LESSON 11

THE HOLY OF HOLIES

Memory Verse

Hebrews 10:22 – Let us draw near with a true heart in

full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled

from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with

pure water (KJV):

 

Lesson Text

Exo 25:10-22; 26:31-34;

Mat 27:50. 51; Heb 4:14-16;

9:2-7, 16-28; 10:19-22;1 Jn 2:1, 2

Central Truth

All people can have access to

God through the blood of Christ.

Focus

To realize how Christ’s sacrifice

fulfils the symbolism of the

Holy of Holies.

 

Outline

  1. Meeting with God
  2. Before The Ark
  3. Access to God
  4. Complete Atonement
  5. Day of Atonement
  6. Christ, Our High Priest

 

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Recognize the importance of the ark of the covenant in the Holy

of Holies.

  1. Know that the limited access to God in the Holy of Holies has

been removed.

3.Affirm that Jesus ‘sacrifice was complete and effectual.

 

Introducing the Lesson

The word “access” can be defined

as “a course affording passage from

one place to another.” if you want to

cross a river, a bridge provides access

to the other side. if you want to talk with

a friend who lives far away, a telephone

let’s you talk to that person as if you

were face to face. If you want to contact

someone in another country

inexpensively, you can write a letter.

This week ‘s lesson centers on the

Holy of Holies, the innermost room of

the tabernacle. To the masses of Israel,

access into the Holy of Holies was

denied. Only the high priest had the

privilege and awesome duty of

entering the Most Holy place and only

once a year.

While God denied entrance into

the Holy of Holies by anyone except

the high priest, the symbolism of that

place pointed to a day when anyone-

man or woman, boy or girl-would be

allowed to enter God’s presence.

Jesus Christ, through His

sacrifice, provides every person an

access to God. To enter God’s

presence, you only need to accept

Christ’s provision of salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

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Exodus 25:21. And thou shalt put the

mercy seat above upon the ark; and

in the ark thou shalt put the testimony

that l shall give thee.

  1. And there will meet with thee, and l

will commune with thee from above

the mercy seat, from between the two

cherubim which are upon the ark of

the testimony, of all things which l will

give thee in commandment unto the

children of Israel.

26:33. And thou shalt hang up the veil

under the taches, that thou mayest

bring in thither within the veil the ark

of the testimony: and the veil shall

divide unto you between the holy

place and the most holy.

Matthew 27:50. Jesus, when he had cried

again with a loud voice, yielded up

the ghost.

  1. 51. And, behold, the veil of the temple

was rent in twain from the top to the

bottom; and the earth did quake, and

the rocks rent.

Hebrews 10:19. Having therefore,

brethren, boldness to enter into the

holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Let us draw near with a true heart in

full assurance of faith, having our

hearts sprinkled from an evil

conscience, and our bodies washed

with pure water.

Leviticus 16:30. For on that day shall the

priest make an atonement for you, to

cleanse you, that ye may be clean

from all your sins before the Lord.

  1. And he shall make an atonement for

the holy sanctuary, and he shall

make an atonement for the

tabernacle of the congregation, and

for the altar: and he shall make an

atonement for the priests, and for all

the people of the congregation.

  1. And this shall be an everlasting

statute unto you, to make an

atonement for the children of Israel

for all their sins once a year. And he

did as the Lord commanded Moses.

Hebrews 9:24. For Christ is not entered

into the holy places made with

hands, which are the figures of the

true; but into heaven itself, now to

appear in the presence of God for us.

  1. So Christ was once offered to bear the

sins of many; and unto them that look

for him shall he appear the second

time without sin unto salvation.

1 John 2:1. My little children, these things

write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if

any man sin, we have an advocate

with the Father, Jesus Christ the

righteous:

  1. And he is the propitiation for our sins:

and not for ours only, but also for the

sins of the whole world.

Commentary and Application

  1. Meeting with God A
  2. Before The Ark

Exodus 25:10-22; 26:31-34

Through sacrifices made in the

tabernacle, God provided atonement

for the sins of His people. The room in

the tabernacle where this atonement

took place was called the Most Holy

Place or the Holy of Holies. This room,

separated from the Holy Place by a

thick curtain or veil, was 15 feet by 15

feet.

The ark of the covenant was the

only piece of furniture in the Holy of

Holies. The importance of this ark

becomes apparent in God’s

instructions concerning the tabernacle.

He gave instructions for the ark’s

construction before any other item or

the tabernacle itself.

Question: Why did God give the ark

such prominence?’

‘ The importance God gave to the

ark of the covenant had to do with its

purpose. In the Holy of Holies, in front

of the ark, the high (priest made

atonement for the sins of od’s people.

According to Exodus 25: 10,11,

the ark was made from acacia wood

covered with gold. It was 45 inches

long, 27 inches high, and 27 inches

wide. Like other items in the

tabernacle, the ark also had rings for

the poles used to carry it. These poles

were not to be removed from the ark.

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The ark accompanied Israel

throughout their wilderness journey,

and was the only original piece of

tabernacle furniture moved to the

temple centuries later.

God instructed Moses to place

“the testimony” – the Ten

Commandments -inside the ark

(verses 16,21; 31:18). These tablets

would remind the Children of Israel of

God’s law and their sinfulness

(Romans 7:7). While no one can keep

every aspect of the Law, God did

provide a wag of forgiveness in the

‘mercy seat”(Exodus 25: 17).

The mercy seat was the lid for the

ark. On this lid were two cherubim, one

at either end facing each other (verses

18-20). The wings of these cherubim

were outspread, covering the mercy

seat

The word used for the mercy seat

means “to cover the sins,” “to

reconcile,” or “to make atonement.”

The mercy seat depicted the only hope

sinners had, or ever will have, or

fellowship with God: His mercy.

The ark of the covenant spoke of

God’s original intent in the tabernacle:

fellowship (25:8). At the ark, with its

mercy seat, God promised to meet with

His people (verse 22). There He would

provide not only atonement, but

guidance for their lives.

At the same time, however, the

location of the ark within the tabernacle

woke of separation. God instructed

Moses to make a “veil” (Exodus 26:31,

KJV) or “curtain” (NIV) from linen and

colored yam. This curtain separated

the Holy Place from the Most Holy

Place (verse 33). Only the priest could

enter the Most Holy Place, and only

once a year. While the mercy seat

spoke of access to God, this access

was limited.

 

 

 

 

B Access to God

Matthew 27:50,51;

Hebrews 9:2-7; 10:1 9-22

Man needed, and still needs, what

the tabernacle symbolized: fellowship

with God. God created humanity for

fellowship with Him; and He provided

fellowship through the tabernacle.

When the priest entered the

tabernacle, he represented every

worshipper outside the structure. But

sin prevented each person from

individually enjoying what the

tabernacle typified.

Jesus ‘sacrifice for sin removed

the barrier between God and His

creation. At the moment of Jesus ‘

death on the cross, a curious thing

occurred in the temple in Jerusalem.

The heavy curtain, the veil, “was rent in

twain from the top to the bottom”

(Matthew 27:51). Through Christ’s

death, access to God was made

available to all.

Several places in the Book of

Hebrews, the writer contrasted the

temporary and ineffective ministry in

the tabernacle with the complete and

effective ministry of Christ and His

death. ln chapter 9, he referred to the

layout of the Holy Place, containing the

lampstand and table of show-

bread (verse 2), and the Most Holy

Place, containing the ark of the

covenant and the altar of incense

(verses 3,4).

The inclusion of the altar of

incense in the Most Holy Place seems

to contradict other accounts of the

tabernacle’s layout. However, the

writer’s placement of the altar of

incense may simply depict its

nearness to the ministry performed

within the veil. The priest brought

sacrificial blood from the altar of burnt

offering and incense from the altar of

incense. Verse 4 further adds “the

golden pot that had manna” and

‘Aaron’s rod” to the contents of the ark.

Next the writer referred to the

ministry of the priest. The priest

regularly ministered in the Holy place

(verse 6). But only once a year could

he enters the Most Holy Place (verse 7).

This latter event occurred on the Day of

Atonement (Leviticus 16). Entrance

into the Holy of Holies was forbidden

for all but the High Priest.

Hebrews 10:19-22 describes the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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access to God provided through the

death of Christ. his access is given to

all believers. We can come boldly into

His presence. Christ, through His

death, has brought us into a living

relationship with God (verse 20). As

our High Priest, He provided entrance

into God’s presence for us (verse 21).

Question: How did Christ’s death

give us, boldness to come into

God’s presence?

Because of Christ, we can

approach God with confidence,

knowing our sins have been forgiven.

Our sins no longer separate us from

the most holy God. The Old Testament

sacrifices could not provide

forgiveness, so no one could have

access into God’s presence. But

Christ’s sacrifice has provided us with

unlimited access to God (verse 22).

The limited access to God in the

Holy of Holies has been removed.

Through the blood of Christ, sinners

can now come confidently before our

holy God. And because of our

relationship with Christ, we can enjoy

God’s presence every day.

 

  1. Complete Atonement
  2. Day of Atonement

Leviticus 16:1 -34

The day each year when the priest

entered into the Holy of Holies was

called the Day of Atonement (Leviticus

23:27,28). Leviticus 16 describes the

various activities of that day.

The High Priest was prohibited

from entering the Most Holy place on

any day other than the Day of

Atonement (Leviticus 16:1,2). Any

transgression of this rule brought

death.

Question: Why did God attach such

severe consequences to an

unlawful entry into the Holy of

Holies?

God visibly manifested His glory

over the ark of the covenant in the Holy

of Holies (verse 2). Only the man God

designated could come into His

presence and only when he was

properly prepared.

This man, the high priest, was

capable of sin. To prepare himself to

enter the Holy of Holies, he had to offer

a sin offering and a burnt offering for

himself and his family (verses 3,6,11-

14). He was also required to bathe and

wear “holy garments” (verse 4).

 

After placing burning coals from

the altar of burnt offering in a censer,

the priest entered the Most Holy Place.

He then added incense to the coals,

filling the room with an aromatic

fragrance. He took the blood of a

sacrificed bull and sprinkled it on the

mercy seat, making atonement for

himself. Only after he had been

cleansed from sin could he offer the sin

offering on behalf of the nation.

The other animals used in the

offerings are mentioned in verses 7-

  1. God instructed the priest to bring

two goats: one was a sacrifice for sin,

the other was a “scapegoat,” to be set

free in the desert.

 

After the priest had offered a

sacrifice for himself, he killed the goat

chosen for the sacrifice and made

atonement for the nation of Israel

within the Holy of Holies (verses 15-

18). When the priest came out of the

Holy of Holies, he took the blood of the

goat and the blood of the bullock and

cleansed the altar of burnt offerings by

sprinkling it with the blood.

After the priest had made the

sacrifices for atonement, he laid his

hands on the scapegoat, confessed

the nation’s sins over it, then had the

goat released into the desert,

symbolizing the removal of the nation’s

sins (verses 20-22).

 

 

 

 

After the priest finished his work

on the Day of Atonement, he washed

himself and offered another sacrifice

for himself and the people (verses

23,24). The one who led the scapegoat

into t e wilderness was required to

bathe as well (verses 25,26). Then the

remainder of the sacrifice was

removed for disposal (verses 27,28).

The sacrifices on the Day of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Atonement were a yearly ritual (verses

29-34). Yet these sacrifices could n

make the conscience of the worshipper

clean. As the high priest made

atonement each year, he and the

people were continually reminded of

their sins.

  1. Christ, Our High Priest

Hebrews 4:14-16; 9:16-28;

1John 2:1,2

When the high priest offered

sacrifice for himself on the Day of

Atonement, he was made aware of his

own sinfulness. This awareness

helped him sympathize with the nation

and their need for sacrifices for sin.

Jesus, our High Priest, can also

sympathize with our needs. The

phrase “passed into the heavens”

indicates at one time He walked among

His creation. But He was more than a

human high priest; He is the “Son of

God ‘(Hebrews 4: 14). And because

there is no other who can procure our

salvation, we can ‘hold fast our

profession.”

 

Yet Jesus does more than observe

our difficulties. The word ‘touched’

(KJV) or “sympathize” (NIV) in verse

5 describes someone suffering with

another. Jesus ‘total identification with

humanity included experiencing all of

the temptations we face. Yet there was

one difference between Jesus and us:

He did not sin.

Question: How does Jesus

ministry as our High priest

encourage you to bring your needs

to Him?

Because Jesus completely

understands the temptations we

experience, we know He has

compassion on us. Also the writer of

Hebrews encourages believers to

“come boldly unto the throne of grace”

(verse 16). The writer probably had the

mercy seat oi the tabernacle in mind

Because of Christ, we can approach

God with confidence. We can obtain

mercy and experience His grace to

help us in any need we might have.

But Christ is more than our High

Priest; He is also the Sacrifice for our

sins. Hebrews 9:15 explains how

Christ came to establish a new

testament. While the word ‘testament’

can refer to a covenant, it is obvious in

verses 16,17 that the writer is referring

to a “will” (NIV).

Question: What is the purpose of a

will and when does a will take

effect?

A will gives instructions

concerning the distribution of one ‘s

estate after death. But the will has no

power until the one who made the will

dies. Only then can its provisions take

effect.

In a similar way, death and blood

played key roles in the Old Testament

covenant (verse 18). The power of

the Old Testament ritual, like that of a

will, lay in the sacrifice (death) of an

animal, and involved the shedding of

its blood. In verses 18-20, the writer

described the sprinkling of blood on

the people, and the covenant given at

Sinai. Later, at the dedication of the

tabernacle, Moses sprinkled blood on

it and all its vessels (verse 21). In fact,

so important was blood in Old

Testament ritual that almost all

sacrifices involved the shedding of

blood. And without this blood,

forgiveness was impossible (verse

22)

While it was necessary for the

tabernacle to be sprinkled with blood,

the true tabernacle in heaven needed

a better sacrifice (verse 23). Only one

Person could provide that sacrifice:

Jesus Christ. Like the high priest who

presented the people before God

in the Holy of Holies, Jesus entered

into heaven to present us to God. But

Jesus did not need to do this year after

gear (verses 25 26). He did not offer

himself as a sacrifice over and over.

Rather His one sacrifice provided

complete forgiveness for sin.

To further prove his point, the

writer stated in verse 27, “It Is

appointed unto men once to die, but

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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after this the judgment.” Jesus died

once, not for judgement, but to “bear

the sins of many”(verse 28). And when

He comes again, it will not be to offer

himself as a sacrifice again, but to

bring ultimate deliverance for His

children.

Christ’s sacrifice for our sins is the

message of the gospel. When the

apostle John wrote to a group of

believers, he referred to Christ as “the

propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2).

Another form of the word translated

propitiation” was used by the

reeks to refer to appeasing an

angered god. But this appeasing was

done through some act of those trying

to appease their god.

We can never appease God

through our own human efforts. Biblical

propitiation is initiated by God. In verse

 

2, John wrote that Jesus is our

“propitiation.” He was sent by God as

the Atoning Sacrifice for our sins. Only

through His death can we be recon-

cited to God.

Another form of the word

“propitiation” was used in the Greek

translation of the Old Testament, the

Septuagint, to refer to the mercy seat

(see Leviticus 16:13). Just as the

mercy seat was where atonement was

made, Christ is the One who made

atonement for us.

The annual ritual on the Day of

Atonement beautifully portrayed what

Jesus did for us once for all. e is the

only Sacrifice that can cleanse us from

all sin. In fact, all who accept Him as

personal Saviour can experience the

effectiveness of His sacrifice.

 

Discipleship in Action

The real purpose for the tabernacle comes into

focus on the Day of Atonement. It was on this day the

high priest made atonement for his sins and the sins of

the people of Israel within the Holy of Holies.

Each year the people looked forward to this great day.

But as great as it was, it also reminded them of their

sins. In addition, the sacrifices they made did not have

the power to cleanse their consciences from sin.

Jesus Christ typologically fulfilled the

sacrifices on the Day of Atonement. Those sacrifices

were not complete, as signified by their yearly

observance. They were also not effective in cleansing

from sin. But Jesus ‘sacrifice was complete and

effectual. All who accept Him as their personal Savior

experience full forgiveness of sin.

Perhaps you have never accepted Christ as your

personal Savior. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin

He is the only One who can save you. No amount of

good works or self-denial can provide the salvation He

can. He is the only One who can bring full forgiveness

for your sins.

 

Ministry in Action

This week’s lesson

provides an excellent

opportunity to share the

gospel with any unsaved

students in your class.

Some of them may have

been trying to earn their

salvation through good

works or self-denial.

Remind them that no

amount of self-sacrifice

can bring them into a

relationship with God.

Jesus is the only access

we have to God.

Invite any unsaved

students to accept Christ

as Savior.

 

For Further Study

Monday Tent of Meeting Exodus 33:7-11

Tuesday Cleansing from Sin Psalm 51 :1-12

Wednesday Return to God Hosea 14: 1 -9

Thursday Which is Easier? Mark 2: 1-12

Friday The intercessor Romans 8:31-39

Saturday Perfect High Priest Hebrews 7:20-28

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