The Holiness of God (Exodus 26:33) - Radical

The Holiness of God (Exodus 26:33)

And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the holy place from the Most Holy. -Exodus 26:33

There’s a ton we could talk about in Exodus chapter 26 and pray according to. When you read this chapter, you just read a bunch of instructions for what the tabernacle should look like and how it should be set up. And if you read through it just in a superficial kind of cursory way, you’re like, “What does all that mean? Why is that all of that important? And what in the world is all that I have to do with my life?” But then you realize that every detail here is specific because every detail here matters specifically.

God is perfect in His holiness and distinct from our sinfulness.

So verse 33, this veil that will separate for you the holy place from the Most Holy. This place the tabernacle where the glory of God would dwell among His people, even there though there would be separation from God in His holiness. Even there, there’s a clear picture that man cannot just come into the presence of God that God is Holy and sinful men and women are not. And there is separation there, a separation that has affected every single one of us.

This picture of separation and a veil is evident in every single one of our lives. We’ve all sinned against God, fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 says, “Are separated from him.” And yet when we read the gospel accounts of Jesus’ death on the cross, what happened as soon as he died? The curtain of the temple, the veil was torn in two.

And when Jesus, the God-man, fully God, fully man, fully perfect, fully holy, when He died on the cross to pay the price for your sins and my sins, the way was opened for you and me to enter into the presence of God for you and me to know the Most Holy, for you and me to be with the Most Holy one, for you and me to commune with God. Not based on our own merit, not based on our own works, our own goodness, based on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for us, based on His love, based on His grace, based on His mercy, not our merit. And you and I, even as we’re about to pray, don’t ever lose sight of the glorious reality of what we’re doing when we’re praying. We’re communing with the Most Holy God.

Oh God, even as I say this, I’m struck in a fresh way and I pray that others are with me struck with awe at this reality that we’re experiencing right now that we’re not just going through some perfunctory religious motion, wrote religious exercise where we’re just saying some words, thinking some thoughts. God, may we be gripped even right now in this moment with the reality that we are communing with You the Most Holy one.

Our Father in heaven, His name is hallowed. His name is Holy. We praise You, God. We praise You for calling yourself our Father, even our friend at the same time. Oh God, our Father and friend, we pray that You would keep us from growing unhelpfully casual in Your presence from forgetting the wonder and awe of what it means to be in Your presence, what it means to commune with You, what it means to speak to You, what it means to hear from You.

Jesus, we praise You for making communion with God, the Father, possible for breaking that veil, that curtain being torn in two that we might know the Most Holy one. We might live in the knowledge of and relationship with and love for the Most Holy God. All glory be to Your name for this privilege. So help us to take full advantage of it and help us to lead others into it. In Jesus’ name, we pray, the name of the one who died so this veil might be torn. In his name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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