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Ancient Words: The Torn Curtain and the New Tent

July 31, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.

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 tent was still functioning. 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. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings--external regulations applying until the time of the new order. But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tent that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. (Heb 9:8-11 NIrV)

The first tent contained the law of sin and death: The first covenant had rules for worship. It also had a sacred tent on earth. A holy tent was set up. The lampstand was in the first room. So were the table and the holy bread. That was called the Holy Room. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Room. It had the golden altar for incense. It also had the wooden chest called the ark of the covenant. The ark was covered with gold. It held the gold jar of manna. It held Aaron's wooden staff that had budded. It also held the stone tablets. The words of the covenant were written on them. The cherubim were above the ark. God showed his glory there. The cherubim spread their wings over the place where sin was paid for. But we can't deal with those things more completely now. That's how everything was arranged in the holy tent. The priests entered it at regular times. They went into the outer room to do their work for God and others. But only the high priest went into the inner room. He went in only once a year. He never entered without taking blood with him. He offered the blood for himself. He also offered it for the sins the people had committed because they didn't know any better. (Heb 9:1-7 NIrV)

The second tent contained the law of the Spirit, the law of grace and truth: John gives witness about him. He cries out and says, "This was the one I was talking about. I said, 'He who comes after me is more important than I am. He is more important because he existed before I was born.'" We have all received one blessing after another. God's grace is not limited. Moses gave us the law. Jesus Christ has given us grace and truth. No one has ever seen God. But God, the one and only Son, is at the Father's side. He has shown us what God is like. (Joh 1:15-18 NIrV)

Again in Hebrews, the second tent is explained: Christ came to be the high priest of the good things that are already here. When he came, he went through the greater and more perfect holy tent. The tent was not made by people. In other words, it is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by spilling the blood of goats and calves. He entered the Most Holy Room by spilling his own blood. He did it once and for all time. He paid the price to set us free from sin forever. The blood of goats and bulls is sprinkled on people. So are the ashes of a young cow. They are sprinkled on people the Law called unclean. The people are sprinkled to make them holy. That makes them clean on the outside. But Christ offered himself to God without any flaw. He did this through the power of the eternal Holy Spirit. So how much more will his blood wash from our minds our feelings of guilt for committing sin! Sin always leads to death. But now we can serve the living God. That's why Christ is the go-between of a new covenant. Now those God calls to himself will receive the eternal gift he promised. They will receive it now that Christ has died to save them. He died to set them free from the sins they committed under the first covenant. (Heb 9:11-15 NIrV)

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