The place of intimate communion.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God (NIV)
The most sacred space in the Old Testament was the Holy of Holies. In this small cubicle, behind a massive curtain, inside the Temple was the Ark of the Covenant and the Spirit of God manifested wholly above the Ark. I have often wondered what it was like to be in such intimate company with God with the attributes of God overwhelming the space. In this space, His love, power, and holiness are tangible to the skin. God’s desire has also been intimate communion with His creation.
The details of how this room was constructed connect it to the Garden of Eden as trees were carved into the wood of the Holy of Holies. It is also connected to Heaven. The cube shape corresponds to the cubed measurement of Heaven in the book of Revelation. Scripture also refers to Heaven as the celestial Holy of Holies Jesus entered upon His ascension. All of these spaces are connected to one another as places of intimate communion. But there is one more space connected to these.
The olive trees in the Garden of Eden connect with the Mount of Olives where there was a large grove of olive trees. These connect to the Holy of Holies where the doors were mandated by God to be built using olive wood. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives that Jesus would fall overwhelmed to the point of death sweating drops of blood. Surrounded by olive trees, Christ prayed at Gethsemane which means ‘olive press.’ Christ is analogized as an olive tree and we have been grafted into Him. And it was near the Eastern Gate of the Wall of Jerusalem leading to the Mount of Olives where Jesus was crucified. The Garden of Eden, the Holy of Holies, and Heaven are now also connected to Gethsemane and Calvary, places of suffering. These together are the place of intimate communion. What is God saying to us?
Our intimate communion with God goes through Gethsemane and Calvary. The way we handle suffering places a significant role in our intimacy with God. If we can’t suffer our hardships with grace, love, mercy, and faith, we lose intimacy. His death tore the curtain to allow intimacy, but to find it, we must learn to suffer well.
Lord, help me in my hardships to suffer exhibiting the grace and love of Christ that I might have greater intimacy with You. Amen.