An Imperfect Tabernacle
Spend a few minutes on your knees or bowed before the Lord before proceeding to read today’s passage.
Read Hebrews 9:1-10
 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.  A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.  Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,  which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.  Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.  When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry.  But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.  The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.  This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.  They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings-external regulations applying until the time of the new order. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy were these rituals and ceremonies only temporary?
It is often said, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” I have attended many functions and sat in special seats, not because of who I am or anything I did, but because of someone I knew. Let’s see if the writer to the Hebrews would agree with this comment. In discussing the tabernacle, see how few words he gives to the tent (2,3) compared to his comments about the furniture. He is more concerned with the items representing people’s ability to have access to God than with the venue. He doesn’t go into detail because his readers are scripture scholars and know it already (5). (You can read more in Exod. 25-31, 35-40.) To have access to God, people had to follow rigid instructions. Even then, the main functions of tabernacle worship were only carried out by the priests (6). Not even the most spiritual of the high priests had access to God at any time other than once a year (7). A sinner like you or me had no chance of drawing near to him. Yet today, if we accept what the Lord has done for us, Jesus Christ gives access to God at any time, in any place.
Thank God for the privilege of worship. It isn’t about what you’ve done. It’s about what Jesus has done for you.
Loving Lord, I’m grateful that I can know You through my relationship with Jesus. Help me know You better today.