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Sanctuary lesson 09

 Lesson 09 - The Holy Place

Hello friend!  In our last lesson, we learned about the tent coverings and their significance.  Now, let us follow the priest, who has gone through the ritual cleansing and purified himself to enter the sanctuary.  As he enters the Holy Place through the veil, note that the sanctuary only had one way for the entrance.  Now, why is this?


Let's turn to John 14:6.

- According to Jesus, how many ways are there to salvation?

  • Answer (highlight to read): There is only one way to salvation - through Jesus.

The Holy Place was named as such because it was right next to the Most Holy Place, where the presence of God resided.  In addition, special sacred activities were performed in the Holy Place and the objects used in these activities became holy due to their nearness to the presence of God. Therefore, holy people were required to perform these sacred activities and handle the holy objects.  This is why the priests needed to purify themselves before they entered the Holy Place.

There were three objects in the Holy Place.  We will go over them in detail in future lessons, so let's have a brief overview first.

Let's turn to Exodus 25:31-40 and Exodus 26:35.

- According to these Bible verses, what would be one of the objects the priest would see after entering into the Holy Place?

  • Answer: A lampstand made of pure gold

Let's turn to Exodus 25:23-30.

- According to these Bible verses, what is another object the priest would see after entering in the Holy Place?

  • Answer: A table of showbread

Let's turn to Exodus 30:1-10.

- According to these Bible verses, what is the final object that the priest would see after entering into the Holy Place?

  • Answer: an altar of incense

At first, you might not think much of these three objects.  However, remember that the sanctuary is a place of revelation.  Everything in the sanctuary has purpose and meaning.

Let's turn to Psalms 119:105.

- According to this verse, what is God's Word likened to?

  • Answer: Light

Let's turn to Matthew 4:4.

- According to this verse, what is God's Word likened to?

  • Answer: Bread

Are you starting to see the symbolism now?  God's Word gives us light to illuminate our way in life and it also gives us spiritual nourishment.

Let's turn to John 8:12.

- According to this verse, what does Jesus say He is?

  • Answer: Jesus says He is the light of the world.

Let's turn to John 6:35.

- According to this verse, what does Jesus say He is?

  • Answer: Jesus says He is the bread of life.

The objects in the Holy Place point to Jesus!  Light symbolizes Jesus' shining example and the bread symbolizes His life-giving words. 

You might be asking yourself at this point, "What does the altar of incense represent?"

Let's turn to Exodus 30:7-10 and Exodus 31:6, 11. 

- According to these verses, what is burnt upon the altar of incense?

  • Answer: A sweet incense that is made according to God's command.

So, what does this sweet incense symbolize?  Let's turn to Psalms 141:2-3.

- According to these verses, what does the sweet incense symbolize?

  • Answer: The sweet incense symbolizes our prayers to God.

Let's turn to John 17: 9, 19-20.

- According to these verses, what does Jesus do for us?

  • Answer: He prays for us.

Friend, these symbols are shadow pictures which help us understand the plan of salvation and point us to Jesus.  These shadow pictures still whisper to us this very day.   They remind us to keep our eyes steadfast on Jesus as we walk in His light, feed on His word daily and take heart even in the most turbulent of times, and inhale the aroma of His sweet prayers to the Father on our behalf.  Will you listen?