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The Cross and The Sanctuary- Part 3

David Shin

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David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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  • October 25, 2014
    11:30 AM
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The Cross and The Sanctuary- Part 3

David Shin 

 

On the screen, I have a picture of the Rosetta Stone, which is located in the British Museum there in London, England. It's a stone that weighs about 1700 pounds and it's a proclamation put forth by Ptolemy the 5th who was living about 200 years prior to the time of CHRIST. Now, the interesting thing about this stone is that it is written in 3 different scripts or 3 different languages. It's written in Greek. It's written in Demotic which is the common vernacular back in the time of the Egyptian period 200 years prior to the time of CHRIST. And it's also written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Now for hundreds of years individuals have been trying to unlock Egyptian hieroglyphics and they were quite unsuccessful in this endeavor and this rock presented quite a unique opportunity. And this man, his name was Jean-François Champollion. I can know if I'm saying that right; but he was a brilliant linguist and he unlocked this stone. He unlocked this stone and wrote a dictionary of hieroglyphics. Because it was written in Greek and hieroglyphics, they were able to unlock the meaning of hieroglyphics. And this gentleman uses the Rosetta Stone to open a whole new way of understanding Egyptian life. 

 

And as we have said in this study today is part 3 in our 5-part series of messages entitled: The Cross and The Sanctuary. We've said that the sanctuary is the key. It's the Rosetta Stone that helps unlock what JESUS has done, is doing, and will do.

 

Remember in our 1st presentation, we said that John made the statement, “JESUS is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” And the only way to understand the meaning of the Lamb is in the context of the sanctuary. It is the sanctuary map that helps us to understand what JESUS did at the cross. And because the Jews did not understand the sanctuary framework, the sanctuary map applying to JESUS CHRIST, they ended up misunderstanding what HIS purpose and mission was. 

 

We also said that Paul mentioned that CHRIST is our High Priest in the sanctuary above. So the sanctuary becomes a framework for not only what JESUS did at the cross but also what JESUS is doing in heaven as our High Priest. 

 

And I want to invite you if you have not already to take out your study guide; it's a brief outline of today's presentation. If you don't have one, raise your hand, we have a couple ushers in the back that will give you one. We have one right up here. Sophie, Carlo needs a study guide. Anyone else need a study guide? This will provide a framework, a reference point for a study today. It will be a whole lot easier to follow along; all the key passages are in this study guide. And if you are watching online in the description underneath the video, there will be a link where you can download this and follow along. 

 

Remember we said that the sanctuary is the interpretive what? is the interpretive key. It's the map to understanding CHRIST. The sanctuary is so broad; it extends from Genesis to Revelation. You can find implications and nuances of the sanctuary all throughout the Bible. And we said that the sanctuary is the interpretive key for not only understanding CHRIST as the Lamb of GOD but for understanding CHRIST as our High Priest. And we said that this sanctuary has 3 different compartments. It has the courtyard, the largest portion up there, it's the courtyard. And then you have the Holy Place and then you have the Most Holy Place. And the trajectory of the individual in the plan of salvation is to go from the courtyard to the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place. This provides a road map for how GOD deals with sin. HE wants to take us from the outer court to the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place into the very presence of GOD. This is the plan of salvation. It's as though GOD has given us a kindergarten kind of map to illustrate what CHRIST is doing in the process and the plan of salvation: 3 compartments, 3 phases. 

 

And we said last week that the sanctuary illustrates that there are 3 phases in the plan of salvation: the courtyard phase, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place phase in the plan of salvation. We said that when JESUS died on the cross representing the Lamb of GOD who takes away the sins of the world, HE completed the sacrifice in the courtyard. This was foundational and if CHRIST did not die on the cross, the plan of salvation would have been lost. The Lamb had to die. This was Phase 1 – the courtyard, the burnt offering – JESUS was the sacrifice. 

 

Then we said last week that the 2nd compartment would be the logical place if the sanctuary is our road map for the plan of salvation. We asked the question: what compartment on the sanctuary did JESUS enter upon HIS ascension? And this would logically be, using the road map, from the courtyard to the Holy Place. And where do we see this in Scripture? Remember last Sabbath as we look at this in our study guide. Revelation 1:13, this is after the cross, upon the ascension of JESUS. Here John, in the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, he sees a vision and notice the words that are on the screen Revelation 1:12-18 – Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. … "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore…”

 

Who is this is? JESUS CHRIST, the one who lives, who was dead and is alive forevermore. JESUS, in this vision, is in the sanctuary. HE's in front of the lampstand. What compartment is this? This is the Holy Place. You can see the lampstand right there. At the bottom south side of the Holy Place, JESUS is seen as our High Priest in the Holy Place after HE has completed Phase 1 in the courtyard. How do we know this according to Scripture? Hebrews 4:14 – “Therefore since we have a great High Priest who is ascended into (where? Into) heaven…” JESUS is our High Priest in heaven. Not only is HE the Lamb of GOD who takes away the sins of the world, HE is our High Priest and HE has ascended into heaven. Hebrews 8:1-2, “We do have such a High Priest who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the majesty (where?) in heaven who serves in the (what?) the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the LORD.” 

 

We said that there is a sanctuary in heaven and JESUS is there as our High Priest in the Holy Place: after HIS ascension as our High Priest, to minister upon or for our behalf. Now that was a review. All right. So you caught up. Now, if you missed any of the presentations you can get them online, podcast or video and you get all the study guides there.

 

So JESUS is our High Priest in heaven. After completing the courtyard- the sacrifice as the Lamb, HE takes on the role as our High Priest. 

 

Now, we come to this statement: JESUS, upon HIS ascension went to the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary as our High Priest - this is Phase 2. So, the sanctuary provides a road map, it provides a guide, a key to understanding what CHRIST has done and is doing and will do. Phase 2 - the Holy Place. And this is a statement from Great Controversy. You'll find it there in your study guide - Great Controversy 489 – “The intercession of CHRIST in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as HIS death upon the cross.” So the role of JESUS as our High Priest is as essential as JESUS, the Lamb of GOD who takes away the sins of the world. 

 

We come to our thesis question. The question that we want to answer in our study today is what is JESUS’ role as our High Priest in heaven? In other words, what is the function of the High Priest? Why do we need a High Priest? Isn't it enough that JESUS died on the cross? Why do we need JESUS as the High Priest in heaven not only as the Lamb of GOD who takes away the sins of the world? Why do we need a High Priest in heaven? Why does Paul point out that JESUS is gone as our High Priest to the Hour key passage of study- Hebrews 4: 15 through 16. You can fill out the blanks in your study guide. This is a key passage which tells us the function of our High Priest JESUS CHRIST in the heavenly sanctuary above. 

 

 

Hebrews 4:15 – 16, “Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who is ascended into heaven whom JESUS the Son of GOD. Let us hold firmly to the faith we have professed. Let us then approach GOD’s throne of grace, with confidence, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” So here's the function of the High priest: the High Priest is in heaven JESUS CHRIST. And we may approach HIM, on the other part of the Bible it says we may approach HIS throne with boldness and we receive from our High Priests 2 things: mercy and grace to help us in time of need. We receive something from the High Priest in heaven. 

 

When JESUS died on the cross, HE earned the right to forgive us of our sins. I wanna say that again: when JESUS died on the cross, HE earned the right to forgive. Now as our High Priest in heaven, HE gives us the benefits of what HE did upon the cross. 

 

Let me illustrate it this way. Use our illustration from last week. Let's say, I have a gambling addiction, I don't but let's say I do. And with this gambling addiction, I've racked up $100,000.00 worth of debt. I get called into court, I'm under condemnation. I owe something; I'm unable to pay it. My parents hear about it and my parents sell their house for $100,000 to pay off this debt. Now, there is something that needs to take place. By selling the house, they have earned the right to pay off the debt. Following yes or no, right? Now, there is something that needs to happen in order for my debt to be paid, that $100,000.00 which they have earned the right to pay off, needs to be transferred to my account, isn't that right? It needs to be appropriated to my account. I need to accept my parents' sacrifice on my behalf and until I accept that sacrifice, that bank account that $100000.00 of my parents bank count, it remains there. If I reject it, my debt is not paid. In the same way, when JESUS died on the cross, you can imagine it in the bank of heaven, JESUS earned the right to forgive every person of their sins, when HE died upon the cross. That sacrifice was made a provision. 

 

Now, JESUS as our High Priest, when we asked for forgiveness of our sins, when we accept the sacrifice that HE made for us on Calvary, JESUS as our High Priest takes as it were from the bank account of heaven and appropriates and applies and transfers HIS blood, HIS sacrifice to David Shin. That is the function and the role of the High Priest.

 

Now, you'll notice that the function and the role of the High Priest. Paul applies or says is in 2 different ways. The first one is mercy. We receive mercy from the High Priest. The second thing is grace to help us in our time of needs. 

 

Let’s look at the first one – mercy. Mercy is given to someone that fall short of a standard. I don't get the right grade on the test. Many times, a student will go into the teacher and ask for mercy. Now, in a spiritual sense, why do we need mercy from GOD? Because we have what? Sinned. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD.” So in this case, one way that we receive mercy from GOD is in the form of what we call pardon or forgiveness. Bible scholars have actually said that this word mercy in this context right here refers specifically to CHRIST's pardon for our sins. So when we ask JESUS for forgiveness, praise GOD, HE applies the benefits of what HE did on Calvary and HE gives us mercy when we receive death. HE forgives us when we really deserve condemnation. That is mercy - the 1st thing that the High Priest gives us and praise GOD for forgiveness, pardon for sin.

 

The 2nd thing that the High Priest gives us is Grace; but this is not any type of grace. This is a specific type of grace where Paul says “and find grace (notice he says here) to help us in our time of need.” When is it specifically spiritually that we need help in time of need? One of the times is in times of temptation; we need help in times of temptation. That is what the Bible points out as grace. This is power when the temptation and the struggle come upon us to overcome that temptation. Grace, specifically, in a time of need, in the present.

 

So, the 1st one is mercy for the past- pardon for our sins. The 2nd one is grace in time of need - power over sin. And so we can see here in our study guide, according to this passage, the dual function of JESUS as our High Priest is twofold - pardon for sin and power over sin. This is something that we need to recognize is a twofold important role of JESUS as our High Priest. Some people are wondering what JESUS is doing as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary above. Well, HE's appropriating the benefits of Calvary on our behalf and that is number 1 - pardon and number 2 - it is power over sin. And in order to receive complete deliverance, we need both pardon for sin and power over sin. 

 

Now, to illustrate this in a certain way, let's say I have a shopping addiction; OK and I have 15 credit cards. And any time a sale comes up, I buy it and I apply to the credit card and over a period of time, all 15 credit cards are maxed out, I have $100,000.00 in credit cards, 20 percent interest and I'm overloaded with this debt. Let's say a billionaire comes along and says, “Look, I'm going to pay it, all right and praise GOD.” But the problem is I still have a shopping addiction and I’m gonna go out and max out those credit cards again. In order to receive total deliverance, I need the person to come along and say, “Not only am I going to pay the $150,000 in credit card loans, I'm going to give you help. I'm going to help you overcome the addiction.” Now, this is the kind of help that CHRIST provides for us. We come to him as sinner and HE says, guess what? “Your past no longer condemned, you’re pardoned. I'm going to give you something else - power over sin in the present.” And it's until we understand both roles of CHRIST as our High Priest that we understand the entirety of what it means to be saved from sin – pardon and power over sin. 

 

We can see this in other parts of the Bible. In your study guide – 1 John 1:9 – “If you confess your sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So this is the 1st part of what the High Priest gives us. And I can't tell you how many times in my Christian experience, I've had to open my Bible to 1st John 1:9 and say praise GOD, it is still there, say, “LORD, please forgive me for my sins” and HE applies the benefits of the cross to my name. HE appropriates the provisions of what HE did on the cross as my High Priest to David Shin. And that is pardon for sin. 

 

The 2nd part of the Gospel is this: Jude 24 – “Now unto HIM that is able to (what does it say on the screen?) to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of HIS glory with exceeding joy.” Reading from a different version obviously, without memorizing. Ok. “To HIM that is able to keep you from falling…” So not only does GOD pardons, HE gives you power to keep you from falling. These 2 truths must be understood. And it reminds me of this illustration number of years ago, many years ago. A gentleman by the name of Copernicus found out that the earth is not the center of the universe, up to that time; many people believe that we were the center of everything. Some people still believe that. But he came to this revolutionary concept and it was known as the Copernican revolution because it revolutionized the way that we saw ourselves in relationship to our solar system and the universe. About 75 years later, Johannes Kepler, a mathematician, a German, was observing the orbit of the planets around the sun and he came to this interesting observation. Many people assume that the orbits of the planets around the Sun were a perfect circle; but he realized that it was not a perfect circle; it was rather what we call an ellipse. An ellipse does not center on one central point, it actually centers on 2 central points and came to be the 1st of Kepler's law planetary motion. And you can do this at home, if you get to thumb tacks and you get a piece of string in a pencil and you centered around those 2 focal points, it will make an elliptical circle, as it were. The important thing for us to recognize is that many truths of the Bible do not center on one central point, but rather two. Let me give you an example of this law and grace - 2 points that we need to focus on because some people say, “Hey, we need the law” and they do not take into consideration the element of grace and we call that legalism. The other side says, “All we need is grace. We don't need the law anymore.” And that comes down to what theologians call antinomianism, which means we don't need the law anymore. We can go out there kill, steal, commit adultery, doesn't matter. We need those 2 to keep our Gospel in focus. In the same way when it comes to our understanding of what CHRIST is doing as our Mediator, as our High Priest, we need both of these attributes: pardon for sin and power over sin. It's an ellipse of truth. We need both and we need to focus on both in order to come to a proper understanding of what CHRIST is doing on our behalf. 

 

Remember the woman that was caught in adultery. She was dragged before JESUS and cast at CHRIST's feet. And JESUS addressed the people that were her accusers, they ran off ashamed and CHRIST and the woman stood face to face. They were the only ones there. And I want you to notice the words of JESUS to this woman, found in John 8:11, To the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said, “Neither do I (what does this say?) condemn you…” (What is that?) Pardon. You are no longer under condemnation, you are forgiven, you are pardoned for your sin - wonderful words from the mouth of JESUS CHRIST to this woman who was caught in the very act of adultery. HE says, “Look, you're forgiven, you're pardoned, Neither do, I condemn you, you are no longer under condemnation anymore;” but notice the next part, “Go and sin no more.” That was not a command so much as it was a promise. The words of CHRIST are powerful. And HE says, “Neither do I condemn you, (pardon) go and sin no more.” Here we have next to each other pardon for sin and power over sin that JESUS applies to this woman who was caught in the very act of adultery. The elliptical truth or ellipse of truth when it comes to the power over sin and the penalty over sin, as well.

 

Now, last year at Michigan conference camp meeting, there was a young lady by the name of Danielle that gave a powerful testimony to the young adults that were there. She was there. She was giving her testimony and she was giving pictures of herself when she was lost out in the world trying to find JESUS CHRIST. And this was an image that she wanted to portray and she said that she felt dead inside. She had all sorts of addictions, all sorts of things that she was involved with, that I don't need to go into detail in regarding. And she gave some other pictures and you can see here that this is a lady that internally; she said she was distressed and she manifested it externally as well. She had all sorts of things that she was dealing with, addictions and habits and tendencies in her life. And she says that she met JESUS CHRIST, she accepted HIM as her LORD and SAVIOUR and she was baptized. And the beauty of her testimony is this: is that not only did GOD cleanse her past; but gave her power in the present for a radically transformed life. Praise GOD. And I'm so glad that GOD offers us both. Amen. HE says, “Your past, I’m gonna wipe away. Your present; I'm gonna give you power to overcome those addictions.” And praise GOD. Today, she has a ministry where she goes from church to church, camp meeting to camp meeting telling her testimony about how GOD has radically transformed her life, pardon and victory. 

 

The words of JESUS to that woman caught in adultery are true for us today, neither do I condemn you, pardon from sin, go and sin no more, and the power of the Gospel JESUS offers to each one of us. 

 

I wanna invite you to stand with me as we prepare to close this morning; every head bowed and eyes closed. We want to open the doors of the church today and give you the opportunity to respond to HIS voice. I wanna invite you to stand with me just in a moment of meditation; every head bowed and eyes closed. If there is someone here today and you haven't accepted CHRIST as your SAVIOUR, you haven't fully accepted HIM as your SAVIOUR; perhaps, there's some things in your past that you're ashamed of. There's no sin too great that JESUS cannot forgive. Amen. And today, you can have the promise of a pardon for your life and you want to say, “LORD JESUS, I want to claim your forgiveness. I'm going to accept YOU as my SAVIOUR.” If you want to do that today, I want to give you the opportunity to respond. I wanna invite you to raise your hand by saying, “LORD JESUS, please save me.” GOD bless you in the back. Someone else who want to say, “LORD” GOD bless you want to say, “LORD, please forgive me. I want to accept YOUR provision on Calvary.” GOD bless you. Someone else? I want to say, “I want to fully accept YOU.” GOD bless you here in the front. Eternal decisions are being made today. Amen. 

 

My 2nd appeal is this: perhaps you've accepted JESUS as your SAVIOUR, but there's an area of your life that you have a challenge with and you need special prayer. Perhaps it's a habit. Perhaps it's something that has a strong hold in your life and you have tried to on your own and today, you want to ask JESUS to give YOU the power in this area of your life and you want to come forward for special prayer saying, “LORD JESUS, I need your help.” I wanna invite you to come forth this time. If there's an area of your life, GOD bless you, and you want to say, “LORD, I want to lay this area on the altar before YOU. I need the power over this area of my life.” GOD bless you. JESUS is our High Priest and HE gives us the power over sin in our lives. And you wanna say, “LORD, please grant me the victory.” Please, I invite you to come forward. GOD bless you. Eternal decisions are being made today. And as we come forward, we're saying, we don't have the ability but CHRIST has the power. GOD bless you. 

 

Let’s bow our heads as we pray.  

 

FATHER in heaven, we thank YOU that JESUS saves. We thank YOU that JESUS saves us from the penalty of sin. HE's paid it all. We thank YOU that as our High Priest, HE applies the benefits of what HE did on Calvary to our account when we ask HIM and we ask in pray today, that YOU would forgive us for our sins. We claim the promise - if we confess our sins, that YOU are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We pray that YOU would help us today as we have come forward asking YOU to give us the victory in a certain area of our lives that you would do so. We thank YOU that YOU not only save us from the past; YOU give us a power in the present. And I pray for every individual that's come forward today. We pray that YOU would cleanse us, that YOU will restore us, that YOU would work in and through us, that YOU would grant us the victory because JESUS has promised us total deliverance. We claim the promise of Jude 24, “Now and to HIM that is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the presence of HIS glory with exceeding joy.” We pray that for every individual today and especially those that have come forward. LORD, we surrender all and we lay this area on the altar. We thank YOU, YOU have granted us victory through the blood of JESUS CHRIST. For we ask these things in JESUS’ name and for HIS sake. Amen. Amen. 

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