The temple of God or the sanctuary was divided to three sections: the Court, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. The Most Holy Place was separated from the Holy Place by a veil (Hebrews 9:3).
The Most Holy Place had one piece of furniture which was the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:10–22). The Ark was a chest of acacia wood overlaid with gold. On the top of the chest there were two angel figures (Exodus 25:22) made of solid gold (Exodus 25:18). Between these two angels was the Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:17–22; 40:20), where the presence of God dwelt. This represented God’s throne in heaven, which is also situated between two angels (Psalm 80:1).
The Ten Commandments of God that were written on two tables of stone (Exodus 34:29) were placed inside the ark (Deuteronomy 10:4, 5; Exodus 25:16). These commandments were written by “the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). They were engraved in stone (Exodus 31:18) and they covered the laws concerning the duty of humans to God and man (Exodus 20:2-17).
But the mercy seat was above them, which signifies that as long as God’s people confessed and repented of their sin (Proverbs 28:13), mercy would be given to them through the blood that was sprinkled on the mercy seat by the priest (Leviticus 16:15, 16). The blood of the animal represented Jesus’ blood that would be shed to bring humans forgiveness of sin (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22). Also, inside the Ark was Aaron’s rod that blossomed and the golden pot of manna (Hebrews 9:4).
The Most Holy Place was only entered into by only the High priest on the last day of the Jewish calendar called the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27). All people were to confess their sins. Those who refused were that day cut off forever from Israel (Leviticus 23:29).
In that day, two goats were chosen: One, the Lord’s goat the other, the scapegoat, representing Satan (Leviticus 16:8). The Lord’s goat was killed and sacrificed for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16:9). But on this day, the blood was taken into the Most Holy Place and sprinkled upon and before the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:14).
The sprinkled blood (representing Jesus‘ sacrifice) was accepted by God, and the confessed sins of the people were transferred from the sanctuary to the high priest. He then transferred these confessed sins to the scapegoat, which was taken into the wilderness to die (Leviticus 16:16, 20-22). In this way, the temple was cleansed from the sins of the people, which had been transferred there by the blood sprinkled before the veil and which had been accumulating for the year.
Today, Christ is ministering as our High Priest in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly temple. the apostle Paul wrote, “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1,2).
In His service,
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