The Tabernacle, The Mercy Seat, & 1689 Federalism

Hebrews 9:1-5
Joel Webbon

The Tabernacle (and later the Temple) was constructed under the direction of Moses, according to the detailed instructions he received from God on Mount Sinia (or Mount Horeb). The “First Section” of the Tabernacle (the Holy Place), stands in distinction from the “Second Section” (the Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies). This is not meant to signify two tabernacles, but two “sections” of one Tabernacle. Therefore, under the “First Covenant” there was only ONE PLACE where the special presence of God could be found, there was only ONE PERSON who could enter that place (the High Priest), and this person could only enter that place ONE TIME each year (the “Day of Atonement,” or Yom Kippur). In contrast, under the “New Covenant,” Jesus eternally serves as our High Priest. Christ not only atoned for our sin once and for all, but he made a way for us to “come boldly before the Throne of Grace (the Mercy Seat).” In other words, the ministry of Christ does not merely achieve forgiveness for our sins, but the ability to commune with God. Justification, although the “heart” of the Gospel, is not the “end” of the Gospel. The end of the Gospel is communion with the God forever.