Suppose we raised our children with guidelines patterned after the Old Testament law. Instructions regarding where they can eat and where they can’t might sound something like this:

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein.

Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage there you may not eat, neither may you drink. But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.

When I was a child, the rule may not have been worded quite that way, but the principle was surely in place. There were places where I was forbidden to go except in extreme or unusual circumstances.

The Jews of the Old Testament were in a similar situation. There was a place forbidden to them — that special room in the tabernacle and later the temple called the Most Holy Place, the Holy of Holies. It represented the very presence of God and the punishment for entering was nothing short of death. The only exception took place on the Day of Atonement when the high priest alone entered — and then only after the room was filled with the smoke of incense.

One of the things Jesus did for us on the cross was to open our access into God’s presence. Have you considered the significance of the tearing of the veil in the temple when Jesus was on the cross (Matt. 27:51)? What once was forbidden has now been made available!

“…[W]e have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.” (Hebrews 10:19-20, NIV)

You may still be restricted from eating in the living room, but going into the presence of God is now a possibility!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith

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