Good morning, Beloved Family:
As we prepare ourselves for next week, which is called Holy Week, I want us meditate on today’s scripture passage. What kind of love does this? The love of God is so overwhelming. Thank you for your great mercy, Lord.
Living Bible (TLB)
9 1-2 Now in that first agreement between God and his people there were rules for worship and there was a sacred tent down here on earth. Inside this place of worship there were two rooms. The first one contained the golden candlestick and a table with special loaves of holy bread upon it; this part was called the Holy Place. 3 Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was a room called the Holy of Holies. 4 In that room there were a golden incense-altar and the golden chest, called the ark of the covenant, completely covered on all sides with pure gold. Inside the ark were the tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments written on them, and a golden jar with some manna in it, and Aaron’s wooden cane that budded. 5 Above the golden chest were statues of angels called the cherubim—the guardians of God’s glory—with their wings stretched out over the ark’s golden cover, called the mercy seat. But enough of such details.
6 Well, when all was ready, the priests went in and out of the first room whenever they wanted to, doing their work. 7 But only the high priest went into the inner room, and then only once a year, all alone, and always with blood that he sprinkled on the mercy seat as an offering to God to cover his own mistakes and sins and the mistakes and sins of all the people.
8 And the Holy Spirit uses all this to point out to us that under the old system the common people could not go into the Holy of Holies as long as the outer room and the entire system it represents were still in use.
9 This has an important lesson for us today. For under the old system, gifts and sacrifices were offered, but these failed to cleanse the hearts of the people who brought them. 10 For the old system dealt only with certain rituals—what foods to eat and drink, rules for washing themselves, and rules about this and that. The people had to keep these rules to tide them over until Christ came with God’s new and better way.
11 He came as High Priest of this better system that we now have. He went into that greater, perfect tabernacle in heaven, not made by men nor part of this world, 12 and once for all took blood into that inner room, the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled it on the mercy seat; but it was not the blood of goats and calves. No, he took his own blood, and with it he, by himself, made sure of our eternal salvation.
13 And if under the old system the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of young cows could cleanse men’s bodies from sin, 14 just think how much more surely the blood of Christ will transform our lives and hearts. His sacrifice frees us from the worry of having to obey the old rules and makes us want to serve the living God. For by the help of the eternal Holy Spirit, Christ willingly gave himself to God to die for our sins—he being perfect, without a single sin or fault. 15 Christ came with this new agreement so that all who are invited may come and have forever all the wonders God has promised them. For Christ died to rescue them from the penalty of the sins they had committed while still under that old system.
Go forth with grateful hearts filled with joy and thanksgiving. What an awesome God we serve.
Rev. Marcia Davis
Editor’s Note: Today’s amazing image/artwork entitled, “The Mercy Seat” was created by Hope T. Langley.