Bible Study Series: Jesus in the Tabernacle
Jesus in the Tabernacle - The Holy of Holies
by I Gordon
Lev 16:2,29-30 The LORD said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat... This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the LORD.'
Matt 27:50-51 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.
The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)
Hebrews 9:11-12 'When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made , that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption .'
Hebrews 9:22-24 'In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence .
'...displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier  of the one who has faith in Jesus.' (Rom 3:25-26)
The Manna - That which had been a perfect food, containing all that the Israelites required to sustain them on their entire journey through the wilderness, was placed in the Ark. The manna was God's provision until they reached the Promised Land. Jesus Christ is God's provision today. He is the one that sustains and strengthens us on our journey. As Jesus said "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world...I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.' (John 6:32-35)
Aaron's Budding Rod - The second object placed in the Ark was Aaron's rod. Now, this was just an ordinary rod. Well, ordinary apart from the fact that it would still bud, flower and bring forth almonds!  That a dead rod could produce fruit is a miracle. It speaks of resurrection life! It speaks of the one who though dead, came back to life after three days. And it is this resurrection life that God now grants believers today. Death can no longer have a hold on them just as it couldn't contain their Saviour for the one who has defeated death is the one who now dwells within the believer by His Spirit!
Tablets of stone - the third and final object within the Ark was the stone tablets upon which God had written the 10 commandments with His own finger. In contrast to the first stone tablets that Moses broke, these tablets within the Ark of the Covenant speak to us of the one, the only one, who has ever kept the law of God in its entirety  . They speak to us of the one who said ''Here I am, it is written about me in the scroll, I have come to do your will, O God.' (Heb 10:7) The Word of God states that despite all the difficulties that the devil could throw at Him, Jesus was yet without sin! 'For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Conclusion - The Presence that leads us to rest
 ↩ The Ryrie Study Bible has a note on Ex 26:31-25 that states '... Josephus reported that the veil was four inches thick, was renewed every year, and that horses tied to each side could not pull it apart. It bared all but the High Priest from the presence of God, but when it was torn in two at the death of Jesus of Nazareth access to God was made available to all who come through Him.'
 ↩ The Believers Bible Commentary says the following 'In the book of Hebrews we learn that the veil represented the body of Jesus. Its rending pictured the giving of His body in death. Through His death, we have 'boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh' (Heb 10:19-20). Now the humblest believer can enter God's presence in prayer and praise at any time. But let us never forget that the privilege was purchased for us at tremendous cost - the blood of Jesus.
 ↩ I like the part of the verse that says that God is both just and the justifier of the one who believes in Jesus. The thought is this... After the fall of mankind, God's love and God's justice were in conflict! God's love would have forgiven the sinner but God's justice demanded judgement. God's justice would have judged the sinner but God's love constrained that judgement! So what is the answer? The only way that could satisfy both love and justice was for God to come as a man and take the penalty Himself that mankind deserved. Through that act He could be just (because the penalty of sin has been met) and also the justifier (because His love could now set the sinner free). In the death of Jesus on the cross the following verse was fulfilled:
Psa 85:10 Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
 ↩ I would encourage you to read te entire story in Numbers 16 and 17. Korah lead a rebellion against Moses' authority because he (and others) thought that they should be allowed to be Priests. Now the Priesthood was restricted to those from the tribe of Levi and Korah was not from this tribe! In chapter 17 God brings forth a test to show who was the one (and line) that He had chosen. It was a simple test - each of the tribes had to place their rod before Him and the rod that brought forth life (almonds) was the one that He had chosen. This test confirmed that Aaron was the true High Priest.
The test is no different today. You want to know who God's chosen one is? Well, it's simple. That which was dead must bring forth life. And if that is the test then I would suggest to you that the true High Priest today is the one who was dead but came back to life... Jesus Christ!
Just as an extra note, you may ask why almonds? Sure, they're tasty, but why would God bring forth almonds on Aaron's rod and what has that got to do with Jesus Christ? Well, thanks for asking... a good question indeed! William MacDonald in the Believers Bible Commantry writes: 'Just as the almond tree is the first to blossom in the spring, so Christ is the firstfruits of resurrection (1Co 15:20, 1Co 15:23). The golden lampstand in the holy place was "made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower" (Exo 25:33-34). It was a priestly function to take care of the lampstand daily. Aaron's rod corresponded in design and fruit to the lampstand, thus signifying that the household of Aaron had been divinely chosen to minister as priests.'
 ↩ You no doubt remember the story how Moses, after receiving the first tablets of stone upon which the Ten Commandments were written, came down the mountain and upon seeing the sin and idolatry of the Israelites he threw the tablets to the ground and broke them! (Ex 32:19) Ouch. Ooops. God had to write a second set of tablets and this set were stored in the Ark. Symbolically, the first set of tablets represent you and me. It represents mankind. No sooner has the law gone forth from God's own hand than we have broken it and disobeyed the commandment. But the second set represents Jesus. Through trial, temptation, weariness and pain, He conquered all and lived a sinless life. He had to so that He could be our substitute as a sin offering. In Isaiah, which I am currently studying, Jesus is speaking and says 'I was not disobedient Nor did I turn back. I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.' (Isaiah 50:5-7)