The Sabbath and the Sanctuary
Who can enter the sacred and heavenly presence of God? And how? Various ancient Jewish and emergent Christian groups disputed these questions in the first century CE. Jared C. Calaway states that the Letter to the Hebrews joined this debate by engaging and countering priestly frameworks of sacred access that aligned the Sabbath with the sanctuary. From the Hebrew Bible through late Second Temple Judaism, the sanctity of the sanctuary could be experienced through the Sabbath, sacred space through sacred time in Jewish priestly writings. In a manner resembling postwar layers of the emergent Christian tradition, instead of entering God's sacred and heavenly Presence through the weekly Sabbath, one could only experience the heavenly realities of the Sabbath and the sanctuary through faithfulness and obedience to Jesus, the faithful and obedient heavenly high priest who purifies, sanctifies, and perfects.