The Most Holy Place.
The Most Holy Place was the dwelling place of God and the most sacred room in the tabernacle. It was inaccessible to man under the law. It is a type of heaven where Jesus is seated and making intercession for us. It was a 10 cubits long, 10 cubits wide and 10 cubits high room. It is a picture of the New Jerusalem which is also a cube (Rev 21:15-16). A perfect place where everything was made of gold. No natural light allowed here and God's presence is the light. Here God communed with Moses from the mercy seat. There were mainly two pieces of furniture inside the Most Holy Place. The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat with the Cherubim stood behind the veil. Every day the high priest wore a beautifully embroidered coat to enter the Holy Place. But only once a year on the day of atonement he was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place dressed in white linen garment and with the blood of the sin offering (Leviticus 16:4). The blood was sprinkled before and over the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:15). It is a good thing that we do not live under the law but under grace (Rom 6:14). The blood speaks of atonement of Christ. Through His shed blood the throne of the most holy God becomes a throne of grace. Once it was a throne of judgment but now it has become the throne of mercy and grace. Sinner can only draw closer to God because God sees the blood. This is a picture of the finished work of Christ on the cross. The Holy place and the Most Holy Place have become one for us because at the death of Christ the veil was rent from the top to the bottom. Jesus promised that he will be with us always even to the end of the age.
The Ark of the Covenant: Ex 25:10-16; Heb 9:4.
Physical Description of the Ark of the Covenant: In the Most Holy Place stood the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat behind the veil. The ark was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. It was 2 ½ cubits long 1 ½ cubits wide and 1 ½ cubits high. One cubit is approximately 1.5 feet. It was covered with gold inside and outside. It had a crown of gold around the top where the mercy seat was placed. It had four rings of gold, two on each side. Two poles were made of acacia wood, overlaid with gold to carry the ark. The ark was carried on the shoulders by Kohathites while moving. The Ark with Mercy Seat on top forms the throne of God. The Ark is a type of Christ. Inside the ark there was two tablets of law, the golden pot of Manna and Aaron's budded rode. The tablets of law is a picture of Christ who fulfilled the law of God. Only Christ fulfilled all the commandments of the Law (Psalms 40:8; Heb 10:7-9; Rom 10:4). Christ carried the Law in his heart. There was the golden pot of manna in side the ark. Christ is the true Manna, food for our pilgrim journey (John 6:33). The Most Holy Place is a type of heaven. There is no need of manna in heaven. In heaven also we will be reminded of the fact the Christ is the source of all our blessings. There was also Aaron’s budded rode in side the ark (Numbers 17:10). This is a type of new life we have in Christ. The almond tree flowers earlier than any other tree after the winter. This reminds us of new life and our resurrection when Christ returns. These items show that Israel was a nation of law breakers, complainers and rebellious toward God during their wilderness journey. Though they deserve judgment from God, they found mercy because of the blood sprinkled over it.
The Mercy Seat: Ex 25:17-23; Heb 9:5.
Physical Description: The mercy seat was made of pure gold. It formed a covering for the Ark of the Covenant. It is the throne of God. Out of the two ends of the mercy seat came two cherubim of gold which were formed out of the same piece of metal. They were made from the same piece of gold by beaten work. Cherubim are exalted beings and they guard the throne of God.They first blocked the way to the garden of Eden (Gen 3:24). But in the tabernacle they are connected with grace. The cherubim were looking down on the blood the high priest had sprinkled on the mercy seat (Leviticus 16:15). Once it was throne of judgment. Now it has become the throne of grace. Sinners can come to God because God sees the blood. This is a picture of Christ's finished work on the cross. Jesus Christ is our great high priest. By his own blood he has entered once for all into the most Holy Place. Now Christ is seated at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. He has obtained our eternal redemption forever (Heb 9:12-13).
The Golden Censer: Leviticus 16:12, 13; Heb 9:4.
In Exodus 30:36, God instructed Moses to put some incense before the testimony in the Most Holy Place. The writer of Hebrews mentions that the Ark of the Covenant, mercy seat and golden censer were there in the Most Holy Place (Heb 9:3-5).This censer was made of gold. Aaron used this golden censor to burn the sweet incense in the holiest on the Day of Atonement. David prayed “Let my prayers be acceptable as incense before God” (Psalms 141:2). We are asked to pray in the name of Jesus (John 14:13). Our prayers and worship are acceptable to God because we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. He is our great high priest and He adds sweet incense to our prayers so that they become sweet aroma to God (Rev 8:3, 4). This incense speaks of the infinite worth of our Great High Priest and His atoning work on the cross (Heb 7:26, 27). It is God's earnest desire that we should serve and worship him. May God help us.