9 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 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. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 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. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now. 6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 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. 8 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. 9 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. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.
The writer to the Hebrews explains the FIRST COVENANT with God. He explains the inner workings and describes the Temple in Jerusalem it’s layout, the ceremonial requirements and how the High Priest was the only person ONCE PER YEAR to enter the Holy of Holies offering sacrifices on behalf of the peoples’ sins (their sin) – v 9: “yet these were not able to clear the conscience of the worshipper”.
He goes on later in the chapter to explain that Jesus once and for all was the perfect sacrificial lamb (perfect blood – God’s blood) to take away the sins of the world forever.
It was all ceremonial – a human expression of trying to solve the sinfulness of the human heart…….BUT CHRIST.
What I love about this letter to the Hebrew Church is that it explains what most people would know, but never have seen. He cares in this letter to describe the small details: “consecrated bread”, “Aaron’s staff that had budded”, etc. Verse 8 becomes the key – the Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning.
The curtain separating the Holy of Holies had to be torn at Christ’s death.
Centuries of religious duties now broken by the death (Matthew 27 v 50-52) and resurrection of Christ. Hallelujah.
Lord Jesus, I so thank you for revealing yourself to me, for washing me clean and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Breakthrough for all people who sit under the Law of Religion and reveal yourself to them. Allow them to live free, knowing you personally and understanding how much you love them. Amen
Written by Ps. Sue Botta