The Holy of Holies

Hi again! Today’s lesson is from Hebrews 9 and 10.

holyofholies

**As I typed this out, I realized it might be a bit advanced, so here is the super abbreviated version and below you’ll find the elongated version for sightly older kids.

Back when Moses was leading God’s people, God gave them some rules about church. There was a special room where God’s Spirit was and only the priest in charge could go in there and he only did that one time each year. When we sins, we are supposed to have to die forever, but the priest would kill and give God an animal (called a sacrifice) and ask God to forgive all the people for their bad choices (called sin).

But God knew there was a better way to forgive the people once and for all. So He sent His son Jesus. Jesus was perfect and He died for us. No more killing animals and when we believe in Jesus, we don’t have to die forever, instead we can live forever in heaven. Jesus became the sacrifice and He is now the priest in charge. He talks to God and asks Him to forgive our sins. When Jesus died, God said, “no more animal sacrifices, Jesus has died once and for all for ALL people and if you believe in Him, I will forgive you.” And now, instead of having to go to a special place one time a year, God’s Spirit lives in our hearts. The Bible says our bodies are a temple (because God’s Spirit used to live in the temple and now He lives in our hearts!)

 

***Longer, more detailed version:

In Hebrews, God reminds us that before Jesus came to earth, God set up rules with His people. (Moses and the Israelites in the desert). They had special rules for how and where to worship God. There was a main room for people to worship God and then, behind a giant curtain, was a room called the Most Holy Place (The Holy of Holies) which had the ark of the covenant, and God’s Spirit lived there.

The priests worked in the temple (church),  but only the high priest (the one in charge) entered the Holy of Holies, and he only did that once a year. When the High Priest did go in that very special room, he never went without first making a sacrifice (killing one of the animals God told him to). Then he asked God to forgive the sins the people had committed. God’s Spirit lived in the Holy of Holies, in that special room and so only one time a year the High Priest would get to really be with God.

It was a very special job that had to be done *just right.*

But God had another plan…a way for EVERYONE to be close to Him. The gifts and animals sacrifices being offered to God then did not really do anything to fix peoples’ hearts forever. But God was showing the people that it would take a LOT for their sin to be forgiven. The animals the people had to kill were very important to them. They would eat or sell those animals (it was the most important thing they had)…when they sacrificed them to God it was like saying “I need YOU God, more than my animals. (Like we would say ‘I need YOU God more than my house, my money or all my toys.’)
But if you remember from last time, Jesus is the new High Priest and He did not go into the Holy of Holies because He sacrificed an animal. Do you know what Jesus sacrificed? HIMSELF! God says “the blood of goats and bulls sprinkled on those who are unclean sanctify them so that they are clean on the outside. How much more, then, will the blood of Jesus, who was perfect, cleanse the sin from our inside (our hearts) so that we may serve the living God!” They used to sacrifice their best goat or bull but goats and bulls are not perfect, so it would never make the people perfectly “clean” in God’s eyes. But Jesus WAS  and IS perfect and He makes us right with God. When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our sin, He sees His perfect son, Jesus.

Jesus was the new sacrifice. He was perfect and God had said that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. That is why Jesus had to shed His blood for us so we could be forgiven. (He could have said “no” and we wouldn’t be forgiven by God…but He did! THANK YOU JESUS!)

Jesus did not enter the sanctuary made by people, (that was only a copy of the true one in heaven); He entered heaven itself, and He is now with God to ask for OUR forgiveness!

And the best part is,  He doesn’t have to keep dying and going to heaven to offer himself again and again, like how the high priest went into the Most Holy Place every year to ask for forgiveness.

But Jesus came once, died once, and He did away with sin at once by the sacrifice of Himself. And the next time He comes back, will be to take us all to heaven with Him!

Today we don’t have to kill animals anymore for God to forgive us, “And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” Jesus died for us. And when Jesus died on the cross, the big curtain ripped in half, from the top to the bottom (like from God to us) saying “It is finished. Come here to Me!” The Holy of Holies was now open, God’s Spirit could come to all the people who love Him and we can be perfectly forgiven because of Jesus. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6 that our bodies are now the temple of God. He used to live in the Holy of Holies and now He lives in our hearts.

 

 

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

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