Now He said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. And Moses alone shall come near the Lord, but they shall not come near; nor shall the people go up with him.” (Exodus 24:1-2)
There is a concept revealed here that can be seen in many different Biblical scenarios; the closer one gets to the Almighty, the more one must die to his own will. In this verse, only Moses was permitted to draw near the LORD but Aaron and the others were invited to come toward the LORD leaving the masses still assembled at the foot of the mountain. In a sense, the tribes were assembled in the court, a small number was assembled in a holy place while Moses, alone, was permitted to come into the “Holy of Holies.”
This pattern is repeated again, most literally, when the Sanctuary was constructed and the priesthood was instituted. Only the sons of Aaron were permitted to come into the Inner Court and Holy Place; only the High Priest was permitted to enter the most sacred chamber where the Presence of the Almighty resided. When one considers what was required of the High Priest compared to the other priests and Levites, we see that the closer one got to God, the more that person had to die to self. Comparing what was required of the Levites with the rest of the nation, again we see that the closer one got to God, the more that person had to die to self. In short, the one who was allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies was someone set apart from those who were set apart from those who were set apart from the nations of the earth.
As followers of the Messiah, we have been given the privilege of having access to the Presence of the Almighty through the blood of the Lamb. That being said, we still have the responsibility of living a set apart life so that we may continue to enjoy the Presence of the Almighty in our lives. As it is written: the one who is allowed to ascend the hill of the LORD and stand in His holy place are those with “clean hands” and a “pure heart.” So then, let us daily cleanse our lives of those things that would offend our Master and purge our hearts of self that we might be regarded as priest of the Most High God.
Blessings and Shalom,