The Word for today:
Q. What is Jesus doing right now, at this very moment?
A. He’s praying for you and for me. In fact, according to the Book of Hebrews, he prays night and day for us:
Therefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
Q. Where is Jesus right now, at this very moment?
A. He’s praying at the altar of incense in the heavenly tabernacle. (Incense is a symbol of the sweet savor of prayer (1), ascending to the Father.)
Q. “The heavenly tabernacle?”
A. I don’t want you to get seasick, but the Tabernacle has tipped! When it was down here, it was horizontal. But now it’s vertical. The gate is down here, but the Most Holy Place (where Jesus is) is up there.
And we’re up there with him–in him–on the other side of the curtain that only the High Priest can enter!
This is illustrated by the fact that in Exodus, the altar of incense was outside the curtain (or veil) that encloses the Most Holy Place (2). But in the New Testament book of Hebrews, the altar of incense has moved inside (3). Jesus took our prayers, and us, in with him!
Through the death of Jesus on the cross, we entered through the veil, which is his flesh:
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. (Matthew 27:50-51)
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. (Hebrews 10:19-22)
Now, because of Jesus our High Priest, we can come boldly into God the Father’s presence:
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens…let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Before Jesus died for our sins, we were on the outside of the curtain, still separated from God. But now, through him, we can go right in.
These concepts may seem a little far out, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real.
In fact, the tabernacle on earth was just a copy of the real tabernacle in heaven (4). And the High Priest, Aaron, was just a shadow of our real High Priest, Jesus.
If you want to get real and stop living in Shadow Land, then you’ve got to start to see that the tabernacle is tipped on its end, the High Priest is Jesus, and you’re with him on the other side of the curtain…
(1) See Psalm 141:2; (2) see Exodus 26:33; (3) Hebrews 9:4; (4) Hebrews 8:5