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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Acharei mot 29-1

After dying

Leviticus 16:1-17

The LORD said to Moses: "Tell your brother Aaron not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud over the atonement cover...He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on.

Lev. 16:2, 4 NIV

Who may enter the most sacred place?

Only one day a year may the high priest enter the most sacred place in the tabernacle: on Yom HaKippurim or Yom Kippur, which means "day of the atonements" or "day of atonement". That day is on the tenth day of the seventh month of the biblical year. It is the most sacred day of the year. The whole people are commanded to fast as a sign of repentance and request for forgiveness of sins against the Eternal. On that day, all sins committed by the nation against the Eternal during the whole year are forgiven. This is an extremely critical day. Should the high priest fail in his mission, the people would be left unforgiven and serious consequences would befall on them.

Now, the earthly temple service is a replica of the heavenly one. The letter to the Hebrews  describes in detail all the messianic heavenly fulfillment of this service and shows how the Messiah entered the most sacred place in heaven with his own blood once and for all and produced everlasting atonement and purification for those destined for eternal life and for a heavenly priestly ministry.

If we can't see that there are two dimensions - a heavenly one and an earthly one - we won't understand either of the services. The Messiah died and rose from the dead to officiate in the heavenly service, not the earthly. The earthly service is a shadow of the heavenly one: though the shadow doesn't replace the heavenly one and the heavenly one does not eliminate the shadow on earth. On the contrary, there is a perfect harmony between both services and they can coexist without any conflict.

By studying the details of the Yom HaKippurim service we can learn a lot about the heavenly ministry of the high priest in the order of Malki Tzedek, which is an everlasting service based upon resurrection life - indestructible life.  

On Yom Kippur the earthly high priest had to remove his daily-used priestly garments and dress in linen garments to be able to enter in the most sacred place. This is a shadow of the death and resurrection of the Messiah. The high priest had to remove all his clothes, figure of the Messiah's death and then, he would dress in a new linen garment that speaks of the body and ministry of the Messiah's resurrection.

Linen is not only the garment of all priests but also of the angels which shows that it's a heavenly fabric. (Ez. 9:2,3,11; 10:2,6,7; 40:3; Dan. 10:5; 12:6,7; Rev. 15:6; 19:14).

We can also see the relationship between Yom Kippur and the Messiah in the fact that linen was present all the time in the process of his death and resurrection (Matt. 27:59; Mar. 15:46; Luke. 23:53; 24:12; John 19:40; 20:5-7). Fine linen is also the fabric of the clothes of the resurrection of the saints (Rev. 19:8).

Through the Messiah, we have access to the heavenly throne in the most sacred place in heaven. It is written in Hebrews 4:14-16: "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Yeshua  the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are?yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (NIV revised)

Shavua tov,


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