Friday, June 20, 2008

All things point to Jesus.

I was traveling back to Chicago, when I saw a sign that said, “Chicago 300 miles.” This sign said to me that Chicago was 300 miles away, and that I was going in the right direction. As I got closer to Chicago I saw more signs, with less distance. The signs told me I was closer to Chicago and am going in the right direction. None of the signs said, “I was in Chicago, yet.” All the signs did was point me to Chicago. Of course, when you arrived to Chicago you no longer need signs to point you there.

The earthly sanctuary is similar. As all things inside were symbols representing Jesus, they were mere signs, pointing to Jesus. When Jesus came to earth, type met antitype. The real thing had arrived. No longer do we need symbols pointing us to Him. As the quarterly says, “Jesus and His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary replaced the earthly
tabernacle, the earthly priesthood, the animal sacrifices, and the daily and yearly ceremonies.”

It all pointed to Jesus. For example, it points to his earthly ministry: His birth, life, death and resurrection. God offered His Son as a lamb that takes away the Sin of the World, as the Israelites offered a lamb as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of their Sins. Every utensil in the building represented something about Jesus. With the candles, it pointed to Jesus as Light of the world (John 8:12). With the shewbread, it shows Jesus as the bread of life (John 6:35).

Not only the sanctuary itself pointed to Jesus, but the ministration of the priests, was to "serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." Hebrews 8:5. Thus it was of great importance; and the Lord, through Moses, gave the most definite and explicit instruction concerning every point of this typical service. The ministration of the sanctuary consisted of two divisions, a daily and a yearly service. The daily service was performed at the altar of burnt offering in the court of the tabernacle and in the holy place; while the yearly service was in the most holy. Every morning and evening a lamb of a year old was burned upon the altar, with its appropriate meat offering, thus symbolizing the daily consecration of the nation to Jehovah, and their constant dependence upon the atoning blood of Christ. God expressly directed that every offering presented for the service of the sanctuary should be "without blemish." Exodus 12:5. The Passover sacrifice pointed to Jesus on the cross.

The Priest clothes had a specific meaning. Over the ephod was the breastplate, the most sacred of the priestly vestments. This was of the same material as the ephod. It was in the form of a square, measuring a span, and was suspended from the shoulders by a cord of blue from golden rings. The border was formed of a variety of precious stones, the same that form the twelve foundations of the City of God. Within the border were twelve stones set in gold, arranged in rows of four, and, like those in the shoulder pieces, engraved with the names of the tribes. The Lord's direction was, "Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually." Exodus 28:29. So Christ, the great High Priest, pleading His blood before the Father in the sinner's behalf, bears upon His heart the name of every repentant, believing soul. Says the psalmist, "I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me." Psalm 40:17.

At the right and left of the breastplate were two large stones of great brilliancy. These were known as the Urim and Thummim. By them the will of God was made known through the high priest. When questions were brought for decision before the Lord, a halo of light encircling the precious stone at the right was a token of the divine consent or approval, while a cloud shadowing the stone at the left was an evidence of denial or disapprobation. The miter of the high priest consisted of the white linen turban, having attached to it by a lace of blue, a gold plate bearing the inscription, "Holiness to Jehovah." Everything connected with the apparel and deportment of the priests was to be such as to impress the beholder with a sense of the holiness of God, the sacredness of His worship, and the purity required of those who came into His presence.

The Priests represented Christ as intercessor. The Day of Atonement pointed to Jesus heavenly ministry in the holiest of Holies chamber of the sanctuary on Heaven. The High Priest not only interceding for people, but as the sanctuary was cleansed from the yearly Sins of the people. This cleansing takes even more significance when Jesus passes from the Holy Place to the Holiest of Holies. Christ cleanses His sanctuary from Sin. However, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” 1 Corinthians 6:19. . As He cleanses the heavenly Sanctuary from Sin, so are our hearts are cleansed from Sin, if we let Him abide in us.