Two summers back I walked across the street from the office to an art festival being held in a city park. The banner at the entrance gate said, ‘Free Admission’.
However, one step into the event and there were 3 people approaching me and each one was very diligent in pressuring for cash donations. Although it said ‘FREE’ I had to walk past the guardians who wanted something first.
It is much the same with many things we do as social beings. We gather to worship in a Sanctuary under a set of rules which oftentimes are the first obstacle to deal with upon entry (rules that offer order, restraint and safety). Those who greet at the entry may inquire “first time here?” or suggest a kids program down the hall. Wave a flag, lift up your hands and sing, sing, sing! It is okay for you to freely worship God.
But at one time there were absolute laws on how one could enter the Tabernacle and predetermined limits to how far a person could go once in. There were priests, Levites and others who would attend to those who approached for a time of worship. Full access was forbidden. The holy of holies was off-limits to us. The altar itself was off-limits as well.
As a worshiper, we could only venture into the ‘general public’ area of the Tabernacle and hope to offer what we had brought with us.
Another person, a man who was ordained by the Church would intercede and sacrifice what we brought as an offering, on our behalf. We could not go there.
In every way, people were quite removed from being actively involved in seeking restitution, forgiveness, and worshiping wholeheartedly. There was always someone we had to deal with, a middleman.
The key to the TABERNACLE is Christ.
Then as I read in Hebrews 8 through 9 where it is explained that this old way of coming to God has ended. His Tabernacle is no longer a place within a building to be governed by priests and attendants. The Tabernacle is Christ and is within us. There is no one to go through and no fee or admission to pay.
The writer of the book of Hebrews says that Jesus is a perfect tabernacle: “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation” Hebrews 9:11
The Holy Spirit is given to each of us freely and is how we come to the Tabernacle in spirit and in truth. We no longer need the blood of goats and bulls, just the atoning blood of Jesus Christ which has already paid our way in. Free Admission for all, come to altar as you are!