When Christ is called our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14) it is because he and he alone was chosen by God to make the perfect sacrifice and intercession for us before God’s merciful throne-and not before an earthly throne, but before the very throne of God’s presence!
The Tabernacle must have been a great mystery for people. Even priests did not know everything about this holy tent. A place where only one man, once a year, entered; where God’s powerful presence was visible; where the high priest brought blood and incense to do a ritual of atonement for the sins of the all the people; the Tabernacle was a place of wonder.
Any priest could offer incense accompanied by some of the grain offering on the altar of incense. It is possible that priests offered incense by itself, although there are no clear indications for this practice (Leviticus 10:1-3; Numbers 16:16-18; Deuteronomy 33:10; 1 Samuel 2:28; Ezekiel 8:10-11).
The issue of purity was very important for the Israelites. The Tabernacle was at the center of all of Israel’s life. God’s presence in the midst of the camp determined the life of the people. An important function of the Mosaic Law was to instruct people on how to live in the presence of a holy God. The holy and the impure cannot coexist. Thus, God provided a means to cleanse what had become impure. God chose purification rites and sacrifices to prevent the destruction of the people when they became impure. The following table shows the main causes for ritual and moral impurity and the prescription for achieving purity anew.
The idea of sacrifice is at the core of the Christian faith. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is one of the central truths of the gospel. However, this important element of the Christians faith finds its origin and explanation in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. It is true that Jesus’ sacrifice has made obsolete the Old Testament sacrificial system (Hebrews 10:1-18). However, the original readers of the letter to the Hebrews knew and understood the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. From that knowledge, they were able to more fully understand Jesus’ work on the cross.
Gold has always been prized for its rarity and permanence. It is useful in its pure state even before it is refined, and it never tarnishes like other metals do. God’s value and beauty caused it to become associated with wealth and royalty (Gen 13:2; 41:42). The accoutrements of royalty were made of gold, including scepters and crowns (2 Sam 12:30; Esther 4:11; 8:15). Thus the wise men’s gift of gold to Jesus was a symbolic act-he was being declared to be a king (Matt 2:11). Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (GOLD)→
Elevate site, usually found on the top of a mountain or hill; most high places were Canaanite places of pagan worship.
HEATHEN WORSHIP AT THE HIGH PLACE: The average high place would have an altar (2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chron 14:3), a carved wooden pole that depicted the female goddess of fertility (Asherah), a stone pillar symbolizing the male deity (2 Kings 3:2), other idols (2 Kings 12:31; 13:32; 16:32-33). At these places of worship the people sacrificed animals (at some high places children were sacrificed according to Jer 7:31), burned incense to their gods, prayed, ate sacrificial meals, and were involved with male or female cultic Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (HIGH PLACE)→
Cattle were primarily a measure or symbol of wealth in biblical times. They were both familiar and significant, good characteristics for symbolic use. Among his livestock, the wealthy Job had a thousand oxen (Job 1:3). Cattle not only provided meat, milk, leather, and other by-products, they were the main animal workforce in ancient agricultural societies. Oxen (castrated bulls) pulled plows as well as wagons. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BULL/CALF)→