Summary: #15 - the final lesson in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness series. We began in the presence of God at the Ark; lost the power to go into God’s presence through sin; but now Jesus has torn down the last barrier and opened the Way. Praise God!
#15 The Last Barrier Has Been Removed
Tabernacle in the Wilderness Series
By Pastor Jim May
The Veil before the Holy of Holies
(SHOW PICTURE OF VEIL)
Exodus 26:31-33, "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."
The last barrier between God and man, in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was a very large, very thick veil, or curtain. It was there to protect the people from entering into the presence of God unworthily, not to protect God from the people. Entering into the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat and the Shekinah Glory of God without fulfilling every law and ceremonial cleansing meant instant death. It was a glorious sight to behold, but only for those who had made themselves ready.
Can you remember what it will be like when Jesus comes again in all of His glory? We, the Church, the Bride of Christ, will welcome His appearing. It will be glorious for us on that day when we look upon His face as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But it won’t be that way for the multitudes that have rejected Him. They will not want to see His face. They will cry out for the mountains and rocks to cover them. They will be forced to stand and behold His face, as their Righteous Judge, and every one of them, who refused to bow their knee before Him in life, will be forced to bow before Him in the judgment – and then they will be cast into the Lake of Fire, which is the second death. There, in that horrible pit, they will burn forever, ever suffering and nearing death but never reaching death and finding relief from their pain.
In the Tabernacle, the Veil, with blue, scarlet, purple and white coloring, and embroidered with images of cherubim, hanging there and gazing on every move that the priests made, kept him aware of the holiness of the work that was set before him.
Every priest who entered there was reminded of the judgment that fell upon Nadab and Abihu when they were disobedient in their ministry. Leviticus 10:1-4 tells their story. "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp." How would you have wanted to be the ones to have to go in and get them out, knowing that God had already burned them for entering in unworthily?
Entering beyond the veil was only done with reverence, obedience and fear on behalf of the priests, for they knew that God is an “Awesome, Powerful, Holy God”. If they missed anything in their preparation, and took one step inside that Holy of Holies, it could be their last on this earth.
The veil hung from gold hooks supported by four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold anchored into four sockets of silver and it was as "skillfully woven" as man could make it. No doubt, the workers were given divine wisdom in the making of this beautiful veil, and according to all I have researched, it has never been duplicated.
The 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. It was as if God had placed a continuous guard before the entrance saying, "This far, but no further!" The same creatures were placed at the entrance of the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve were driven out to protect the tree of life.
Before this veil was ripped from top to bottom at the death of Jesus on the Cross, mankind had no direct access to God’s presence. In His death, Jesus brought forth resurrection of those who had died in faith, believing in Him as the Son of God, come to take away the sin of the world. He also created an “Open Door” into the very presence of God, so that we could go to Him at will, and not have to depend upon some human priest to go in for us. Now we all have direct access to the Throne of Grace when we are in need.