Even before Jesus came, there was a holy place in this world. And there were rules about the right way to serve God.
Those facts may surprise us. God had established a holy place in an unholy world. And he had declared that certain actions to serve him were right. So God provided holy and right things for people who were neither holy nor right. These things were in this world where people do not obey God.
It was Godís desire that, by means of these things, people could have a relationship with him. People could learn about God from these things. And these things provided an opportunity for people to give honour to God, who created them.
But God never intended these arrangements to be permanent. It was always his plan that, at the proper time his Son would come into this world. And Jesus would establish a new and better relationship between God and his people.
Jesus spoke about that new and better relationship in John 4:21-24. He said that there would not be just one holy place in this world. The right way to serve God now is not by rules, but by his Holy Spirit. And Godís people may give honour to him anywhere, because they themselves are his temple (the house of God). Godís Spirit lives in them (1 Corinthians 6:19).
But the authorís purpose here is to explain about the original holy place in this world. It was in the tabernacle, the holy tent that Moses built as Godís house. And afterwards, it was in the temple in Jerusalem.
These are not just rules about an ancient holy place that no longer exists. The rules for this first holy place were Godís method to teach people about Jesus. And we can still learn many things about Jesus from these rules.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.