BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
by PJ Salas
"… and holy is His name." Luke 1:49.
Holy is His name, and holy is what and who God is. The Lord is holy through and through, everything about Him is right. His character is that of perfect loveliness; and an examination of God and His Word teaches us what it means to be holy.
The above image is a depiction of the Ark of the Covenant, situated in the Most Holy Place of the Old Testament Tabernacle. Inside the Ark were the Ten Commandments Moses received from God, and on top of it was the Mercy Seat. Once a year a high priest entered the Most Holy Place to sprinkle blood over the Mercy Seat above the Ark.
In studying the Ark, the Mercy Seat, and the Ten Commandments; and in examining the high priest we learn what our attitude toward the Almighty should be, and what God says holiness is.
The Ark was made of pure gold, inside and out. Above the golden Ark were two angels of pure gold covering the Mercy Seat, also pure gold. The purpose of the high priest in the Most Holy Place was to sprinkle the sacrificial blood on the Mercy Seat.
Before the high priest went into the Most Holy Place, he washed himself, and confessed his sins making sure he approached the physical representation of the Creator in cleanliness, i.e. holiness.
The high priest is a model of Jesus who offers His own sacrificial blood on our behalf to remove the stain of sin in our lives. The pure gold of the Ark represented the pureness, the holiness of God. The Mercy Seat over the Ark reveals God's mercy to us, for we fail to live in accordance with His Ten Commandments, housed inside the Holy Ark
The Ten Commandments within the Ark illustrates the law of God as being within Him, an inscription of His character; they are a part of Him, in His heart and mind. This is what the Lord wants for us, His law within us, written on our hearts and in our mind (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16).
The Ten Commandments show us what sin is, and how we should behave toward God and each other; they show us God's character, and tell us what our character should be. Further, in keeping the Ten Commandments we are showing love to God and to one another (John 14:15; Romans 13:9; 1 John 3:4; 5:2, 3); and this is true holiness.
The first four commandments tell us how to regard the Almighty, and the last six commandments teach us how to treat each other. When we follow these commands through Christ, we show love to God, and to our fellow human beings, and are living a clean and holy life.
When we do not live in accordance with God's commandments we are living in sin (1 John 3:4), we are unclean and unholy. Moreover, sin separates us from God; and sadly, we all sin, and fall short of God's holiness (Romans 3:23); thus we need a high priest, a Mediator, the Lord Jesus.
Sin separates us from God. Without the perfectly clean and sinless life of Christ, interceding for us before a holy and perfect God, we are without hope. We need a Savior who empowers us to do all of God's commands, to restore in us holiness that we may walk with God (Genesis 3:8).
The high priest in the Old Testament Sanctuary service represented the Lord Jesus Christ, standing before a holy God interceding on our behalf, offering His blood over the Mercy Seat to cover our sins.
Our Mediator purchased our lives back from eternal loss by His own blood to restore us to holiness, wholeness. Through faith in Jesus' ability to strengthen and help us we are enabled to live and do all God commands (Philippians 4:13).
God created us holy beings, perfectly beautiful, in His image. Tragically, we lost that beauty in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve chose sin over obedience to God.
Because sin destroys us and separates us from our Creator, who is holy in every way, we need a solution to take away the sin, and to restore us back to the beauty in which God created us.
Jesus our Mediator is also our Savior and our Redeemer who died to set us free from an unholy life of disobedience, and to restore in us the beauty of a lovely and holy character, that we may once again walk with God (Genesis 3:8).
Honor the Lord, and worship Him in the beauty of holiness (Psalms 29:2)..