The cleansing of the earthly sanctuary
Every day the sanctuary was polluted or defiled with the sins being transferred there from the sinner through the blood of the sacrifice, in the daily ministration that took place in the holy place. And once a year God made provision for the sanctuary to be cleansed from all its sins on the Day of Atonement through the ministration that took place at the end of the Jewish religious year.
Leviticus 16:16 “And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.”
Leviticus 16:19 “And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.”
Yes, the earthly sanctuary was cleansed because of the “uncleanness of the children of Israel”. And how was it unclean? The text says, “because of their transgressions in all their sins”.
The point that most miss out is this: if the sins of record are immediately blotted out when the sinner receives forgiveness, then why does the sanctuary need a cleansing once a year at all, because the sin is immediately cleansed and removed from the record anyway when forgiveness was granted! But the fact is, we have seen—only forgiveness is granted in the first apartment where the priest pleads with the blood of the atoning sacrifice, but the sanctuary retains the record of sin, till the ministry is done in the second apartment, on the Day of Atonement. Then the uncleanness of their sins, accumulated throughout the year, is removed and the sanctuary is declared cleansed.
It is not just the sins of the repentant sinner that is recorded in the registers of heaven, but of all people as well, of the repentant and the unrepentant, as God will judge both the good and the bad. God mentions the great evil that people were committing and the Lord says their unrepentant sins were defiling His sanctuary—that is getting registered in the books of heaven. But it is only through the atoning blood and the intercession work of the priest the forgiveness and blotting out takes place. The sins of the wicked will remain there till he pays for it on the judgment day.
Ezekiel 5:11, “Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things”
Also in the book of Jeremiah it is mentioned of the record of sin in God’s presence in the heaven. As God will judge the whole world-the good and the bad- He has all the records with Him.
Jeremiah 2:22 “For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.”
What can wash away our sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!