Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on September 30, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Hebrews 9:1-10 (NKJV)
9:1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
Today’s reading takes us into the heart of the Old Testament tabernacle. While the author gives us some general information about its layout, a much fuller description can be found in Exodus, chapters 25 through 40. Only the highlights are given in Hebrews, so that the greater New Testament fulfillment may be emphasized. In particular, the Most Holy Place bears the greatest significance. Only the high priest could enter, and then only on the Day of Atonement. To enter this inner sanctum, he brought not offerings, but sacrificial blood. Such were the sharp restrictions that God had commanded, to emphasize the chasm that exists between an infinitely Holy God and hopelessly sinful man.
When Jesus died, that relationship changed. The curtain of the temple was rent in two (Matt. 27:51), thus declaring the end of the old covenant and the dawn of the new. From that moment on there would be free access to the Father, but only through the blood of the spotless Lamb, Jesus Christ. And now, the door from heaven is opened, allowing the Father to see us in a new and forgiven light, and granting us every grace and blessing. It also grants us the privilege of prayer, as we can now knock on the very doors of heaven, knowing that our Father is eager to hear our petitions and grant our requests according to His good and gracious will.
Prayer: Alas! and did my Savior bleed, and did my Sov’reign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I? (TLH 154:1)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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