Take me past the outer courts
Into the Holy Place
Past the brazen altar
Lord I want to see your face
Pass me by the crowds of people
And the Priests who sing your praise
I hunger and thirst for your righteousness
But it's only found in one place
Take me into the holy of holies
Take me in by the blood of the lamb
Take me into the holy of holies
Take the coal, touch my lips, here I am
Friday, July 27, 2012
Holy of Holies
I am so glad that I didn’t have to live my life as an Israelite in Old Testament times. I’m glad I didn’t have to eat manna, wander in the desert for 40 years, tear down my home each morning and rebuild it each night, or sacrifice animals. I just don’t think I would be cut out for life as an Israelite woman!
But there is one thing that I would have liked to see – IF I had actually been an Israelite…and that is the Ark of the Covenant. Oh sure, we’ve all seen Raiders of the Lost Ark with Indiana Jones but is that really what the Ark looked like? Doubtful – as a matter of fact, I’m convinced that it was ten times cooler!
I was never really fascinated with the Ark of the Covenant until I was in college. Before that, I just thought it was a nice, shiny box that the priests had to carry around for 40 years on their shoulders. When I actually realized what it was, I was blown away!
This “box” was the representation of the Lord’s presence to the Israelite tribes. This “box” contained the Book of the Law. This “box” was the mercy seat upon which God would descend to the Israelites. This “box” was not even allowed to be TOUCHED by the people because of its holiness! It was kept in the innermost place of the tabernacle and was off limits to everyone except the high priest…and he only went in once a year. This innermost place was the Holy of Holies. The most holy place in the entire Israelite camp because it was where God’s presence descended upon Israel.
Fast forward a few thousand years and remember the night of Jesus’ crucifixion. When Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two. The curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (aka: Holy of Holies) was torn in two from top to bottom. There was no longer any separation between us and God – Jesus had eliminated that with His ultimate sacrifice. Before Jesus’ death, the people brought their sacrifices and offerings to the priests to be presented to God. After Jesus’ death, we are able to go directly to our God through prayer – and He actually hears us! We don’t have to make sacrifices because Jesus was THE sacrifice – and that requirement was fulfilled in Him.
Imagine being an Israelite and longing to enter into God’s presence but being banned from the Holy of Holies. Thankfully, I can’t imagine that because I have always been able to go directly to my God. With the separation gone, why wouldn’t we take advantage of this awesome opportunity to commune with our Lord? I love the song called “Take Me In” by Kutless (?). I was reminded of the significance of this song tonight as I spoke with a dear Christian friend. The words ring so true in my heart and I am convicted of restraining myself from entering the most holy of places to be in the presence of my Lord. I need to HUNGER and THIRST for His righteousness – and there’s only one place to find it! There is nothing stopping us, so why don’t we just go right in to the Holy of Holies?
Follow this link to hear the song: