The holy place
After Jesus completed His ministry on earth as the, “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), He commenced His ministry as the High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary.
Hebrews 8:1, 2 “Now of the things which we ha-ve spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
As the priest took the blood of the animals into the holy place of the sanctuary to begin intercession on behalf of the sinner, Christ did likewise.
Hebrews 9:12, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
There were three articles in the holy place—the seven branched candlestick, the altar or table of incense and another table with twelve pieces bread. The Apostle Paul summarizes it for us.
Hebrews 9:2 “For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary.”
The word of God says, “The seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick” (Numbers 8:2).
The articles in the holy place reveal the work of Jesus as well. Jesus said about Himself, John 8:12 “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
There are seven continents in our world and Jesus is the seven branched candlestick that gives light to all the seven continents of the world. John adds, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:9
The incense ascending from the altar of incense represents prayer ascending to God. The psalmist wrote, Psalm 141:2, "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense”.
Jesus, is our Intercessor, our Mediator. praying for His people continuously placing their request before the Father for His sake. Looking at Jesus ministering in the holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary Isaiah wrote, He, “made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12)
The disciples of the first century whom Jesus left behind knew their Lord was always thinking of them and pleading for them in the courts above for grace and strength. Therefore they were bold knowing that Christ was indeed very closely connected with them through His intercession ministry.
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34)
Christ still ministers to us through the bread of life. The table contained twelve pieces of bread. God told Moses, “And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof” (Leviticus 24:5)
While He was on earth Jesus plainly declared the bread represented Him. Jesus said, “I am that bread of life” (John 6:48). It also symbolizes the written word, too. In the temptation at the wilderness Christ compared the bread to the word of God.
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
The twelve pieces of bread represented God’s word—the written word and the Word made flesh—that is available to the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, to sustain them spiritually for all the twelve months of the year. In our prayers we still pray, “give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11).