The Meeting

Holy-of-Holies

The High Priest opened the curtain and slowly walked into the Holy Place. His hands were still damp from the recent experience in the water basin. He took a deep breath as he walked through the threshold and whispered a quick prayer during the initial steps.

He looked to the left and made note of the candelabra. This priceless piece was hammered out of one piece of pure gold. Until this point, this lampstand has been used for several generations, but one would have poor observation skills not to notice that the stand still looked brand new. He knew that there was deep meaning in all the pieces that were placed in the Temple, but there was something in him that understood that there was a far deeper meaning to this lamp than what he could currently comprehend. Perhaps the full meaning would be revealed in time…

As he shuffled forward, his robe nearly dragged on the ground. He, once again, became aware of the weight of his breastplate. When he looked to his right side, he remembered the 12 tribes of Israel. This was symbolized by the loaves of bread on the table. The High Priest closed his eyes and inhaled through his nose. The smell of freshly baked wheat filled his nostrils, and for some reason, as if it was forcibly planted in his mind, stories of the times that God was faithful to His people were recalled.

The path became shorter, and the priest saw the last stand that he had to navigate around. The closer he got, the more the scent of incense gripped him. This small table had great significance, and the placement made it so it was almost an obstruction to the final goal. As the smoke filled the air, he was made acutely aware of his mission and purpose. The incense symbolized the prayers of the people that he was there to represent. One concept that struck him, that he had never thought of before, concerned the placement of this table. It was strategic. When God gave the instructions through Moses to build the original Tabernacle, it seems as if He wanted to make sure that prayer was the closest thing to Him. Perhaps there is more power in this action that we often think.

With a bowl full of blood in his hand, the High Priest approached the final curtain. He opened it to see the Arc of the Covenant. His heart pounded harder and harder. He felt slightly dizzy and had to compose himself. The makeshift room seemed to be illuminated and he felt as if it was significantly hotter. Then, he gave thanks to Yahweh, and began sprinkling the blood on the artifact. The experience seemed short lived as he concentrated on the ritual. He exited.

Weeks later, the High Priest heard rumors of a baby that was born not too far away. This child was born during the empire-wide census in a stable among animals. People spoke of a scandalized mother, who was pregnant before she was married to her husband. After a while, word about this little boy seemed to fade away. Perhaps we may hear more about this story later.

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Praying the Entire Bible

Currently I am preaching through a series in which I am taking a deeper look at the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer is a template the Jesus gave His disciples for their prayer lives.

This is not simply a physical pattern or set of bullet points that Jesus wants to make sure that all prayers incorporate, but this template was more of a display of how God wants our hearts to be oriented in our spiritual lives.

For instance, when Jesus starts this template by praying “our Father” there is a hidden encouragement that He gives us to look at God as provider, protector, and the authority over our lives. So, when we enter into an attitude of prayer, no matter how we pray, this is the attitude we are to take.

When studying this popular prayer, I have also discovered that its structure seems to coincide with the structure of the Bible.

First, God reveals himself as Father, and the Holy judge.Then, God’s will is challenged, His people rebel, and the true followers of God act to bring about His kingdom once again. Next, God shows His abundant provision, and his desire for a closer relationship.

The climax of this structure comes when God sends His son as atonement for sin, thus personifying forgiveness. After Jesus ascends to Heaven, he leaves the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction and power over temptation. Finally, in the end times God is glorified forever.

It is a different look at this prayer that many have heard and consequently ignored. Jesus was giving us more direction than we realize in this prayer. The disciples were asking how to become closer to God (the chapter leading up to this prayer), but when prayer was talked about Jesus was really emphasizing the fact that God is right here to embrace…

The prayer gives us a synopsis of God’s work for us, and how we are to interact with Him.

Now look at this prayer:

‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed (holy) be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

-Matthew 6:9-13

…and many add “for yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever…amen.”

Reflect on what God has done for you…and that He is right HERE to embrace.

-Landon DeCrastos