The veil that separated the holy place from the most holy place in the tabernacle represented the separation of sinful man from God. God resided in the most holy place above the mercy seat. No one could come near to God at any time. But the high priest would do that for the people once a year only. He would offer sacrifices for his own sins first and then offer sacrifices for the sins of the people and then he’d sprinkle the blood upon the mercy seat as a symbol that God has accepted man’s sacrifice and forgiven their sins. According to tradition, this was true only if the priest came out of the Holy of Holies alive! Tradition says that the priests who entered had a rope tied around their leg so that if they died in the presence of God they could pull him out by use of the rope. He had bells along the bottom of his robe so that his movement could be heard. If it went too long without any movement they feared he might have died in the presence of God and they would need to retrieve his body. The sacrifice for the sin of the people had to be acceptable to God. If the priests followed Moses’ instructions and if the sacrifice was acceptable, the Priest would come out alive. There had to be a blood sacrifice and it had to be acceptable.

Just as the earthly priests had to bring an acceptable sacrifice so too does our High Priest, Jesus as He resides in the presence of God. Hebrews 8:3-4 says, “For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law.” Jesus offered Himself, the perfect Lamb of God, to take away the sins of the world. His sacrifice was not an earthly, temporary one like the Levitical priests offered. He wasn’t even qualified to offer that kind of a sacrifice. His sacrifice had to be different and of course it was. The earthly priests brought “gifts and sacrifices,” but our heavenly high priest only brought one, Himself! All the offerings of the OT: guilt, thanks, trespass, and all the others, have been satisfied completely by the singular “something to offer” that Jesus brought. No other sacrifice is necessary!

Jesus was the breach between the heavenly and the earthly. At His birth, He took on a human body and brought divinity to man. He lived on earth for 33 years as a divine human with all the signs and miracles of God. He took His life, the ultimate sacrifice for sin, into the grave and offered the sacrifice that sets men free. Then to prove that the sacrifice was acceptable, He came back to life! He lived! He stayed for another 40 days as the God-man with a transformed body capable of managing both realms and then ascended to His rightful place at the right hand of God. The pattern established by God through Moses to deal with man’s sin through a blood sacrifice had been fulfilled. No other sacrifice or offering is needed. Jesus is enough!