November 11 — The Most Holy Place
Read Exodus 25:10-22
The instructions for building the Tabernacle are given from the inside out. In the innermost part of the structure stands the most important object. The first thing God instructs Moses to build is the Ark of the Covenant. This gold-lined box of acacia wood was built as a seat for the presence of God to meet with His people through the mediation of the High Priest. In it was placed symbols of God’s covenant with Israel (stone tablets), His provision (jar of manna), and His chosen priesthood (Aaron’s budded staff). On top of the Ark sat the mercy seat, a solid gold slab serving as a cover for the box and supporting two golden carved cherubim. The construction of the Ark was completed with the addition of rings of gold at each corner that held two wooden poles used for carrying it. No one was allowed to touch the Ark or they would die.
The Function of the Ark
The Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of God among His people. As such, it was treated with the utmost respect and reverence. In the tabernacle, the Ark was placed in the innermost part called the Most Holy Place or the Holy of Holies. This area was not open to the public. In fact, only one person, the High Priest, was allowed to enter this part of the tabernacle. One day a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Most Holy Place and sprinkle blood on the Ark in order to make reparation for the people. It is sin that separates us from God and it takes two things to reconcile that gap: a holy mediator and blood. In the case of the original tabernacle, the mediator was God’s chosen High Priest and the blood of an animal. On Calvary, Jesus fulfilled both requirements and now acts as mediator between sinful man and a holy God. We are reconciled to God through Christ’s righteousness. Now, the presence of God is not symbolized by a box that almost no one is allowed near, but resides in the form of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of His (saved) people.