Where is Jesus now and what is He doing?
“They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.” Revelation 14:4 KJV
We probably followed Jesus when He was crucified on the cross, but that was more than 2,000 years ago. Where is Jesus right now? Are we still following Him? We can only follow Jesus if we know where He is. In this article, we will go back to the earthly sanctuary to see where Jesus is and He is doing for us right now.
The need to learn the consequences of sin
Sin and its consequences are a reality. We see and experience evil all the time. God can easily wipe out sin in an instant, but that’s not the best solution. With the freedom given to us and the endless curiosity, we have men will always choose a path contrary to God’s will.
Man needs to learn and experience the consequence of evil. Those who will be in the new heavens and new earth are the ones who promised themselves not to choose evil anymore. The miserable life experienced on earth (our earth today) is more than enough to say ‘forever no’ to sin.
Saints in God’s kingdom will still enjoy the freedom to choose, but their character had been molded, tried and tested to obey God more than anything else. For this reason, Heaven is a sinless place for eternity.
Good parents do not just forgive an erring child. They make sure that the child understands his fault, and that the mending efforts are learning experiences to avoid doing the same mistakes over and over again. God does the same to His erring children.
Earthly sanctuary as an object lesson
God provided the plan of salvation to bring us back to His original plan: sinless and yet freedom-loving creatures enjoying life with their Creator.
In the plan of salvation, God instituted ordinances in the earthly sanctuary. The daily routines in the temple itself cannot save, but it teaches valuable lessons and insights about God and His plan of saving the people.
“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” Psalm 77:13 KJV
These ceremonies can be read in Exodus 40. In a nutshell, here’s how it works:
- When a sinner wanted to ask God’s forgiveness, he will have to enter the sanctuary gate with an unblemished animal (lamb, goat, pigeon).
- The sinner will confess the sins to the sacrificial animal.
- The ministering priest will burn the animal’s flesh as a sacrifice.
- The priest will then wash his hands in the laver or basin.
- In the Holy Place, the priest will make sure that the Table of Shewbread has fresh 12 loaves on it, the Seven candlesticks are filled with oil and are regularly burning, and that the censer is continuously flourishing its sweet-smelling incense.
- The high priest enters the Most Holy Place once a year and acts as the mediator pleading for the nation of Israel to God; and if successful, he will go out of the sanctuary to proclaim God’s mercy and grace to the people.
We no longer do these ceremonies since Jesus was crucified on the cross as the Sacrificial Lamb. The veil that divides the holy place and the most holy place in the earthly sanctuary was torn without hands during the crucifixion, thus, all those old ceremonies were stopped together with the earthly sanctuary. Nevertheless, these ceremonies are essential to the understanding of where and what Jesus is doing right now.
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The Heavenly Sanctuary in our times
“But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands…” Hebrews 9:11 KJV
Hebrews 8-10 tells us that this earthly sanctuary (or tabernacle) is only a pattern of what is in heaven. The book of Revelation portrays Jesus as the High Priest ministering for us in that heavenly sanctuary.
Satan doesn’t want you to know that, and so he will tell you half truth and lies. Here is what you will hear or probably heard from most preachers today: that Christians should not focus more in the Old Testament books especially everything about Moses since we are now in the new testament times. And since Moses has something to do with the earthly sanctuary then one will altogether dispense this truth if will continue to believe that lie.
But Paul tells us that:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV
Thus, the lessons and principles that we can learn from the old ceremonies in the earthly sanctuary are highly valuable as we look unto Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.
In the heavenly sanctuary,
- Jesus is the Door or Gate where a sinner can enter to ask for forgiveness.
- Jesus is the Sacrificial Lamb that a sinner brings to confess his sins. In essence, a sinner kills Jesus as he looks back to the cross.
- Jesus is the Water that cleanses us through baptism.
- Jesus is the Light that reflects to His followers as their lamp to continue to shine in this darkened world.
- Jesus is the Bread of Life, God’s Word, that we spiritually eat to nourish our soul.
- Jesus is the High Priest who moves the incense so that our prayers will be a sweet smelling savor to God the Father.
Every article in the sanctuary points us to Jesus. Our finite mind will never understand an infinite God, but He gave us means to comprehend things that are necessary for our salvation.
May this the start of our study of the Heavenly Sanctuary where Jesus is ministering right now. He is mediating for our sins, and soon He will go out from that place and render the Father’s judgment and reward to the earth. That event is what many call as Jesus’ Second Coming.
If Jesus is in the heavenly sanctuary now and intervening for our cases in the heavenly court then what character or behavior should we be taking as our Savior is pleading for us?