There are lots of resources with information about the temples, and you've probably studied about the Outer Court, the Inner Court, and the Holy of Holies where only the high priest entered once per year. Here are a few "Did You Know?" questions: (The answers will be at the bottom of the article.)
1. What were the measurements of the Holy of Holies?
2. In which direction did the altar face?
3. What is the Jewish word for the Day of Atonement?
4. Was it lit on the inside of the Holy of Holies?
5. Where on the Ark was the Mercy Seat located?
6. What element covered the Ark?
7. What images are on the sides of the top of the Ark?
A few years ago, a lovely Petra song was released. At that time, our Christian Jewish worship leader shared it with our congregation. The song is called, "Take Me In." Here are some of the words:
Take me past the outer courts, into the Holy place, past the altar Lord, I want to see your face. Pass my by the crowds of people, the priests who sing your praise, (**past the brazen altar) I hunger and thirst for your righteousness, and it's only found one place. Take me into the Holy of Holies, take me in by the blood of the Lamb, take me in to the Holy of Holies, take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am.
These lyrics are thought provoking to say the least. Let's take a closer look at them and find Scripture to help clarify the lyrics. Do you want to know God more? Do you dare ask God to take you into the Holy of Holies? Exodus 25:22 tells us, "There I will meet with you...I will speak with you..." Psalm 80:1 says, "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel...Thou who art enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth..." God inhabited the Holy of Holies.
What would be some of the dangers to us if we asked God to take us into the Holy of Holies? What would be some of the benefits?
I've heard it said that we should seek God's face, to know Him more, not just seek His hand for what He can do for us. But, if we see His face, could we die? Exodus 19:21 says, "...warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to gaze and many of them perish." Exodus 33:23 says, "...while my glory passes..I shall cover you with my hand...then you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen."
Could I know more of God that the average Christian or even the pastors and priests? Psalm 65:4 says, "Blessed is he who thou dost choose and bring near to dwell in thy courts." 2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 1 Peter 2:4, "...be a holy priesthood.."
The altar is for the sacrifice; what would I give up to know my God more? In Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary, a "sacrifice" is defined as: 1. giving up or permitting injury to something cherished; 2. an offering to a deity; 3. a loss. Genesis 22:9 says, "...and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar.." Romans 12:1, "...present your bodies as a LIVING sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." Micah 6, "With what... burnt offerings...my first born... (no.) He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."
Most of us need cleaner lips; God knows what we say. James 3:6 says, "The tongue is a fire...an unrighteous world of iniquity among our members, staining the whole body, ... set on fire by hell." Matthew 15:18, "But, what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man.: Romans 1 lists "gossips and slanderers'" right along with murderers, foolish, heartless, and ruthless..."those who deserve to die." We must carefully consider our words.
Yes, we do hunger and thirst for righteousness, we are blessed. Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." John 4:14, "...whoever drinks of the water I shall give him will never thirst...it will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Righteousness is found in the power of Christ's blood. Christ is the sacrificial Lamb. Only the Lamb of God is worthy to save us for Himself. Romans 14:17, "..the kingdom of God is... righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Romans 10:3, "....righteousness comes from God..." Romans 1:30, "...Jesus Christ, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption..."
In conclusion, let us carefully consider if we dare ask God to take us into His "Holy of Holies."
**Lyrics are out of order
*Quiz Answers: 1. 20 cubits x 20 cubits x 20 cubits, 2. West, 3. Yom Kippur, 4. No, it was dark, 5. the top lid, 6. Gold, 7. Two Cherubim