Friday: Further Thought – Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary

Further Thought: The book of Hebrews points to the earthly sanctuary as the model, the type, of what Christ would do for us both on earth, as our sacrifice, and in heaven, as our High Priest. The Israelite sanctuary was always meant to be an object lesson of the gospel. It was to teach the Jews the plan of salvation, which included sacrifice, intercession, judgment, and the final end of sin.

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The book of Daniel, meanwhile, adds more light in terms of helping readers understand the apocalyptic (end time) dimension of Christ’s final work in the heavenly sanctuary. “With its emphasis on cleansing, judgment, and vindication, the apocalyptic visions of Daniel project the imagery of the Day of Atonement to the very end of earth’s history. The cleansing is connected directly to the heavenly sanctuary and to the work of the Messiah as king and priest. The visions introduce the time element, making it possible for the reader to identify a specific moment within salvation history when the Messiah would begin His work of final cleansing, judgment, and vindication in the heavenly dwelling of God”. — Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald ® Publishing Association, 2000), p. 394.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Look at this quote from Ellen G. White. “As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement”. — The Great Controversy, pp. 421, 422. What does she say are the two things that reveal those who are entitled to the “benefits of His atonement”? Why is understanding what they are so important for God’s people to grasp, especially in the trials of the last days?
  2. Read Leviticus 16:15-16. What is the significance of the blood? What did the blood represent? Why was the blood so crucial to the Day of Atonement ritual back then, and what does it mean for us today?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons