Our sickness of sin separates us from God. Therefore, God’s penal code—spiritual death—speaks to his absolute moral holiness. God cannot tolerate sin. Divorced from sin, God’s holiness exists within him while he persists in seeking and finding his own esteem.
In the Jewish tradition, the word holy describes the tabernacle—a place removed from the evil and sin of the world—no one could enter except for priests. After being consecrated, priests entered the first room in the tabernacle, known as “the holy place.” Only the high priest entered the “most holy place,” the second room in the tabernacle. Separating the two rooms was a curtain, known as the screening veil.
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest parted the screening veil, and entered the most holy place, offering blood for his and the people’s sins. So rigid and resolute was the statute—a piece of rope secured to the high priest’s ankle would enable the other priests to remove the high priest in the case of his death—without entering the holy of holies (most holy place).
But Christians can enter the most holy place, through the blood of Jesus Christ, our high priest. Without Jesus, the Christian would have no faith.
In Hebrews 9:11-12 we read, “…when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Thus, the new covenant prophesied by Isaiah, “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David” (Isa. 55:3) came to fruition.
In addition, the consummate Jew, Saul of Tarsus, who after his conversion had become God’s messenger to the Gentiles, wrote the following while on his first missionary journey:
“As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’” (Acts 13:34)
Here we see Old Testament prophecy coming to life and flowing through to the New Testament, which points to the historic unity of the Bible. As we read and study the Bible from beginning to end, we cannot escape the common thread of God’s holiness.
As the holiness of God is one of his moral attributes, his goodness, love, mercy, grace, patience, peace and order, righteousness and justice, jealousy, and wrath further define his virtue and moral code. Each of these distinguishes the God of Christianity in ways that show his worthiness—his favor shown toward undeserving humanity—his ability to order the universe judiciously and peacefully—his righteous and ongoing activity on our behalf—his jealous love and protection—and his wrath against all sin and rebellion that obstruct these stated moral attributes.
Until next time…