The day was finally here, the tenth day of the seventh month. Everyone in the camp knew it was coming and made their preparations for their once-a-year Day of Atonement.
It had been many years since the day their grandfathers told them about when Moses came down off the mountain where he met with God. They had heard the story over and over of how Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, he didn’t know his face had become radiant from speaking to the LORD. It shone so much that he put a veil over it.
This was the day where the covenant of law given on that mountain had to be kept. The people couldn’t keep the whole law so there had to be a sacrifice on their behalf.
On this day, no one in the camp of Israel could work. Not even the servants. This way, everyone waited to be made clean before the Lord. He had commanded them to rest while the sacrifice was made on their behalf to cleanse them of all their sin.
The “Tent of Meeting” was there with all its mystery in the center of their camp. This was the tent where the Spirit of Yahweh God chose to reside. This was the God of their ancestors; of Abraham, and of Isaac and of Jacob. This tent where Holiness resided was right smack dab in the middle of a sinful people who were dearly loved. The only people who went into this place of meeting were Moses and their high priest, Aaron.
The Lord had given Moses everything he needed to know and told him to pass it on to his brother, Aaron. Moses told Aaron not to go into “the Holy Place inside the veil before the mercy-seat” all free-wheeling or else he’d die.
See, this place where the Spirit of LORD dwelt was made up of 2 compartments that were divided by a curtain called a VEIL. And within that veil was the place called the Holy of Holies. Inside this place, was the ark of the Covenant which represented the Covenant Promise the Lord made to His people. The ark held the written Law God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai as well as some of the Manna, Israel’s dessert sustenance…God’s merciful provision in their wandering.
What made this Most Holy Place the most holy was what was on top of the ark. This space was called the mercy-seat. Two angels fashioned out of gold were on either side of the mercy-seat of the ark.
It was over this mercy-seat that the Lord chose to let His Spirit rest like a cloud and relate with His people.
So with some very detailed instructions including lots of washing, clean linen, and the choosing of acceptable animal sacrifices, Aaron went into the Most Holy Place to give sacrifice for alllll of Israel’s sin. He sacrificed for his own sin and the sin of his family first so that he was pure to even go into the veil to commune with God. If he didn’t do this first, then he would have died upon entering the veil.
This is how serious God is about sin coming into His presence. Sin is destroyed by the presence of Life and Holiness. Every. Time.
After sacrificing for himself, Aaron was told to sprinkle the blood onto the mercy-seat 7 times to atone for the sins of the people.
God accepted this sacrifice, but there was also a live animal waiting outside the Holy Place. Aaron went out of the veil where, still in the Tent of Meeting, he would place his hands on the head of the animal and confess all the sins of the people of Israel. After placing all these sins on the head of the animal, he would let it go into the wilderness. Then, Aaron left the tent, where he’d been instructed to take off all his clean linen garments, wash again then burn a sacrifice for his sins and the sins of the people.
Fast-forward about 1,500 years with this same nation of Israel and you will find them using this same process. The veil remained separating the people from the Holiest Place.
Things had changed though. Their leadership was full of corruption and self-righteous hypocrisy. The high priest of the day was Joseph Caiaphas. They were waiting on a powerful man who would lead Israel in the fight to overcome the Romans who had taken over by now. Caiaphas manipulated himself right into being one of the most dedicated sycophants of the Roman rulers.
He got wind of a Galilean coming and stirring up trouble among the Jews. And what Caiaphas couldn’t control, he meant to kill.
What he didn’t know was that his Great High Priest and the ultimate sacrifice, the Lamb of God, was on that Roman cross. What that high priest didn’t know was that his saving grace was on display in Jesus Christ.
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
:: Matthew 27: 50-51 ::
And the story doesn’t end there. No ma’am, no sir! Our High Priest drank the last drop of the wrath we deserve and then He rose from the dead. Conquering sin and death He lives and is interceding for us now at the Mercy Seat. He has chosen to let His presence not rest in the Tent of Meeting or in the Tabernacle…but in US!
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold. not like Moses, who would veil his face so that Israelite might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes to this day, whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.
But when one turns to the Lord the veil is removed. now the lord is the spirit and where the spirit of the lord is there is freedom. and we all with unveiled faces, are beholding the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into that same image with ever-increasing glory. For this comes from the Lord who is the spirit.
:: 2 Corinthians 3: 12-18 ::
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the veil, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
:: Hebrews 6:19 ::
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
:: Hebrews 9:12 ::
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 veil, 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. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
:: Hebrews 10:19-23 ::
He who promised is faithful!
Yes, Faithful and True according is the promise in Revelation.
In this hope of glory, there will be another veil lifted…the wedding veil of His Bride.
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
:: Revelation 19:6-9 ::
So today, friends, we who know Him are living within the veil. Within this veil all doubt, despair, darkness, death and sin has been removed.
Within the veil, where we abide, is the assurance of unconditional love and acceptance, a Living Hope under the satisfactory provision of Christ. This place is not designed by physical hands and its’ entrance isn’t guarded by anyone. We have full access to it. Each time I breathe and feel the air in my lungs; each time I hear that gently whisper of the Love that quiets my soul; each time I see evidence of God in His creation, there I am in the Most Holy Place with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.