The most holy place
The second room in the sanctuary was the most holy place or the place that was the holiest of all. Hebrews 9:3-5, “And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the Ark of the Covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat”
There were two items in the most holy place—the golden censer and the Ark of the Covenant that had three things within.
The golden censer again represents prayer. Christ always prays for His people—whether in the holy place of most holy place.
Inside the ark was the golden pot that had manna. During the wilderness journey for forty years God physically sustained His people miraculously. That manna represents God’s promise to sustain all His children, through Christ, not just spiritually but physically as well.
Also there was Aaron’s rod that budded. That rod was a symbol of God’s miraculous working power. Through that rod God did wonders in Egypt on behalf of His people. The rod in the most holy place is a guarantee that God will still work wonders and miracles on behalf of His people today, because of His Son Jesus.
Then there were the two tables of the covenant—the Ten Commandments written with the finer of God. This is the only part of the Bible that God personally authored.
Exodus 31:18, says “ two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Why did God write this law? Because this law defines what sin is, this law will be the standard in the final judgment.
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”(1 John 3:4).
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”, (James 2:12)
The goal of the gospel of Jesus, as clearly revealed in the sanctuary, is not just to forgive man of His sin, that is, of transgressing God’s holy law, but to restore man to full obedience to all of its precepts.
Jesus, the One who shed His holy blood as the Lamb of God, pleads for us as the High Priest, and defends us as the Advocate, and rewards us as the Judge.
He loved us and died for us. That was the expression of His true love. He expects us to express our love to Him as well. Not in words but in deeds. He passionately pleads with all who have been forgiven and covered with His blood, John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
When the woman caught in adultery was supposed to be condemned to death, Jesus saved her. But notice that it was a two fold decree from Jesus—complete forgiveness granted and obedience required after that.
John 8:11, “And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
The same is true for every sinner coming to Jesus. No condemnation for the sins committed but obedience to the law is required after that. The apostle Paul who understood the gospel clearly wrote,
Romans 8:1, 4, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.…That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
We have seen how beautifully and vividly the sanctuary covered every step of the gospel of Christ. One is not saved just at the court—where the altar of burnt offering representing the death of Jesus, and the laver representing Jesus’ resurrection is. The process begins there. It continues inside the holy place where a sinner forgiven by the blood of Jesus delights living by every word of God contained in scriptures, symbolized by the twelve pieces of bread. For 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)
With a life of prayer symbolized by the altar of incense the believer connects himself to the Source of all power to live a godly life, and victory over the flesh. And when the branch is connected to the Vine, the life and nourishment of the Vine, Jesus, flows to it. Just as Jesus was the light of the world the believer too becomes the light of the world. The Vine tells its branches “Ye are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
Finally the plan of salvation meets its desired end when the glory of God is restored in the minds and heart of His followers. The apostle wrote,
Hebrews 10:16-20, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”.
There are so many kinds of beliefs and gospels in Christianity today. Truths are given to various degrees. The details of the sanctuary teach us that we need to go all the way to meet God finally. Indeed The Sanctuary Unlocks the Mystery of the Gospel!