Angels With Wings Sitting on a Box

Empty Tomb Women Angel carving Sacro Monte di Crea Italy Chapel XIX

Angels With Wings Sitting on a Box
Exodus 25:1-22; 1 Kings 6:14-28; 1 Kings 8:8-11; 2 Chronicles 3:3-14; 2 Chronicles 5:1-10; Leviticus 16; and then Matthew 28:1-7; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18; Hebrews 9

This Bible Bit will present to you a variety of Old Testament scripture describing the Israelite Tabernacle, the Jewish temple, and the innermost room of both these which we know as the Most Holy Place or the Holy of Holies. This is the room where God resides. God seems to sit on something called a mercy seat with his feet resting on a special box called an ark. Inside the ark/box are some important legal documents. Also in the room are these two weird cherub things, some sort of creatures with wings stretching from one side of the room to the other, over God, the mercy seat, and the ark.

Once we wade through these passages, we will turn to the Christian New Testament and our four gospels, and point out something we find pretty remarkable. And see again those cherubim.

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While Moses and the Israelites are spending their days wandering in the Sinai desert, God gives Moses detailed instructions for building a tabernacle for worship. Moses and his team carefully prepare assemble this place of worship and sacrifice. It has walls and a roof of special fabric supported by poles, making it — with a fair bit of effort — portable. It is in essence a large multi-room tent with a number of very specific design and functional elements demanded by God.

It is God’s literal house.

At the core of this tabernacle’s layout is an inner room, a “most holy space” inside of a surrounding “holy space” where God himself sits and makes himself manifest. This inner room holds a gold-covered wooden box, a special and holy chest made for specially for this inner room of the tabernacle. This box is constructed to hold the two copies of the covenant contract, those ten fundamental words of law etched by God on stone and given by God to Moses on the mountain. On top of this box, built into its lid, is a seat, itself specially designed and covered with gold.

This most holy space, this inner room, this Holy of Holies, is the room of God inside God’s house.

This box, this chest, this ark of the covenant is the footstool of God. It sits in God’s special room inside God’s special house.

The covering lid of the ark holds God’s throne. It is a golden seat of mercy. And judgment.

God. Law. Power. In a holy, closed inner room.

The Hebrew scriptures are rather detailed in presenting the specifics of how Moses and Hebrew craftsmen are to assemble and construct all these things. The reading is somewhat dry, and if you are like us at Bible Bits, you wonder why all this extraneous material was placed in the Bible. It certainly makes our Bible Bits eyes skip and jump forward hoping to find a less boring passage.

But you don’t want to miss all this, and you don’t want to miss God’s inclusion of another thing in God’s special room.

On either side of God’s special seat, with their wings touching each other and spanning from one side of the room to the other, are two carefully fashioned and placed cherubim. Cherubs. These angelic, bird-like (?), human-with-wings-like weird things. These cover and further glorify the glorifying presence of God.

Add angels to the room. God. Law. Power. Flying angels. In a holy, closed throne room.

All this happens first while the Hebrews are roaming in the desert, with what the Bible calls a tabernacle. A few hundred years later, during the more settled kingdoms of David and then Solomon, God again instructs to go through more or less the same process, but this time replace the movable tabernacle with a temple. This time the construction will yield a permanent, fixed temple of stone. It will be heavily adorned, and placed on the fixed site of Mount Zion, in Jerusalem, God’s holy and eternal city.

Again, this temple has an outer “holy space” and an inner “most holy space.” This most holy space is the Holy of Holies. This is again the room where resides the physical presence of God. Sitting on a throne seat of mercy and judgment, sitting also on a box, the ark of the covenant. Sitting also on the law. In God’s room. Where two winged cherubs cover the space of God from one wall to another over the throne and box.

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Let’s walk through the scriptural text. First from Exodus, here’s a portion from the tabernacle story:

from Exodus 25:1-22, NASB: 1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me…. 8 “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. 9 “According to all that I am going to show you, [as] the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct [it.] 10 “They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. 11 “You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and you shall make a gold molding around it. 12 “You shall cast four gold rings for it and fasten them on its four feet, and two rings shall be on one side of it and two rings on the other side of it. 13 “You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 “You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark with them. 15 “The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it. 16 “You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. 17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. 18 “You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 “Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim [of one piece] with the mercy seat at its two ends. 20 “The cherubim shall have [their] wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be [turned] toward the mercy seat. 21 “You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. 22 “There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.

The tabernacle was a tent, and carried from stop-to-stop in the desert wilderness. Next, the book of Kings reports on the permanent temple build, and instructions for the innermost room, the most holy space:

from 1 Kings 6:14-28, NASB: 14 So Solomon built the house and finished it. 15 Then he built the walls of the house…. 16 He built twenty cubits on the rear part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the ceiling; he built [them] for it on the inside as an inner sanctuary, [even] as the most holy place. 17 The house…. 19 Then he prepared an inner sanctuary within the house in order to place there the ark of the covenant of the LORD. 20 The inner sanctuary [was] twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar. 21 So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold. 22 He overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar which was by the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold. 23 Also in the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 Five cubits [was] the one wing of the cherub and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing [were] ten cubits. 25 The other cherub [was] ten cubits; both the cherubim were of the same measure and the same form. 26 The height of the one cherub [was] ten cubits, and so [was] the other cherub. 27 He placed the cherubim in the midst of the inner house, and the wings of the cherubim were spread out, so that the wing of the one was touching the [one] wall, and the wing of the other cherub was touching the other wall. So their wings were touching each other in the center of the house. 28 He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.

Do not forget those cherubs. Those cherubim. Later in Kings, the Bible emphasizes that God’s room is a special, powerful place:

1 Kings 8:8-11, NASB: But the poles were so long that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside; they are there to this day. 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.

The book of Chronicles echoes the account of the Kings book. Here again is the very special room, and again those cherubs:

from 2 Chronicles 3:3-14, NASB: 3 Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for building the house of God. The length in cubits…. 8 Now he made the room of the holy of holies: its length across the width of the house [was] twenty cubits, and its width [was] twenty cubits; and he overlaid it with fine gold, [amounting] to 600 talents. 9 The weight…. 10 Then he made two sculptured cherubim in the room of the holy of holies and overlaid them with gold. 11 The wingspan of the cherubim [was] twenty cubits; the wing of one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and [its] other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub. 12 The wing of the other cherub, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house; and [its] other wing of five cubits was attached to the wing of the first cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet facing the [main] room. 14 He made the veil….

The great Hebrew king David did much of the preparation for God’s temple, but David’s son Solomon was chosen by God to do the actual build. The location of God’s house was on a high point in what the Bible again and again demonstrates is a special, God-chosen location: Jerusalem. Mount Zion. Zion. The city of David:

2 Chronicles 5:1-10, NASB: Thus all the work that Solomon performed for the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, even the silver and the gold and all the utensils, [and] put [them] in the treasuries of the house of God. 2 Then Solomon assembled to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ [households] of the sons of Israel, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. 3 All the men of Israel assembled themselves to the king at the feast, that is [in] the seventh month. 4 Then all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. 5 They brought up the ark and the tent of meeting and all the holy utensils which [were] in the tent; the Levitical priests brought them up. 6 And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him before the ark, were sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered. 7 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the holy of holies, under the wings of the cherubim. 8 For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering over the ark and its poles. 9 The poles were so long that the ends of the poles of the ark could be seen in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside; and they are there to this day. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put [there] at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.

Both tabernacle and temple held the power of God and God’s living room. To remind us of the seriousness with which we should take this space, we will provide the entirety of Leviticus chapter 16, where God lays down the law to Moses and his brother Aaron, and to the priests and temple caretaking staff, regarding the manner in which the special most holy place shall be approached and entered:

Leviticus 16:1-34, NRSV: The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they drew near before the Lord and died. 2 The Lord said to Moses:

Tell your brother Aaron not to come just at any time into the sanctuary inside the curtain before the mercy seat that is upon the ark, or he will die; for I appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and shall have the linen undergarments next to his body, fasten the linen sash, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy vestments. He shall bathe his body in water, and then put them on. 5 He shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.

6 Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. 7 He shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting; 8 and Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. 9 Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord, and offer it as a sin offering; 10 but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.

11 Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house; he shall slaughter the bull as a sin offering for himself. 12 He shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of crushed sweet incense, and he shall bring it inside the curtain 13 and put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the covenant, or he will die. 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times.

15 He shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the curtain, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 Thus he shall make atonement for the sanctuary, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which remains with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. 17 No one shall be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the sanctuary until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement on its behalf, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat, and put it on each of the horns of the altar. 19 He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.

20 When he has finished atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat. 21 Then Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and sending it away into the wilderness by means of someone designated for the task. 22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a barren region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness.

23 Then Aaron shall enter the tent of meeting, and shall take off the linen vestments that he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there. 24 He shall bathe his body in water in a holy place, and put on his vestments; then he shall come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, making atonement for himself and for the people. 25 The fat of the sin offering he shall turn into smoke on the altar. 26 The one who sets the goat free for Azazel shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward may come into the camp. 27 The bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall be taken outside the camp; their skin and their flesh and their dung shall be consumed in fire. 28 The one who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward may come into the camp.

29 This shall be a statute to you forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall deny yourselves, and shall do no work, neither the citizen nor the alien who resides among you. 30 For on this day atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before the Lord. 31 It is a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall deny yourselves; it is a statute forever. 32 The priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement, wearing the linen vestments, the holy vestments. 33 He shall make atonement for the sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the people of Israel once in the year for all their sins. And Moses did as the Lord had commanded him.

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So now, we hope we have given you a sense of the importance of the temple and its inner Holy of Holies. And likewise, we have reminded you of some of the particulars, including those cherub creatures.

We now move to Christ’s death and the tomb. And something you might have missed.

The tomb is the Holy of Holies.

While all four gospel writers probably get this, John absolutely (as always) nails it.

Look for the two cherubim:

John 20:1-18, NASB: Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2 So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She *said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in [fn]Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Holy cherub!

See the two cherubim from the Exodus and Leviticus, back then with wings stetched over the ark and throne of God, but now at the tomb of Christ in John’s account:

and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. (NASB)

Our two cherubim are now here at the death of Christ, in a different room, not the Holy of Holies but instead inside a tomb, purchased by Joseph of Arimathea for the disfigured body of his (?) and our saviour.

The ark box and the two copies of the stone law it held are gone, and replaced by Jesus the Messiah, who himself is the ark and who himself is the box holding the law, and who himself is the law. Likewise, the seat of mercy and judgment joined to the ark are replaced by Jesus the King, who himself is now the ruler and decider over life and death.

The room of God is the tomb of Christ, who is God, and is with God, and sits at the right hand of God in a throne room in a New Jerusalem, on Mount Zion.

And with God and with Christ is the Holy Spirit, perhaps expressed in the two cherub, perhaps in the two angels, while also certainly expressed in human form in the accounts of the other gospel writers.

Bible Bits is content to see our two cherub as one or another angel in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We share them here:

Matt 28:1-7, Lexham: Now after the Sabbath, at the dawning on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to view the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came up and rolled away the stone and sat down on it. 3 Now his appearance was like lightning and his clothing white as snow. 4 And the guards trembled from the fear of him and became like dead men. 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come, see the place where he was lying. 7 And go quickly, tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and behold, he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Behold, I have told you.”

Mark 16:1-8 NIV: When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Luke 24:1-12, NASB: But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as [the women] were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, [the men] said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the [mother] of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.

Continuing in Luke 24, on the road to Emmaus, here are verses 22-24:

22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” (NASB)

The book of Hebrews, coming near the end of the physical pages of our Christian Bibles, serves a function of explaining and wrapping things up in our story of God’s Hebrew and Christian happenings. Chapter 9 returns to the most holy place room which we first saw in the early pages of Exodus and Leviticus. The Holy of Holies is the tomb. The Holy of Holies is the throne room in heaven. Christ is the perfect and final sacrifice.

We will close with then entirety of Hebrews chapter 9, which we’ve taken from the English Standard Version:

Hebrews 9:1-28 ESV: Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 2 For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. 5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. 6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, 7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing 9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. 23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

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We don’t know about you, but seeing the angels of the tabernacle reappear in the tomb of Christ hits Bible Bits hard in the gut. It brings out the tears. It is one of those bits of the Bible which informs us that this Bible document was not written by man. God had John’s account of the tomb fully in mind 1400 years (or so) earlier when he planted the construction plan of the tabernacle in the mind of Moses. We see this stuff and shudder at God’s power and our insignificance, while we marvel that both tabernacle and tomb, and a box an seat, were constructed for our unmerited salvation and protected by a Holy Spirit of weird wood and gold carved cherub things.

Thanks go to the English Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, Lexham English Bible, and New Revised Standard Version. We used large sections from these translations in this post.

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Our little bit illustrates the importance of reading the actual Bible for yourself. And reading the entire thing. And reading it more than once. And paying attention to the boring bits. Bits like this slip by our notice easily, and God places subtle little items like this throughout the lengthy Bible text.

We pray that you read the actual Bible for yourself. We pray that you take advantage of good commentaries and interpretation. We are blessed with roughly 2000 years of worthy Biblical analysis, extant and recorded and copied and re-printed, made by devout and intellectually gifted students of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, held largely in the public domain or otherwise freely (or cheaply) available, and written in English. We should not let this gift of God go to waste.

God’s blessing to you and please read the actual Bible for yourself. 🙂

If you choose to reply, please cite scripture and share good commentary you’ve found. 🙂