Oct 15: 2Chr 5-6 | Eze 41 | John 7
Reading 1 - 2Ch 5:7,8
"The priests then brought the ark of the LORD'S covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and covered the ark and its carrying poles" (2Ch 5:7,8).
These staves, or carrying poles, were so long that the ends could be seen if one were to look into the Holy Place (in other words, the staves extended outside the Most Holy Place). The statement about the staves shows that Exo 25:15 was complied with, that is, that the staves were not to be removed from the ark.
Even though the ark was now in its permanent home, the staves remained in place, a reminder of its journeys at the head of God's people. Though all the other furnishings of the Temple had been newly made, the ark, representing the ruling presence of God, was still the same as that made while Israel was encamped at Sinai. It provided an unbreakable link with all that had gone before.
It is good to have reminders of who we are and where we have come from. In our ecclesias, this role is often filled by the older ones, and by the history and stories which they can tell, of earlier generations. In the broader sense, the Bible fills this same role for all of us: its pages demonstrate how our faith, as individuals and as a community, is linked with the faith of others who have gone before. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses..." (Heb 12:1).
In Acts 1:3 and following, after the resurrection of Christ, the disciples who (being "priests") stood in the holy place of the new "temple", were able to infer by what they had witnessed in the previous forty days, that though they soon would not be able to physically see their Lord (as he was soon to ascend to the Most Holy Place in the heavens, to the side of his Father), they could accept that he would ever be in his Father's presence, acting as their sacrifice, mediating for their forgiveness. And it was these disciples alone -- and not the elite Sadducees and Pharisees -- who could "see" their Lord in the "heavenly place"!
Reading 2 - Eze 41:4
"And he measured the length of the inner sanctuary; it was twenty cubits, and its width was twenty cubits across the end of the outer sanctuary. He said to me, 'This is the Most Holy Place' " (Eze 41:4).
There has always dwelt in the minds of men a feeling that some places are peculiarly sacred. Unfortunately, there has often been superstition connected with this feeling, which should be discouraged in others and resisted in ourselves. Certain places under the Law did have a peculiar sanctity, being chosen by God: there was, in Tabernacle and Temple, the MOST holy place, usually entered only once a year, by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, with the blood of the slain goat.
Still, it is true for us that "every place is hallowed ground" -- since we may find God everywhere and in everything; and we may worship and serve Him in every sphere of our lives. This is because, for the Christian, the "most holy place" has to do with the man who was and is the living Temple -- because in him the fullness of the glory of God dwells: God was manifested in him far more truly and importantly than He was present in the great cloud "between the cherubim". Every good and holy thing to be found in any concrete place of worship became more real, and purer, and more righteous, in the Lord Jesus Christ: he was -- and is -- true Temple, and true altar, and true sacrifice, and true priest, and true mercy seat. So we may say of him, whenever we think of his most holy character and love, "THIS is the most holy place!"
Reading 3 - John 7:46
"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared (John 7:46).
What do the Scriptures tell us about "THIS MAN" Jesus Christ? Many things:
"THIS MAN welcomes sinners and eats with them" (Luk 15:2).
"No one ever spoke the way THIS MAN does" (Joh 7:46).
"THIS MAN has done nothing wrong" (Luk 23:4,14,41).
"THIS MAN has something to offer" (Heb 8:3).
"Through THIS MAN the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you" (Acts 13:38).
"THIS MAN is worthy of greater honor than Moses" (Heb 3:3).
"THIS MAN sat down at the right hand of God" (Heb 10:12). "
THIS MAN lives forever" (Heb 7:24).
"Surely THIS MAN was the Son of God" (Mar 15:39).