“No one comes to the Father except through me”.
From New-Age type meditations to quantum physics, many books have been written on how to approach God. Why don’t people just read the Bible? In the Tabernacle, later to be the Temple, we are taught all the details concerning the protocol to observe when desiring an audience with the Almighty. Here is how it goes:
Our sinful nature prohibits us from approaching God. We only do it by proxy through the mediation of the blood of a kosher animal, so first we must bring an offering to the altar. The offering was not designed to atone for sin; it only served as an acknowledgement and a confession of sin (Hebrews 10:4; 9:13). It was the same before He was manifested about 2,000 years ago, as it is now: only the work of Messiah done at the foundation of the world cleans the conscience from sin (Hebrews 4:3; 9:14; 1 Peter 1:20). From Genesis to today, the formula never changed; we approach the Father through the sole mediating agency of the Son (John 14:6; Hebrews 4:14-16; Psalms 2:12).
After we have brought the animal and offered it, only the priest can go further into the precinct of the Tabernacle/Temple. To do so, he has to go through the laver and wash his hands and feet. He probably washed at home that morning, but these are ritual washings against ritual contamination for priests only. We remember how Yeshua did the same to His disciples on the day He died. The disciples had already washed their bodies as well as their hands before eating as was done in Jewish customs; all they needed now was to wash their feet which Messiah did for them that night. In essence, Yeshua was treating His disciples as priests, which fulfilled Messianic prophecies (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9). Yeshua Himself is the laver wherewith we are clean to approach the Father (John 15:3).
Finally, the continual incense burning in front of the Ark showed the prayers offered unto God. When Zechariah came to the Temple, the angel who said, “Your petition has been heard”, appeared to him as he was offering the incense (Luke 1:13). Our prayers are brought before God and He answers each one of them; He will vindicate His people (Revelations 5:8; 8:3-4).
May we then, having laid our sin on the altar, trust in the righteousness of our High-Priest in Heaven Yeshua HaMashiach, and through Him have the confidence to draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).