Summary: This message is designed to encourage the listener to approach God no matter what their condition.
Intro: The priest reverently and ceremonially washes his hands. Then prepares his robe and arranges in place the ephod, the breastplate with the thummim and urim; The Truth and The Revelation. A long rope is fashioned about his waist and bells at the hem of his robe. One last prayer is offered up to the Most High before he enters the Holy of Holies- the very presence of God. He trembles and takes a deep breath and enters beyond the veil on behalf of the people.
Explain: This responsibility was unique to the High Priest who only once a year would make several specific sacrifices for himself and all the children of Israel for their sin. The Holy of Holies contained the very presence of God. This is the reason they fashioned the rope about his waist and the bells at the hem of his robe because if the Priest who entered did not prepare himself and the sacrifices properly, he would die. The people would hear the bells ringing indicating movement and that the priest was still alive, but in the unfortunate event he died they would use the rope to pull him out from the Holy of Holies since they themselves could not enter.
But now, Jesus, our High Priest, went where we couldn’t go so we could have what we couldn’t get on our own.
Heb 4:14 Having then a great high priest, who has made his way through the heavens, even Jesus the Son of God, let us be strong in our faith.
Heb 4:15 For we have not a high priest who is not able to be touched by the feelings of our feeble flesh; but we have one who has been tested in all points as we ourselves are tested, but without sin.
Heb 4:16 Then let us come near to the seat of grace without fear, so that mercy may be given to us, and we may get grace for our help in time of need.
I. Where we couldn’t go- Beyond the Veil
a. Mat 27:51 Suddenly, the curtain in the temple was split in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split open. Signify 2 things
i. Boundary between God and people removed
ii. God’s Presence-the Holy Spirit was no longer bound to geographic location
1. Rom 5:5 and I Cor 6:19
iii. Also not all were born of a priestly line. Access to God was limited to a select people
b. Fact still remains- No one can stand in the presence of God and live
i. Exo 33:20 But you can’t see my face, because no one may see me and live."
ii. Today is no different, we still need to die, that is to our flesh to experience more and more of the depth of all God has for us. Gal 2:20, Luke 9:23, Jn 3:30
c. There is more than what we see in part now as Paul says, we can experience God, now- at church, at home, in your car, on a camping trip, during a fight with your spouse, when the rent is due, when sickness attacks your house or when you get a promotion, when you receive an answer to prayer, when God showers you with His Love just because.
Illustration/humor: Fellowship with the Father
A happy Christian met an Irish peddler one day and said to him, "It’s a grand thing to be saved." "Aye," said the peddler, "It is. But I think something is equally as good as that." "What can you possibly think is equal to salvation?" "The companionship of the Man who has saved me," was the reply. When we know that, we can rejoice with John and say "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1Jo_1:3).