Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place. Leviticus 16:2
In the wake of the coronavirus, retrieving something from my safety deposit box required even more layers of protocol than before. Now I had to make an appointment, call when I arrived to be granted entrance to the bank, show my identification and signature, and then wait to be escorted into the vault by a designated banker. Once inside, the heavy doors locked again until I’d found what I needed inside the metal box. Unless I followed the instructions, I wasn’t able to enter.
In the Old Testament, God had specific protocols for entering part of the tabernacle called the Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:33). Behind a special curtain, one that “separate[d] the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place,” only the high priest could enter once a year (Hebrews 9:7). Aaron, and the high priests who would come after him, were to bring offerings, bathe, and wear sacred garments before entering (Leviticus 16:3–4). God’s instructions weren’t for health or security reasons; they were meant to teach the Israelites about the holiness of God and our need for forgiveness.
At the moment of Jesus’ death, that special curtain was torn (Matthew 27:51), symbolically showing that all people who believe in His sacrifice for their forgiveness of sin can enter God’s presence. The tear in the tabernacle curtain is reason for our unending joy—Jesus has enabled us to draw near to God always!
In what ways are you aware of being drawn near to God? How does that truth bring you joy?
Thank You, Jesus, for making it possible for me to be drawn near to God always.
To learn how to draw nearer to God this year.
The book of Leviticus was “God’s guidebook for His newly redeemed people, showing them how to worship, serve and obey a holy God” (Talk Thru the Bible, Wilkinson and Boa). Indeed, the most significant word in the book of Leviticus is holy, a translation of the Hebrew qados, which means “apartness, separateness, sacredness.” In its various forms this word appears in Leviticus more than in any other book of the Bible. The tangible presence of the holy God of Israel in the midst of His people required certain protocols and codes of conduct. God’s words to Moses for the people He set apart for Himself were: “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy’ ” (Leviticus 19:2; see also 11:44). And His word to believers in Christ, those He indwells by His Spirit today, is nothing less (see 1 Peter 1:15).