Today’s reading is 2 Chronicles 4:1-6:11, Romans 7:1-13, Psalm 17:1-15, Proverbs 19:22-23.
Last night, I had the strangest dream. I dreamed I was at an event with some young women. The event was almost over. I had held back my words of truth, because I didn’t think it was what they wanted to hear—what they would think was cool. I had kept things light and peaceful. But suddenly, I realized that I was almost out of time. I had great compassion for their spiritual blindness and that helped me overcome my people-pleasing behavior. There were just a few of them, but I felt so urgent to tell them about Jesus. And it was important to me that they understood the whole thing—that the Old Testament was a prophetic reflection of the New Testament. I started out explaining about the Tabernacle.
“Back in the Old Testament we learn that the people built a tent to try to get close to God. It had a part of it called the Holy of Holies, and that is where the priests sacrificed the lambs…” At this point there a big distraction and I knew I had lost them. So, I tried again.
“Okay, there was a tent and a part of the tent was called the Holy of Holies…” Again, a big interruption. I tried again, this time with hand motions.
“There was a tent, a part of it called the Holy of Holies, the priests went in once a year to sacrifice a lamb for the sins of the people. It was so holy, the priest had to tie a rope around his ankle, so he could be pulled out in case he died from being in the presence of such holiness.” Again, I saw I had lost their attention. I motioned for others to come help me. They silently encouraged me, and I tried again, this time speaking very fast, because my opportunity was almost gone.
“Okay, a tent, Holy of Holies, a sacrificed lamb…” And I saw I had lost their attention. At this point, I just looked at their distracted faces and began to cry. This got their attention. While I was slightly embarrassed, I didn’t really care. I had to tell them.
“This is so important. Don’t miss it. It is important because Jesus is the Lamb of God. He is the final sacrifice. He is the only way we can have permanent forgiveness of sin. It is important because it was a reflection of Jesus. The Bible tells us that He is the Lamb of God. The perfect Sacrifice, the only Sacrifice we need for the forgiveness of our sins. The Bible tells us that He was also the Greatest High Priest.” By this time, I was talking fast, so I could get out the truth while I had the chance.
“From the time He was born, God was telling us who He is. The wise men brought gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This told who Jesus is. The gold was a kingly gift, as He is the King of Kings, the frankincense was what the priests used, as He is the Greatest High Priest, and the myrrh was used to embalm a dead body, as He would die as a sacrifice for us, as the Lamb of God. This is important and you need to know the truth.”
And then I woke up. Remind me not to eat spaghetti at 10pm again.
But, as I read today’s assigned reading, I realized that indeed, this is important. Knowing about the Tabernacle and the Temple, is important because it reflects Jesus. Solomon and all the people rejoiced when the Temple was complete. They had done their best work, offered their best gifts and talents to complete the work. Many of the furnishing were made from pure gold. The doors to the Holy of Holies was covered in gold, for the King of Kings dwelt there. Not only that, but the New Testament tells us that Jesus is the Door. He is the only way. The door to the Holy of Holies represented the entrance to God. Jesus is the entrance to God. He is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to God the Father except through Him.
When the Ark was finally ready to be placed in the Temple, everyone gathered to experience this great event. It was at the Festival of Shelters. It was also called the Feast of Tabernacles. Everyone came and set up tents and celebrated and worshiped for 7 days. There were ceremonies as well as great sacrifices. At this Festival of Shelters, when the Ark came to rest in the Temple, so many sacrifices were made no one could count them all. The ceremonies during this Festival evolved around the symbols of water and light. Fast forward hundreds of years and we see that it was also during this Festival that Jesus said,
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37–39).
And it was just after this Festival that Jesus declared while he was in the Temple,
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).
This stuff is important, though it may seem otherwise. It is important because it reflects Jesus who is the King of Kings, the Greatest High Priest, the Savior, the Lamb of God, the Living Water and the Light of the World. I am thankful for Jesus today and everyday.