03 February 2012

What Holy of Holies?

A few weeks ago our pastor mentioned the veil being torn in the Holy of Holies when Jesus died on the cross, and how it was not so much to let us in as to let God out.

This got me thinking. (One of the cool things about pastor Neusch is that the fact that I'm thinking doesn't seem to scare him.) The Kutless song, "Take Me In", immediately played through my mind. While I love this song, I suddenly realized how theologically problematic it was.

For most of Biblical history there was no Holy of Holies as we know it. From the beginning, God intentionally spent time with men and women. But after delivering the Israelites from Egypt, the people were afraid of God. It was only after they refused to draw near to God (Ex. 20) that God gave Moses instructions for the Ark of the Covenant, where God chose to restrict his presence for his peoples' sake. Even then, God was manifestly hanging out near his people. It wasn't until David and Solomon insisted on building a temple that God consented to "reside" in the Holy of Holies.

Even then, God came to people elsewhere, spoke with them and did miracles (the prophets, kings who served God, etc.) God won't fit in a box. Even one he designed.

During the time of the Ark and the Temple, most of those who loved God never truly experienced his presence. Just as sin originally made Adam and Eve ashamed so that they drew away from God (not the other way round), Israel kept choosing paths that pushed God farther away.

But the instant Jesus died, sin was overcome once (all the way backward and forward in time!) for all (all!) and the veil was torn from top to bottom. Just as in the Garden of Eden, there was nothing between God and people. God refused to stay isolated any longer from those he loved.

Bill Vanderbush makes a compelling case that every Christian takes the place of the Ark of the Covenant, carrying the Presence of the living God. I would go farther; we also have become the Holy of Holies-- the place where we meet God face to face in absolute purity and holiness. We have no need to ask permission to enter. We're here. He's here. And we're alive in his presence.

For far too many people around us, there is still a veil-- a veil of ignorance, a veil of pain, or a veil of lies. Share God's presence so that these veils fall and others can become the Holy of Holies as well.


  1. You mean they stuck God in a box and he let himself out? :P

  2. deep thoughts!

    really though, kidding aside, i love this post. i like that call to action, to share God's presence with others.

    nice post, brother miles!

  3. I've probably mentioned that I think God takes his kids being a family seriously, and that I do, too. So it always gives me a super cool feeling when I see something like, "brother Miles".