"OUR APPROACH TO GOD."
Intro: This message is a continuation of last Sunday's, the approach to God under the new Covenant.
I. THE PROBLEM: How can sinful man approach a sinless God?
A. Man had been separated from God by sin.
1. Garden of Eden, "Where art thou?"
2. Isaiah, "God's hand is not short..."
B. Difficulty of approach graphically portrayed in worship in tabernacle.
1. General description of tabernacle.
a. Court of the tabernacle, 75' x 150', wall 7-1/2 ft.
1. Brass altar, brass laver.
2. Entrance limited to Levites only.
b. The tabernacle, 15'x 45'x 15'.
1. Two rooms divided by veil.
c. The holy place, 15' X 30' within tabernacle.
1. Candlestick, altar of incense, table of shewbread.
2. Entrance limited to priests only.
d. Holy of Holies, 15 X 15 X 15.
1. Ark of the covenant - a box containing Aaron's rod, manna, tables of stone.
2. Entrance limited to high priest only once a year.
2. Functions of high priest on day of entrance.
a. Arise early, bathe, put on priestly garments worn only that day.
b. First did daily priestly functions.
1. Burned incense, made morning sacrifice, trimmed lamps.
c. Then he sacrificed a bullock, he then changed into white linen robe.
d. They then brought to him a bullock he had purchased with his personal resources. Placing his hand on the head, he confessed his sin and his house.
e. He then cast lots on two goats, one for Jehovah, one marked for azazel (scapegoat).
f. Returned to bullock and killed it, throat slit and blood caught in a basin.
g. He then took coals from off the altar and put them in a censer. He took incense in a special dish and entered into Holy of Holies, to burn incense in presence of God.
h. He then came out and took basin of blood and returned back in and sprinkled blood 7 times up and 7 times down.
i. He came out and killed a goat marked for Jehovah. With its blood he re-entered and sprinkled again.
j. The scapegoat then brought, and he laid hands on its head and confessed his and the people's sin.
l. He then prayed for the priesthood and people, and bathed and put on again the gorgeous robes.
m. He then sacrificed a kid of the goats and the normal evening sacrifice, and once again bathed, put on white linen again and returned to Holy of Holies to remove incense. He bathed once more, put on gorgeous robes and burned evening sacrifice of incense and again trimmed the lamps. After sundown he had a feast to celebrate he was still alive.
C. All of this showed the people the unapproachableness of God.
1. Nor did it put away their sin or clear their conscience.
II. NOW THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST WE HAVE ACCESS TO GOD.
A. Having therefore boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus.
1. A new and living way to God.
2. Through the veil, i.e., His flesh.
a. When He was crucified, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom.
b. Yet it is the veil of His flesh that gives us entrance.
"So near, so very near to God we cannot nearer be,
For in the person of His Son we are as near as He.
B. What glorious privileges!
C. Privilege brings responsibility.
1. "Let us draw near" - continuously (form of verb).
2. "Let us hold fast" - persistently.
3. "Let us consider one another" - constantly.
a. Draw near in faith.
b. Hold fast the hope.
c. Consider one another to love.
Privilege of no value unless practiced. Through Jesus, God no longer worshipped in just Jerusalem or in Mt. Gerizim, but wherever you bow your head. When Jews washed disciples' feet. If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them.