Zechariah entered the Holy Place and stood in awe as he surveyed his surroundings. He saw the golden lamp stand, with it’s seven candles, that burned from evening till morning every day. Reminding the Jewish people that they were to be a “light to the nations” as they worshiped and followed after God.
He saw the table that held the bread of presence. Twelve loafs of bread, were set out every Sabbath day as a memorial food offering to the Lord. Representing the twelve tribes of Israel and their dependence on God for their daily bread.
And he saw the altar of incense, sitting before the heavy veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The Most Holy Place was designed to hold the Ark of the Covenant, were the very presence of God hovered above the mercy seat. The Israelite’s had considered the Ark, their most holy and sacred possession, but it disappeared when the Jewish people went into exile almost 600 years ago. The people still believed that the Most Holy Place was sacred and that God’s Spirit was always there, even though the Ark was no longer in the room. Only the High Priest could enter this room, and then, only once a year.
As Zechariah thanked the Lord again for this honor to serve Him, he set about his work of pouring incense on the altar. The altar of incense represented prayer. Every morning and evening the priests would pour incense upon the altar and when it hit the hot coals, the scent would rise up to heaven, representing their prayers ascending to God. Even now a crowd had gathered outside with the priests, to pray as Zechariah preformed his duties.
Zechariah bowed his head in praise to God and then prayed for the nation of Israel. When he was done, he whispered his prayer for a son, one more time, to God Almighty.
Suddenly the room began to grow warm around him and he opened his eyes. Standing before him was a mighty angel!
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your son Jesus, to be the light in a dark and hopeless world. Thank you for being the bread of life, for people hungry for God and for hearing our prayers of repentance and need. We are lost without you, stumbling around in the dark. Forever searching for something to fill the void within us. Only you, Jesus, can fill our needs and satisfy our hungry soul. Come, Lord Jesus. Come and fill our hearts with your love and mercy this Christmas season. Open our eyes to see you as the amazing Savior that you are. Amen.