The Earthly Holy Place
even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 2 For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence.
It is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark
of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. 5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing
the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing
their ritual duties, 7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. 8 By
this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing 9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts
and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
The Lutheran Study Bible states: “The Holy Place of the tabernacle was a picture of the old covenant and the old
sacrificial system. But the Most Holy Place was a picture of heaven and of Christ’s new covenant. OT services, therefore, pointed ahead to Christ, while NT services celebrate His work, distribute His benefits, and anticipate His return. Christ is the
true Priest who sacrificed Himself to reconcile us to the Father.”
I pray: O Lord, send
us Your Holy Spirit and increase reverence in us toward Your Word and service. Amen.