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Sanctuary lesson 15

Sanctuary Lesson 15 - The Most Holy Place

What lies beyond the veil to the Most Holy Place?  The high priest was only allowed to enter the Most Holy Place once a year to perform a particular sacred ritual.  It was during that time that God's mighty presence was visible and a wonderful mysterious light glowed from the Most Holy Place.  If we were able to enter the Most Holy Place, we would enter a room that measured only 10 cubits wide by 10 cubits long (approximately 15 square feet).  In this sacred room, we would only see one piece of furniture.

Let's turn to Exodus 25:10-22; Exodus 37:1-9; and Exodus 40:20-21.

- According to these verses, what object do we find in the Most Holy Place?

  • Answer (highlight to read): An ark

The Most Holy Place functioned as the center of worship and the ark played a vital role.  Note that it was the first piece of sanctuary furniture that was constructed after God instructed Moses to build the sanctuary.  The ark was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold.  Did you know that the ark was the most frequently mentioned piece of sanctuary furniture in the Bible?

Let's turn to 2 Chronicles 35:3.

- According to this verse, how is the ark described?

  • Answer: The holy ark

Let's turn to 2 Chronicles 6:41.

- According to this verse, how is the ark described?

  • Answer: The ark of God's strength

Let's turn to 1 Chronicles 13:3.

- According to this verse, how is the ark described?

  • Answer: The ark of our God

Let's turn to Joshua 3:13.

- According to this verse, how is the ark described?

  • Answer: The ark of the Lord

Let's turn to Judges 20:27.

- According to this verse, how is the ark described?

  • Answer: The ark of the covenant of God

Let's turn to Exodus 25:22.

- According to this verse, how is the ark described?

  • Answer: The ark of the Testimony

Each of these names teaches us a different aspect of the throne of God.  The ark is a symbol of God and is holy (Exodus 30:22-26).  The ark is called the ark of the Testimony because it contained the Ten Commandments and testifies to eternal truth.  The ark is also called the ark of the covenant of God in reference to God's contract to saved doomed sinful humanity.

Was there anything inside the ark?  Let's turn to Hebrews 9:4.

- According to this verse, what was in the ark of the covenant?

  • Answer: The stone tablets with the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron's rod.

The stone tablets with the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 10:5) were written by God's own hand and were a constant reminder of His holy character (Exodus 20:1-17).  Though we fall short of the glory of God as sinful humans, Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17-18) and it is through Him in faith that we have our debased natures transformed and uplifted (Hebrews 10:16).

The jar of manna (Exodus 16:32-34) was a reminder to the people of Israel that God always provided for them.  Jesus Christ is the bread of heaven who can give us life if we only partake of Him (John 6:32-35, 48-51).

Aaron's rod that budded (Number 17:10) confirmed that God chose Aaron to serve as His high priest.  In the same way, Jesus Christ was chosen and confirmed to be our high priest (Hebrews 3:1; 4:14).  Aaron's rod also reminds us that though we may be dead in our sins, it is Jesus who can give us life again (Ephesians 2:1).

The ark pointed to Jesus Christ!  As all the ritual and ceremonies reached final completion at the ark of the covenant, Jesus Christ stands at the end of our faith (1 Peter 1:9) and before all things (Colossians 1:17; Proverbs 8:23-30).

There is one aspect of the ark we have yet to discuss.  In our next lesson we discuss the mercy seat...