True Worship and the Real Sanctuary


Hebrews 8:5 They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one;


This portion of Hebrews is pointing out the radical difference between the old and new covenant. The priests in the time of Moses were worshiping in the tabernacle, which was simply a “sketch and shadow” of what was to come. This was a very simple and small representation of the heavenly sanctuary. When Jesus came, as the new High Priest, everything changed and he now serves as the true tabernacle. Therefore true worship is of Christ and he is the real sanctuary. This new reality changes everything in the lives of these Hebrew believers.


If we are not careful our modern worship could also be a very poor sketch and shadow of God’s intention. True worship is focused on Christ alone. He is the real sanctuary.

What does that mean for us on a practical level? The Holy Spirit ushers us into the very presence of Christ who intercedes on our behalf. This means that true worship comes about when God’s people allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them into a deeper walk with Jesus Christ. In a nutshell, it’s what holiness is all about. We are guided into a continual and on-going deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. The result is an overwhelming desire to praise and to worship him. No longer is the focus of worship the ways in which I like a particular service, because all that we do becomes about pleasing Christ for we are in his sanctuary, for we are in him.

Tomorrow many will enter into a sanctuary for worship. To be prepared to worship we must spend time with Christ. Let’s prepare our hearts by focusing on Christ before we ever enter a building for corporate worship. Then, while gathered together, remember that there is but one God who is the audience. It’s not about you or me — it’s all about him. This is true worship!


Lord, please prepare my heart for worship in your sanctuary. Amen.

Thank you to Nazarene Publishing House and Keri Mitchell for helping to create and publish Reflecting the Image. This is not a devotional book, but rather a collection of thoughts and stories which lead us in the direction of reflecting Christ. Click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on


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