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Because Jesus sits at the right hand of his Father in heaven, repentant sinners can approach the throne of God with boldness, no matter how filthy we feel. We can come when we have nothing to show for ourselves. We can come when we have just awakened from the stupidity of sin. We can come when so much inside of us feels cold and dead. And we can do so because we do not come on our own merits, but rather on the merits of Jesus, heaven’s Great High Priest.
It was not always so. For centuries, God’s people could only wait outside the temple where God’s presence lay veiled, wondering how he would one day make a way.
Israelite - Living - Covenant - Tribe - Levi
If you were an Israelite living under the old covenant, and you did not belong to the tribe of Levi, ninety feet is as close as you would ever get to the presence of God in the Holy of Holies.
God had fulfilled his promise to dwell among his people (Leviticus 26:11–12), but his holiness demanded separation. He was near, yet guarded; present, yet veiled; inviting, yet intimidating. The mere presence of the temple revealed God’s desire to be near his people. But everything about the temple said, “You dare not approach me on your own.”
Cherubim - Flaming - Sword - Entrance - Eden
The cherubim that once flashed a flaming sword at the entrance to Eden now blocked the way to the Holy of Holies (Genesis 3:24; 1 Kings 6:31–32). Any who broke through the barrier would fall before the consuming fire of Sinai (Leviticus 16:2). Safer for a man to walk on the sun than a sinner to stand unshielded before God.
Every day, the temple preached a silent sermon to any who had ears to hear: You need a mediator to make atonement. You need an advocate to intercede. You need...
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