A Cleansed Sanctuary, A Cleansed People
The last day of the Jewish religious calendar was called the Day of Atonement. On that day the high priest entered the sanctuary’s Most Holy Place, representing all of Israel, to appear before God in earnest confession. The entire nation gathered around the earthly sanctuary, examining their hearts and confessing their sins. God’s goal was much more than a cleansed building; it was a cleansed people.
1. What two things would the high priest accomplish on the Day of Atonement? Read the text below and write your answers on the lines provided.
“For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord” (Lev. 16:30).
b. To __________________________that you may be____________________________.
The English word atonement means at-one-ment, reconciliation. Sin has separated us from God (Isa. 59:1, 2). The purpose of the plan of salvation is to bring us back into harmony with God. Jesus’ death on the cross fully satisfied the demands of justice; the debt for sin was fully paid. As our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, Jesus provides both forgiveness for our past sins and power to overcome the bondage of sin.
2. Describe God’s amazing offer. Read the text below and fill in the blanks.
“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom. 8:15).
The goal of the gospel is to set us free from the bondage of sin and through His grace exalt us to sons and daughters of God.
3. What does the Bible use to explain what actually happens in the life of a born-again believer? Read the text below and fill in the blank.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4).
To be born of God is to be an___________________________________________________.
What does it mean to be an overcomer? Write your answer in a single sentence on the lines below.
4. What does God want to accomplish in us “through the blood of the everlasting covenant”? Read the text and circle the words that describe what He can do.
“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:20, 21).
Through Jesus our hearts are cleansed. Through His grace we are complete in Him. Through His power our lives are made new. Through His covenant we desire to do His will; we delight in pleasing Him.
5. Where is Jesus now? What is He doing? What is His ultimate goal? Read the texts and fill in the blanks below.
“For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24).
“But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26).
6. What does Jesus offer to those who struggle with sin in their lives, but who humbly seek Him? Read the text and fill in the blank below.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6; quotes Prov. 3:34).
When our need is greatest, He _________________________________________________
Jesus invites His people to open their hearts to receive His grace. He invites us through His grace in these closing moments of earth’s history to have our hearts cleansed of anger, bitterness, resentment, pride, greed, and lust. Jesus longs for His people to be cleansed and become overcomers. He provides all the grace necessary to accomplish the impossible in our lives.