DAILY WORD 7/17/20
1. That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth.
2. There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lampstand, a table, and sacred loaves of bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place.
3. Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy Place.
4. In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant.
5. Above the Ark were the cherubim of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place of atonement. But we cannot explain these things in detail now.
Hebrews 9:1–5 NLT
Today’s passage begins Chapter 9 of the Book of Hebrews and starts the author’s thought as he continues his argument that Jesus’s Priesthood trumps that of the Levitical priests.
As I first read the first 10 Verses of this Chapter, my original thought was to just plow through all 10 Verses and cover the entire opening segment of this Chapter in go. But that is not how you eat “Meat”.
Nobody (wise) takes an entire expensive, perfectly cooked steak and all the sides and just shoves the whole thing in their mouths without cutting it up first. No! You slice off bite-sized pieces and savor the succulent flavor of each exquisite bite.
So that’s what I’m doing here. Once again, I’ll be treating this like the “Strong Meat” of the Gospel that it is and taking it bite by bite so that we don’t miss any of its intricacy or nuance.
The author starts off this Chapter, in which he is still displaying both the difference and Superiority of Jesus’s Priesthood versus that of the Levitical priests, with an explanation of the original Tabernacle or the physical space that Housed the Spirit of God where the priests served. This Original Tabernacle was first constructed after Moses left God’s Presence on Mt. Saini when the Children of Isreal were wandering in the wilderness.
The author details the setup of that space that God Gave specific instructions for. It was critically important that builders of the Tabernacle got the specifications correct because it could literally be the difference between life and death.
To be a Levitical priest, especially in that day, meant to live on the razor’s edge. If they got their duties wrong or if they entered into the Tabernacle unclean, there was a real threat of death at the Hands of God Himself, so there was literally no margin for error.
The author begins his argument by describing the interior of the Tabernacle to his readers, which they all would’ve all been familiar with, however, this New Covenant would have been both new and different to them and obviously confusing to many of them. Otherwise, he would have had no need to write this Book.
As we continue through his explanation, we will get deeper into his thought process as far as the Tabernacle goes but for today, let’s focus on the office of the Levitical priests for just a moment.
They had to be right before they entered into the Tabernacle or face their demise. This meant ritual sacrifice, washing, and self-examination. Their lives were at stake every time they entered into the Presence of the Lord and if they got it wrong it was over for them!
Today, because of Jesus’s Sacrifice, we have the Decided Privilege to enter into that very same Presence on a whim, a Blessing that to be honest, we quite often take for granted!
The same action that once took blood sacrifice, ritual washing, and fear to approach, we can accomplish by simply bowing our heads and thinking, or kneeling and speaking, or even just walking and offering up a simple prayer!
This is the point the author is making. There is no comparison between Jesus, The Great High Priest, and His predecessors. He is Superior in every way, as is His Ministry and His Relationship with us. Because of Him, we have a level of Freedom that they could only have dreamed of!
Have a Phenomenal Friday, FB, and Stay Safe out there!