Many view salvation as a mere “coin in the coffer” transaction between man and God. But we could never pay back our unpayable debt. We owe God way more than the loose change of our good deeds. We owe Him perfection. The reason we worship Jesus is because He handed us His divine righteousness on a silver platter. It is only His free gift to us that will suffice to appease the wrath we incurred. There is a precious picture of this in the Old Testament.
Did you know there is only one place in the Bible where bells were used by God’s people?
In Exodus 28 Moses outlines how the high priest was to dress when entering the holy of holies, which was the most sacred space in the Tabernacle and Temple to make offerings for the sins of God’s people.
The holy of holies was so significant and extraordinary that is was off-limits to sinners. This place was so pure that if the high priest did not follow protocol perfectly God would strike him dead for defiling the holy place.
The high priest had to follow three steps:
A ritual bath, a consecrating sacrifice, and a pure heart.
Before we move on you need to understand first what defile/defilement is.
Defilement meaning: to make unclean or impure. To corrupt the purity or perfection of something. To violate the sanctity of something.
Knowing what defilement is now. No one who loves God would ever want to do such a thing to His holy place. You can the stress and burden that the high priest had going on.
So what would happen if the priest was struck down by God for defilement? It would seemed problematic for sure. Because the high priest would be dead behind the veil and was the only qualified one to do so. If anyone other than the high priest tried to get behind the veil they would be struck down.
So the solution would be to tie a rope around the priest waist in case he was killed. This would be an easy fix because they could just drag him out.
There’s a problem though. How would they know if the priest had been killed or not? I mean they could tug on the rope to make sure he was still alive. However there’s another problem because if they did so they might interrupt the priest and his ceremony which would result in the high priest being killed.
The final solution to this high stress job; bells.
Verse Passage: Exodus 28:31-35 “Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar around this opening, so that it will not tear. Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.” – NIV
So the sound of bells ringing while the priest moved around was the sound of him still alive, being accepted by God.
If the ringing stopped, it meant God had rejected him and he was dead. Which would indicate to the rope holders they could start pulling on the rope and get him out.
Whenever you hear a bell ring it should remind you of the good news that now we can all be accepted by God and we can all be made alive in Hm because of what our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, did on our behalf. Now we can come to God as we are and worship Him directly.
Now there was a song that quoted “every time a bell rings an angel has just got its wings”. Which of course this quote is completely false and no one should put faith in that.
Verse passage: Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – NIV
When bells ring I pray this devotional pops into your head. I pray the message that has been given comes rushing back to you. When the bells ring let it be celebratory reminder that Jesus is alive and that we are accepted by God.
Copyright © 2018 by Jacob D. Olinger