Summary: Reaching our to be in the presence of God during our time of need.
Beyond The Veil
It has been a difficult last few months. Many of us have been faced with so much at one time that we have wondered if it would ever end. For me personally, I have found myself reaching through the veil for Christ and to be in God’s presence. Have you ever faced such difficult circumstances where you found yourself reaching beyond the veil to enter into the presence of God? Let me explain this so that you understand what I am talking about. Several years ago I was having dinner with a close friend who had recently had surgery. While we were all eating, she began to tell us about her surgery and what she had gone through and how God had delivered her. With tears in her eyes she told me that she had to reach beyond the veil. When she told me that, I thought about what she meant - reaching beyond the veil withy hope. This is an image of hope but let me share with you some history about the veil.
God called Solomon to build the first temple where the Ark of the Covenant would be stored. David wanted to build it, but God would not let him because David was a man of war and had shed the blood of men (1 Chronicles 28:3). God therefore called Solomon to build the first temple which became the model for other temples following it. Now the temple that is mentioned in the Gospels is the second temple that was started by Herod in 20 B.C. This is the temple that you will need to understand in order to know what was meant about reaching beyond the veil. This temple contained two courts. The inner court was for the priests and Jews and the outer court was for the Gentiles. The temple had fifteen porches which circled around the two courts. These porches were where a lot religious discussions and debates took place and they were very coveted places within the temple. The Holy Place which held the ten golden candlesticks (symbolic of God) was for the priests only and the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place was off limits except for one day during the year – the Day of Atonement. This was the room that held the Ark of the Covenant and was later viewed as the place where God’s Spirit dwelt. The Holy of Holies could not be entered into except by the High Priest. Every year a High Priest was named and the High Priest for that year would enter into the Holy of Holies once during the appointed time (Day of Atonement) to offer a blood sacrifice and incense on behalf of the people for the forgiveness of sin. So what this meant was that the High Priest could only enter into God’s presence once per year and everyone else could not go into God’s presence at all. Do you understand what this means? Most of the people who lived during this time lived their whole life without ever having been in the presence of God and we have the opportunity to be in His presence anytime we so desire. But let me get back to my point of the veil.
The Holy Place was separated from the Holy of Holies (Most Holy Place) by a veil. This veil hung from the ceiling to the floor and symbolically separated man from God. Again, one man, once per year, could go behind the veil into God’s presence. I do not know about you, but right now I could not last a year without being in His presence and this my friends is what my friend was talking about: reaching beyond the veil to enter into God’s presence during the time of need. Our ability to reach beyond the veil into God’s presence is dependant upon the type of Christian we are.
I. What Type Of Christian Are You?
Everyone one of us is different. We look different, we act different, we smell different, we dress different and we live in different places. With all of the differences that make us unique, we share several common bonds. First, we are all human and were created by the same God. Second, for those who accept Christ as their Savior, we become spiritual brothers and sisters. But although we all become Christians, we do not all become the same “type” of Christian or act the same way. So this morning, I want us to consider the type of Christian we are.
For the purpose of this message, I want to give you a visual for your reference. Remember the description of the temple that I gave you? Well I want to use this setting, our Church, as a replica of the temple so that you will be able to understand the difference types of Christians that I want to talk about. So here is how I want you to visualize this: