Monday – The Holy of Holies
By Paul E. Collier
“But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.” Hebrews 9:7
Pastor Phillip did a great job of painting a vivid picture of God walking in the Garden with Adam and Eve. That scene was what God intended for all eternity, an intimate relationship with man. But sin entered and it was erased. Sin became the barrier that would separate God from man. It was NOT a pretty picture. From then on man struggled with the loss of a personal relationship with God.
I worked in two countries that constantly sought an intimate relationship with God. Sadly, they always looked in the wrong places. In both Paraguay and Costa Rica, they venerate the Virgin Mary as the mediator between man and God. The Paraguayan center of their faith is Caacupé, in Costa Rica, Cartago. Each year millions of the devout walk to these cities from all over the country to make promises to the Virgin. It is a sight to behold!
Now let’s go back to the picture Pastor Phillip painted. God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden in the coolness of the early evening. There was true intimacy initiated by God. There was rest, peace, and security every day. What a contrast!
When you study the Old Testament story of the Tabernacle and the Temple you see a system of laws and practices in order to appease God and make atonement for sin. Thousands of animals were sacrificed. Many other types of offerings were made to God. These offerings were temporary. Animal sacrifices had to continue daily! The people were kept in areas outside of the Tabernacle and Temple.
The priests did all the work. Israel was still distant from God. Many turned to idolatry. They could touch and see their “gods.” It was an exceedingly difficult time. But God had His purpose in all of this! It was a shadow of what was to come. Keeping the law seemed impossible. This made the heart of the people desire something more, a Savior.
Our ministry to the Paraguayans and Costa Ricans was very fruitful. Many came to Christ who were enslaved to a religious system for many years. The joy and hope these believers experienced was amazing. They met the Savior. They could walk with Him daily as they read the Word and opened their hearts to Him. They could have sweet fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ who were also reconciled to God through Christ. Friend, are you still searching? You can find your rest in Jesus.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
Bible Reading Plan - Day 1