The Gospel According to Paul: Sanctuary was symbolic and Temporary. The ministry of Jesus is real, and now. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, July 5, 2018
This is devotional thought number 80 in our devotional series titled, “The Gospel According to Paul.”
“Now many have become Levitical priests, since they are prevented by death from remaining in office. But because He remains forever, He holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:23–25, HCSB).
Limitation of the Symbolism
The Old Testament is full of lessons that help us understand the truth for our time. They comprise the foundation of our faith. One of the most comprehensive teachings in the Old Testament was about the system of sacrifices and the sanctuary. They provided a blueprint of the plan of salvation and God’s infinite love for us.
Today’s topic comes directly in this context. It highlights a fundamental limitation of the Levitical priesthood – death. No Old Testament priest could continue in his office longer than he lived. We are finite human beings, who, due to our human frailties are appointed a time to live and a time to die. For the priests, when death came knocking on their doors, their roles were transferred to the next qualified priest who would continue the ministry in the sanctuary.
Sounds simple enough. But, when you consider how vital the priestly role was, it could be discouraging to think those men were sinful and needed forgiveness. These very men were to go into the presence of God for the people and come out from the presence of God to the people to, among other things, atone for our sins. This was a heavy burden given to men especially called and chosen for that purpose.
I am so glad the Lord made a perfect transition from the Old to the New Testament times. Instead of using endless offerings on limitless special days throughout the Jewish year to save us from our sins, and using faulty priests to minister and intercede, our God transitioned us to the ministry of the One to whom these all pointed – Jesus Christ!
What neither the Old Testament ceremonies, sacrifices, nor priests could do to effect our salvation, Jesus did with great power and authority. Having conquered eternal death, on the cross, for those who would keep faith in Him, Jesus arose from the tomb with the victory over hell, the grave, and death. He is now ministering in the heavenly ministry of cleansing so all who surrender our lives to Him can have our sins, not just forgiven, but our sin records also expunged. In this way, Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us if we entrust ourselves to Him.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?