February 17.—Morning. [Or April 4.]
“We have access by faith.”
AFTER the giving of the law upon Sinai, Moses received instructions as to the institution of public worship and sacrifice. As all that which was then appointed was typical of spiritual things, we will read the New Testament summary of it, contained in
1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly (or material) sanctuary.
2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first (or outer tabernacle), wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary (or holy place.)
3, 4, 5 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; (or Holy of Holies;) Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: (The greatest of the Jewish high priests had to admit that they were sinners themselves, for they had to present sin-offerings on their own account, but our Lord Jesus has no sin of his own; hence in part his ability to bear our sin.)
8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: (The Holy of Holies was not open to all men, but only to Jews; and not to all Jews, but only to priests; and not to all priests, but to the high priest alone; and not even to him at all times, or indeed at any time, except upon one solitary day in the year:)
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
They could not expiate sin, and consequently could not give the conscience peace.
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
The appearance of the substance and the putting away of the shadows, was a reformation, or emendation. Is it not wonderful that any should wish to undo this reformation, and go back to the beggarly elements of the law? Nay, worse, they would even revive the follies of old Rome.
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Our Lord’s offering is never to be repeated. It has been presented once, and has effectually secured the eternal redemption of all for whom he bled as a substitute. O what joy to see Jesus within the veil with a perfect offering, and to know that the one sacrifice has saved us.)
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Who can answer this question, “How much more?” It amounts to a solemn affirmation, Jesus can most assuredly remove our sins. Beloved, has he removed yours? Answer as before the living God!
Jesus, in Thee our eyes behold
A thousand glories more
Than the rich gems, and polish’d gold,
The sons of Aaron wore.
They first their own burnt-offerings brought
To purge themselves from sin:
Thy life was pure, without a spot;
And all Thy nature clean.
Once in the circuit of a year,
With blood, but not his own,
Aaron within the veil appears,
Before the golden throne.
But Christ by His own powerful blood
Ascends above the skies,
And in the presence of our God
Shows His own sacrifice.
February 17.—Evening. [Or April 5.]
“Our Fellowship is with the Father.”
Exodus 24:1–15; 18
AND he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.
2 And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.
Even the most favoured under the law came not very near to God. Even when he said “Come up unto Jehovah” it was added, “but they shall not come nigh.” How different the gospel, for now, in Christ Jesus, we, who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Jesus.
3 ¶ And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. (Their tongues went faster than their lives. Man is swift at promising, but lame in performing.)
4 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord.
6, 7 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.
8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words. (The blood is the main thing in all communion with God. No road is open to us but the crimson one. Where the blood of Jesus falls peace comes, but apart from that we are unclean, and, consequently, unfit for communion with God. Dear friends, has the blood of Jesus ever been sprinkled upon you? Faith, like the bunch of hyssop, applies the blood: have you that faith?)
9, 10 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink. (When the blood was on them, they could come near, and enjoy quiet fellowship, even to eating and drinking. What they saw is not described to us except in one point, they saw the azure pavement beneath the sacred feet. All our conceptions fall below the glory of our God, we see only the place of his footstool.)
12 ¶ And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. (Moses enjoyed a higher degree of communion than any other man, and went up alone into the cloud. There are elect ones out of the elect to whom it is given to lie in their Masters bosom, and to walk in the light as he is in the light. To be highly favoured in this respect is honour and joy indeed.)
14, 15 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. (This was a sweet retreat for Moses, who would now for awhile forget the burden of the people.)
18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights. (O sweet stretch of intercourse with heaven. Six weeks with God! What a rest! Alas, Moses needed it, for the people were rebelling down below, and making trouble for their leader’s heart.)
Through the sacrificial blood,
Shed in honour of his law,
Chosen men drew near to God,
And his gracious glory saw.
Underneath his feet serene,
Sapphires, like a pavement, lay.
Bright as heaven itself is seen.
On a clear and cloudless day.
Heaven no frowning aspect wears;
Boldly we approach the throne:
Brighter grace to us appears
Than on Sinai’s Mount was shown.
 Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 95–96). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.