The veil that was rent separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, the place of God’s presence. The tearing of the curtain signifies that with His atoning death we now have access to the presence of God. It is not a small detail, this torn curtain that now allows us to approach God ourselves. In the past, only the high priest could enter beyond the veil, one time a year, with fear and trembling. One wrong move would mean his death.
I have recently found myself longing for the presence of God. I’ve also found myself blaming the lack of His “presence” on other people. The teachings at church, the worship service, the apathy of those in the congregation. The things and people that constantly interrupt my life. I am not alone. There has been a grasping for something to explain the absence of the presence of God among many of His people. This morning, as I read about the death of Jesus, my eyes fixed themselves on the torn curtain, and a thought began to form.
“A way was made for you to enter the Most Holy Place. But you must still pass through the Holy Place.” That was the thought, and I can’t seem to let it go. So I feel the need to look at the Holy Place.
There were three items of significance in the Holy Place. The lampstand, the table of showbread, and the altar of incense.
Lampstand: Made up of seven lamps. They were to be kept burning day and night. According to the notes and commentaries I read, the light from the lamps represented the glory of the Lord reflected in the consecrated lives of the Israelites. The oil for the lamps was to be supplied to the high priest by the people.
Table of Showbread: The table contained twelve loaves of bread at all times, one for each tribe of Israel. It represented Israel’s declaration that the fruits of its labors were consecrated to God, and had been provided by God’s blessing.
Altar of Incense: The incense represented prayer, and was to burn regularly before God.
This is the Holy Place. The place we must pass through to approach the Most Holy Place. I have to look at all of this from the perspective of what it means for me, a woman craving the presence of God.
My life must be fully consecrated to God, completely given over for Him, allowing it to reflect His glory. I cannot maintain that level of consecration without the Holy Spirit (the oil). While I received the Holy Spirit at salvation, there is a continual filling available to me. Have I sought after that? Not for a long time.
The fruit of my labors must also be given over to God, and with it the acknowledgment that were it not for His blessing, there would be no fruit. All that I do that is good is for Him, and because of Him. Humility and gratitude are in the Holy Place.
A life of prayer. Not rote lip service, but faith filled prayer must mark my life. It is the relationship with my Father, the communion of meeting with Him in the secret place. The fragrent offering that should burn in my life.
A life layed down and filled with His Spirit, marked by humility and gratitude, with a fragrent offering arising from a believing heart.
From the Holy Place into the Most Holy Place.