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Beyond the Veil

(40)

Sermon shared by Abraham Shanklin, Jr.

September 2003
Summary: Michael W. Smith words says it all, ďI coming back to the heart of worship, when itís all about you Jesus.Ē Those are the words of the message this morning Ė the heart of worship. But instead of worshipping God in the distance, you can come up close. You
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there isnít so easy. Thatís the point of verses 6 and 7. It was inaccessible to the people of God.

Only a multitude of priests are "continually entering" the holy place, but "only" the high priest enters the Holy of Holies, and he only enters once a year, and he canít enter unless he takes with him the blood of sacrifice.

When he did, he had to offer a sacrifice for his own sins as well as for the sins of the people. The priests continually entered into the Holy Place, trimming the lamps, burning incense and placing fresh loaves on the table. No sacrifice was required for them to enter.

The high priest entered the Holy of Holies on the annual Day of Atonement, the regulations for which are described in Leviticus 16. The high priest was to sacrifice a bull for himself and his household, and he was to sacrifice a goat for the people.

The blood was sprinkled on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant. The annual observance was in acknowledgment of the sins of the people.

The Holy of Holies is the place to be, and getting there isnít so easy. But even once one gets there, there is only so much that place can do for a person. Thatís the writerís point in verses 8 through 10.

Actually, the writer says, thatís the point the Holy Spirit is making. The Holy Spirit inspired the word, which called for the tabernacle and its regulations. The Holy Spirit is also inspiring the writer of Hebrews.

And the Holy Spirit is saying, both in the history of revelation and in the revelation now being given to the writer, that "the way into the Holy Place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing."

The earthly is a "symbol" - literally, a "parable." It paints a picture of the real thing, but it isnít the real thing. In this parable, gifts and sacrifices were offered, including the annual sacrifices on the Day of Atonement.

But all those gifts and sacrifices - and even the best sacrifice on the most special day by the most special person - "cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience."

Thereís the problem with the old way right there. It canít really affect the conscience. Actually, thereís no problem with the old way, because it was never intended to affect the conscience.

The old way was only a parable, acted out on a daily and annual basis to tell a story about the real thing. It involved regulations concerning certain food and drink to consume, and certain washings, all for the sake of ceremonial cleanliness.

Thatís why they are called "regulations for the body." They affect a worshiper externally but not internally. The external isnít bad, because it tells a story of the internal. But thatís all it does.

God imposed the external regulations until a time of reformation. The time of reformation has come in Christ, so the earthly and external can be discarded.

The Veil Ė Separation between two places

The veil between the holy place and the holy of holies is described as a "skillful work" (Ex. 26:31). The workers were give special divine wisdom in the making of this beautiful veil, which has never been duplicated.

The awesome figures of the cherubim woven into the veil were images of angelic beings of the highest order. Their character, beauty, and power surpass human description.

Symbols of cherubim were used by other Semitic people, appearing in the likeness of winged
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