Conscience brought charges against them and laws judged them.
They came to the priesthood, those set apart to offer the sacrifices and keep the golden lamps burning. These, though, could still not enter the Most Holy Place, the inner chamber of the Tabernacle. It was only on one day of the year that the High priest among them entered, and on this occasion as he made atonement for all of the people. He was the one who bore the names of the people upon stones strung over his heart as a memorial.
Years later, the beloved of God built a temple, a house for the LORD. It stood on large stones, crowned with bronze shaped in the form of lilies and pomegranates. The service of the priests was thereafter conducted there. The incense no longer filled the tent of the Tabernacle, but the rooms of the temple. A cloud of glory, the glory of that God, also filled the space.
Those days are gone.
No longer are pigeons and goats offered up. No longer is the blood of bulls and rams needed to cover our guilt, to hide our shame. There has been a final sacrifice. A blameless lamb has died that thereafter all might receive redemption.
And when it happened, the curtain that hung to hide the innermost Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom.
The Messiah, the one who saves, is now the High Priest - and not just for His people Israel, but for all. He offered up as an eternal sacrifice his own blood on behalf of our lives that we might be made acceptable in the sight of the Holy God.
"For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:13-14
"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17
The perfect covenant, which all the patriarchs waited for, has been fulfilled. We live in a time that knows this. Two thousand years have passed since that time, and that can make the past seem blurry. Yet this is history. This is fact.
It is finished.
And now is the time to begin.
God works with men on a one-to-one basis. I cannot rely on the faith of my fathers to save me. I cannot point to the work of my kin and lay claim. I need to take up the life I have been offered through Jesus Christ and live it. Christ has saved me, and in response he desires me to return a life for a life. I need to live a life that seeks righteousness and humility. I need to cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.