This quotation created this moment of inspiration:
“In the sanctuary and the temple, that were the earthly symbols of God’s dwelling place, one apartment was sacred to His presence. The veil inwrought with cherubim at its entrance was not to be lifted by any hand save one. To lift that veil and intrude unbidden into the sacred mystery of the Most Holy Place was death. For above the Mercy Seat and the bowed, worshiping angels dwelt the glory of the Holiest, glory upon which no man might look and live. On the one day of the year appointed for ministry in the Most Holy Place, the high priest with trembling entered God’s presence, while clouds of incense veiled the glory from his sight. Throughout the courts of the temple every sound was hushed. No priests ministered at the altars. The hosts of worshipers, bowed in silent awe, sent up their petitions for God’s mercy.” –Testimonies to the Church, Volume 8, page 284
Place yourself in the position of the “High Priest”. You’ve been watching the calendar all year and now it is time. You have and “are” praying for this moment because once you lift that curtain, whatever you hadn’t gotten fixed won’t get fixed and you will not be walking out. Look at the photo. Many may not know this but the High Priest wore this special garment for that one day of the year, the “Day of Atonement”. If his own life was not up to God’s standard, the little bells would stop making noise and nobody was foolish enough to go get him. This is why there was a rope tied to one of his legs. He would be dragged out and buried!
This was the seriousness of approaching God. This was a period of the utmost sacredness. This was the time of the utmost determination to cleanse one’s self of anything which would be offensive to God. Is it possible it can be done? The answer is obviously “yes” because for many years that rope was never used and as the High Priest breathed a sigh of relief, the people also breathed a sigh of relief because they knew, too, they were right with God.
Contrast this with our church services today. When people needed to get right with God there was no revelry. There was no shouting. There was no music. There was no gaiety and happiness. There was only the heart-rending, heart-searching and heart-bearing and cleaning itself of sin. We have come so far from what real service is all about. We are not in the “Jubilee” period—yet. That comes, but before it comes we have to go through getting ready to meet God and to study the life of the High Priest and what he did to prepare for that awesome encounter is something we need to do in our own personal lives and imitate the example otherwise we will be doomed for eternity.
There are those who will say, “Christ did all that for me.” Wrong! He paid the price for your sin, but He cannot do anything about your cleansing without your assistance. How many of you take time out—daily, for that principle of your life? It’s more than church attendance on the weekend. It is more than singing in the choir and serving as teacher in classes. It is so much more than smiling and shaking hands and feeling good about one’s self. But alas, nobody will ever know what it is truly like because we have not a clue what the High Priest was required to do in order to prepare to meet God.
We, too, are preparing to meet God. What are you doing to get prepared because when He comes, there will only be two classes: those who will rise up and those who will fall down. Check your leg and see if there is a rope!
June 1, 2016