Who cleansed the Holy of Holies?


At the far end of the temple was a room thirty by thirty, set aside by King Solomon for the holiest place on earth; the Holy of Saints, the abode of the living God. Finally, after 400 years (since I brought them out of Egypt), there would be permanent abode for the Almighty God of Israel. No more dusty, old tent, no more moving from here to there; Finally, there would be a house worthy of their God. The floor-to-ceiling walls were paneled with cedar planks from Deck to the north. There was gold everywhere you looked; on walls, ceiling and floor. Two, fifteen feet tall, cherubs, carved from olive trees, stood magnificently in this the inner most shrine of the temple. The two wingspan, gilt, angel-like figures, were fifteen feet each; their tips touched each wall and each other in the middle. Under the cherubim were placed the Ark of the Pag; where the most sacred objects of the Israelites were stored. The dream of King David had finally come to life through his son Solomon.

This glorious, beautifully decorated room meant to house the living; the loving, accessible God of Israel was terribly hidden behind a thick curtain that could never be seen again by Jewish eyes. The High Priest was the only Israelite allowed into the Holy of Holies and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. There is a question that has puzzled scientists and thinkers over the centuries; if the High Priest was the only one allowed into this, the very best place, then who purified the Holy of Holies?

Granted, there are a million other more relevant and urgent questions in the world than who cleaned the Holy of Holies. It is not even a relevant issue in today’s society; after the destruction of all the temple of the Israelites in 70 AD and has never been rebuilt. What do we like about Holy of Holies or who cleansed it? This place no longer exists; or does it? Maybe we should ask some other questions first. The first question is obvious, where is the Holy of Holies today? If it exists, who is allowed to Holy of Holies? Finally, if found, does it even need to be cleaned? Let’s take a closer look at these issues.

Where is the Holy of Holyies today? The Bible tells us that the Holy of Holies was located in the Temple of Jerusalem, but the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. So where is the temple today, did the Jewish people rebuild it somewhere else? No, they haven’t; Jerusalem is the holy city that building elsewhere would not work. So where does the living God live? The Apostle Paul reveals the temple’s location in I Corinthians 9:16 when he says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple to God?” The temple is our bodies; therefore, it would not be too much of a stretch to say that the Holy of Holies is located in our bodies (the Temple). After all, the Holies of Holies were intended to be a place that Israel could look at and know that their God was with them. It was a place where they could physically see and feel the presence of God (to see more of the Exodus story and look out for the cloud).

If Holy of Holies exists, who is allowed in? We have determined that the Holy of Holies is actually found and that it is located in our bodies, or as Paul put it, “the Temple of God.” In the old days, only the High Priest was allowed inside the Holy of Holies and then only one day a year. So who has permission for this holiest place now? First, God is allowed in; this is where he lives after all. Second, the High Priest, who is Jesus Christ, the Highest of the High Priests. What about you? You wouldn’t have been allowed in the old days, but what about now? Definitely, the Holy of Holyies was originally established by God as a place where He could be close to His people, where they could be close to Him, and where we could have the personal relationship with our Father. Man and his arrogance and fear kept him out of the Holy of Holies; God has always wanted us to be with Him. When Jesus died on the cross, you will remember the story that the curtain was torn, it was an invitation for you to enter.

Finally, who cleanses the Holy of Holies? When Paul talked about the temple being our bodies, he did it, so we thought twice about what we let inside the temple. He actually said we should cleanse the Holy of Holies. What Paul fails to remind us is that if we cannot be responsible enough to cleanse the Holy of Holies; so will God. The truth of the matter is that God does not like a dirty house and that he has cleaned his house since day one. Who cleanses the Holy of Holyies? You do that; or God wills.