I was shocked to see her there.
*Be sure to watch the video at the end of the post
The Tabernacle. God's dwelling place amongst His chosen people in the Old Testament.
She was not from the right tribe.
She did not hold the correct office.
She was a woman.
And by the looks of her red robe; given the time she lived in, perhaps the wrong kind of woman.
A lot like me.
The inside of the Tabernacle was off limits to all but the priest. Only the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies and only once a year to make atonement for the sins of the nation of Israel. He had to undergo various cleaning rituals to prepare him to even dare to enter the Holy of Holies. Little bells were attached to the bottom of his robe so those on the outside could hear him move. He also had a rope tied to his leg that in the unfortunate event, while performing his duties he should die, he could be pulled from the Tabernacle without anyone else having to enter it, and so risk losing their own lives to a Holy God.
Yet, there she was.
Walking through the inside, praying that God would teach her from His Word, that He would let His Spirit fill her. She knelt in front of the thick veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. Worshiping God from a distance.
My Old Covenant eyes looked at her and I felt the shock of this impure woman in the Holy Place. The same way they sometimes stare back at me in the mirror taunting me with the question, "What are you doing there before the veil? You are the wrong kind of woman."
I sit outside the Holy of Holies with my shame woven veil and long to draw near to the Throne of mercy. The veil grows thicker as I cling to false beliefs that I should only try harder, be better, and be less impatient. The veil keeps me away as I hold on to the list of rules I have to follow, the sacrifices I have to bring, the good deeds I have to offer. If only I prayed more eloquently, or was less selfish. If only I never sinned. If only I wouldn’t be tempted anymore. If only I was more loving.
He appears out of nowhere and places his hand on her shoulder. He leads her outside the Dwelling Place and gestures,
“Come follow Me.”
I can almost hear His words echo as He had a conversation with another sinful woman a long time ago at a well in Samaria. Listen to their conversation recorded in John 4.
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
We do not have a High Priest who doesn’t get it any longer. We do not have to wait for a scholar to prepare the way to His throne of mercy. There are no special meeting places only accessible to certain people.
The Word became flesh for all of us.
Not just for the modern day Pharisees. Not just for a certain tribe or nation. Not just for the ones who seemed to have it all figured it out.
He came for all of us.
For the addict. For the adulteress. The bitter divorcee. The lonely grandmother. He came for the woman struggling with depression. For the thief. He came for the liar and cheat. He came for the snob and the woman hiding behind her French manicure and cul-de-sac home. He came for the pregnant teenager. For the woman with the empty womb. He came for the heartbroken, grieving mother. He came for the woman gathering scraps from a dump to feed her children. He came for the little girl waiting for a forever family.
He tore the veil for all of eternity.
In Hebrews 4 it is written,
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Our confidence is not in our great efforts but in our Great High Priest.
Stop weaving a veil that cost Him His life to tear.
Lord, help us to stop weaving veils for those who sin differently from us.
So, woman in the Unnamed Tent, get up from behind the veil and follow the risen Carpenter from Galilee into the wide-open spaces. Go and draw near to the throne of grace.
His mercy is for you.
Thank you for the precious woman who found this beautiful Hebrew worship video after reading Inside the Unnamed Tent and sent it to a friend of mine! This is just as I pictured her, the woman inside the Unnamed Tent!