When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.

The reference to the structure and furnishings of the Tabernacle provides a foundation for a description of the annual ‘Day of Atonement.’ For this one day only, each year, only the High Priest could enter the most Holy Place, taking with him the blood of animal sacrifice. (As we have seen previously, he had to sacrifice for his own sins as well as the people’s).

So here we come to the first of three reasons why a better covenant was needed: under the Old Covenant there was limited access to the presence of God.

This was the Holy Spirit’s way of showing with a visible parable that as long as the large tent stands, people can’t just walk in on God. The Message

‘The very presence of that outer tent symbolized the restricted way and limited ministry of the old covenant. A heavy curtain kept ordinary priests out of the inner sanctuary.’ Raymond Brown: ‘Christ above all’, p.153.

May we never lose the sense of wonder and privilege of what Jesus has done for us:

So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. Hebs.10: 19-21: The Message.

I read an article in which a pastor was saying, ‘In our church I encourage people to gather for prayer, saying, We get to pray!

Perhaps prayer meetings would be more popular if we really understood how remarkable it is to have immediate access to God through the blood of Jesus? Do we just take it for granted?