foretaste of the Great Resurrection Day. We die as sinful mortals, and He raises us to Immortal Life with Him, clothed in His Righteousness.
Then we move forward through the veil into the Holy Place, on His Left-hand, is the Table of Shewbread. Only God’s people, those who have accepted His Sacrifice, enter here. It has 12 pieces of unleavened bread in two piles on it, one for every tribe of the Children of Israel. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we become part of the 12 tribes of Spiritual Israel, we are Abraham’s seed. (1 Peter 2:9) Jesus said He is the Bread of Life, He is the Word, He supplies all our needs, and we feed daily on His Word.
Then we cross to His Right Hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. Jesus is the Light of the World, He lights our lives with His Spirit, He gives us wisdom and understanding, and the fruits of the Spirit. Seven is a perfect number, the seven Churches in Revelation, represented by the seven Golden Candlesticks, represent His faithful people from the cross to the crown.
Then we move to the Altar of Incense, which is placed over His Heart and we ask Him to intercede for us and offer our prayers on the golden Altar. Our prayers are mixed with the incense, which represents the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us with groanings that cannot be uttered, before the Throne of God. Romans 8:28
Then we move into the Most Holy Place and we see the Ark of the Covenant, with a cherubim on each side of the Ark. Their heads bowed in reverence and adoration, their wings touching above the Mercy Seat, which is God’s Throne. Inside the Ark are the 10 Commandments, the standard God will use to judge each one of us. They are a transcript of His Character of Love. Jesus, the God of Love who did not sin, by living His Law perfectly, died for us who are lost in sin to make a way of escape for us, if we accept His Sacrifice. “The wages of sin is death but the Gift of God is Eternal Life” (Romans 6:23)
Jesus is in the Most Holy Place now, doing the work of the High Priest on our behalf.
Once a year the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement, and he sprinkled blood on the Mercy Seat, which contained the 10 Commandments, thus symbolizing God’s Justice, covered by His Mercy. God would no longer see their sins because they are covered by His Blood.
When the Most Holy Place had been cleansed of the record of sins, the High Priest was to take the ‘Scapegoat”, place his hands on its head and symbolically transfer all the sins to it and a man chosen would lead the goat into the wilderness. This ceremony was to typify Jesus taking our confessed sins in the Judgment, cleansing the Heavenly Sanctuary of the record of our sin, and placing them on the head of Satan who will bare them, and then when Jesus comes, He will bring His Reward with Him, Eternal Life to those who choose it and Eternal Death to those who would not be happy with the peace and joy and unselfish love of Heaven.