Meditation: Exodus 26 (2 of 2)

Reading: Exodus 26:31-37

The most holy place of the tabernacle is covered by a veil (curtain). The holy place is covered by a screen (heavy curtain). Later, the temple built by King Solomon has a similar veil separating the most holy place from the rest of the temple.  Apart from the priests, the Israelites are not allowed behind the veils. By this they are shown how reverently God’s holy majesty must be regarded, and how serious the tabernacle services are, so that they approach God’s presence with fear.

Furthermore, the veil indicates that in the Old Testament time the full revelation of salvation has not yet come. The veil shows symbolically that many things remain hidden. For example, the Israelites did not know how the promised Messiah would be revealed. Salvation is more fully revealed only when Jesus Christ is born and does His work on earth, is crucified, buried and resurrected. Therefore when Christ dies on the cross “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51).  This ended the ceremonies of the Law; Jesus Christ reveals and brings the salvation which was foreshadowed in these ceremonies.

The apostle Peter says we are greatly blessed by the revelation of salvation in Jesus Christ as we read it in the Gospels.  “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow” (1 Peter 1:10-11).

See how clearly God’s goodness shines toward us today, because much more is revealed to us than to the prophets. At the same time we are assured of the certainty of salvation in Jesus Christ because the Holy Spirit already spoke about it by the ancient prophets.

Key text: Ex 26:33 “The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy.”

Question: Why were only the priests into the holy places of the tabernacle?