Wednesday, March 07, 2012

120307 - Exodus 26-27 - the Way (John 14:6) to the Holiest made manifest

Wednesday SOAP: The remainder of the Tabernacle's appointments. The veil itself becomes one of the most meaningful elements; not because of its beauty, (Isaiah 53:2), but because of the separation it implies between man and God. This is the same God who warned man and beast not to try to climb Sinai. The same God who broke forth on Uzzah - but a way to access His mercy was provided. It was mysterious, and limited, but always visible to the priests. What might it represent?

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S: And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place. (Ex 26:31-34).

O: In continuing to think about the furniture of the Tabernacle, I find far more in Ex. 26-27 than I could write about in a few minutes. I especially like the idea that the framing of the Tabernacle is founded on silver sockets, (26:19), symbolizing purity; and that the fire in the lamp is to be kept burning continually, (27:20) making me think of the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1). But it is the veil which creates the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Mercy Seat, toward which I really want to devote sufficient time in thought today.

A: The way to mercy was not yet made manifest at this time. This is the interpretation Hebrews 9:8 places on the separating veil. Hebrews 10:19-20 moves on to identify our bold access to the very holiest of places as being through Jesus' flesh, the veil. The very thought is at once deeply humbling and provocative of the very highest worship: Jesus became human, a walking Temple of God (John 2:19) for the express purpose of breaking that body (1 Corinthians 11:24) to give us manifest access to the mercy that was already there in the Old Testament, but mysteriously so. How could the broken Law in the Ark be covered by the seat of mercy without a propitiating sacrifice? Only because the coming of Christ awaited the fulness of time. (Gal. 4:4) Once this was made clear, the Temple's veil was torn from top to bottom, (Matthew 27:51), to show in a very sovereign way that the shadow of good things to come was no longer the way to God's mercy, (Heb. 10:1), and that there remained no more sacrifice for sins. (10:18, 26)

P: Father, until John the Baptist, all those who died in faith had not seen the promise we have seen, the way into your very presence. You never change: your mercies have always been new every morning, but you waited to reveal the foundation of that mercy to this age of Grace, and how grateful I am that I am here to see it.

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