This is my last post in my short series on God’s sanctuary. It all began here.
I wanted to share with you that God directed the making of the sanctuary so that he could dwell with his people. That is his eternal desire. The message of the sanctuary was that God was demonstrating his love to us in that while we were sinners, Jesus Christ died to save us. Why did he do such a thing? So that we would dwell with him as he wants to dwell with us.
But then I shifted focus to the judgment. I’ve heard the judgment described in various ways, many of which make God look terrible and run contrary to the purpose and message of the sanctuary. Usually, the Son of God is having to convince God the Father to forgive, accept, and receive us.
In contrast, I suggested that the scenario I see in scripture reveals a God who stands between you and the Accuser, the hater of love and life, and not only defending you but claiming you as his child. Does that sound crazy? Well, I got it from the Bible. Does it have anything to do with the sanctuary? Yes!
Let me set the mood with Psalm 109: 26-31
Help me, O Lord my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, That they may know that this is Your hand—That You, Lord, have done it! Let them curse, but You bless; When they arise, let them be ashamed, But let Your servant rejoice. Let my accusers be clothed with shame, And let them cover themselves with their own disgrace as with a mantle. I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude. For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, To save him from those who condemn him.
And now consider Zechariah 3. Here we find a high priest, standing before God, and he is being accused by Satan. God will have none of it and he shuts Satan down. Verse 2 says, “The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?””
Pretty cool, right? Here’s the thing, this short passage is talking about the high priest in the most holy place of the sanctuary on the day of atonement – judgment day! What’s really amazing is the high priest is wearing filthy garments (actually covered in excrement). This is despite all the cleansing and care he would have taken to stand in rightness before the LORD. And yet, it’s clear that it’s nothing the high priest did or said that commended him but it’s because of Christ Jesus who is promised in verse 9. The changing of his garments indicate he has been made right, he is accepted, God wants to dwell with him. And, in the end, we can see that this is our story, too
Behold what manner of love is this?!?