Hebrews 8: Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. 3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Here God plainly tells us the purpose of all the rules and regulations regarding worship that came down from Mt. Sinai. They were not the real thing. They were only pictures and foreshadows of the real thing. The real thing is Jesus and the sacrifice that he made for us and presented to God in heaven in our behalf. The tabernacle was a picture of heaven. The Holy of Holies was God’s throne room, his sanctuary. Jesus is both the high priest who enters the sanctuary on the strength of his holy life and the unblemished sacrifice that was made to atone for the sins of the people. The significant difference was that the Old Testament “salvation skits” had to be repeated over and over again, while the sacrifice Jesus made for us was for all time. The “salvation skits” meant nothing in and of themselves. They only made sense if seen in the reality of Christ.
When we read the Old Testament today, we should see Christ in between every line that we read. Christ is the lamb. Christ is the true priest. Christ is the true prophet. Christ is the true king, who never fails us, like all the kings of the Old Testament did. Christ is the true rest that the Sabbath Day envisioned for God’s people. Christ is the only difference between what is clean and unclean. He is the light that never goes out in the temple. He is the sacred bread on which we feast. He is the way through the curtain of sin that separates from God. So when you read the Old Testament, think of Jesus. Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank and praise you for my salvation. You are my Priest, my Lamb, my Sacrifice, my Atonement, my perfect Savior. When I rise in the morning, let my thoughts turn to you. When I pray at noon day, let my life be shaped by you. When I fall asleep at night, let my prayers ascend through you to the throne of grace in heaven. I ask this in your name. Amen.