Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Cherubim Removed

When Adam and Even sinned, Cherubim were put in place to guard the Garden. Adam and Eve could no longer enter because they were unclean. The unity they once had with God in the Garden was gone.
He [God] drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)
The Flood likely destroyed the Garden, but that doesn't mean the Cherubim were left jobless. The Flood did not change the nature of humankind. People were still fallen and unable to approach God as Adam once did. The Cherubim were still needed.

When the law was given to Moses, the Cherubim reappear. It's an easy detail to miss because it appears in the instructions on how to build the temple:
And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. It shall be made with cherubim skillfully worked into it... And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. (Exodus 26:31,33)
The Cherubim stood as guards in the temple. They stood watch on the curtain covering the Holy of Holies, which was the place where God's presence dwelt. Only one man could enter the Holy of Holies each year. The author of Hebrews explains it like this:
...into the second [the Holy of Holies] 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. (Hebrews 9:7)
The role of the Cherubim changed with the coming of the Messiah. Recall what happened when the sacrifice at the cross was complete:
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:50-51)
Imagine the shocking look on the faces of the priests as the curtain guarding the Holy of Holies, as if by magic, ripped itself from top to bottom. Before their very eyes, the temple opened. And with its opening, the Cherubim were no longer needed. The Man who would crush the head of the serpent had come (Genesis 3:15). The curse was finally beginning to be reversed.

No longer do the Cherubim stand as a barrier between believers and their Creator. Imagine Adam, perhaps gazing into the distance; see him dreaming of somehow being able to sneak past the Cherubim, back into the Garden where he had full communion with God. If you are a Christian, you don't need to dream of such a thing. Christ has removed the Cherubim for you! Your relationship with your Creator has been restored! And though you do not yet live in a world like the Garden of Eden, there is a much better world to come— a world that will be far superior to what Adam had in the Garden.

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