So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said to me…
This is the most holy place. There has always dwelt in the minds of men a feeling that some places are peculiarly sacred. Unfortunately, there has been no small amount of superstition connected with this feeling, which should be discouraged in others and should be resisted in our own ease. We should strongly insist upon the truth, and carefully cultivate the conviction, that if some places have a peculiar sanctity, it is that "ever, place may be holy ground "to us; that we may find God everywhere and in everything; that we may worship and serve him in every sphere and on all occasions whatsoever. Still, the feeling rests on a basis of truth. We know that there was a "most holy place" -
I. IN THE ANCIENT TEMPLE. Within the veil was "the holy of holies," into which none but the high priest might enter, and he only once a year, and then only with the blood of the slain goat. God might only be approached by men as they were purified from sin; and this the careful graduation of access to him clearly symbolized. That inner chamber of the temple was the most sacred spot on earth, because there God manifested his presence as nowhere else. But there were very holy places indeed -
II. IN THE LIFE OF OUR LORD. He was the living Temple when he was with us; for was not God manifest in him far more truly and importantly than he was present "between the cherubim" in the luminous cloud? There were three places which, in the experience of Jesus Christ, may be said to be "most holy" - the upper room in Jerusalem, where he "sat down with the twelve" to that sacred meal, and delivered that discourse of priceless value to mankind (John 14.); the garden of Gethsemane, where he passed through the great agony; and the "place which is called Calvary," where the great sacrifice was offered for the sins of the world.
III. IN OUR OWN BUILDINGS NOW. We find such in those sanctuaries or in those chambers which are closely associated with our converse with the Most High. Apart from and independent of any act of formal "consecration," the place where we gather together to worship God, the place where we hold holy and happy fellowship with Christ, the place where we listen with eager mind and fervent spirit to his Divine truth, - this is hallowed ground to us; these are sacred spots which we tread reverently, where we feel near to God, which will always be peculiarly dear to our hearts.
IV. IN OUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. There are certain very solemn and sacred experiences through which the God of our life "makes us to pass, of which we may truly say that they are "most holy." Of these we have instances in:
1. The time of separation, of loneliness, when we first find ourselves cast upon God for guidance and for fellowship.
2. The day of desperate grief, of overwhelming sorrow, when men can do nothing for us, but God everything.
3. The hour of very special privilege, when we feel the nearness of Christ, the excellency of his salvation, the power of the world to come, the influence of the Holy Spirit; when we feel that we stand before the open gate of the kingdom of God.
4. The occasion of great opportunity, when it is in our power to make some great sacrifice for others or to render some valuable service to them or to speak faithfully and effectively for Jesus Christ. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place.