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How the ancients worshipped PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 26 March 2018 15:25

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A scene of the tabernacle is set up at Central Christian Church to help people understand the ancient process of worship. By showing how worship took place in the days of the Old Testament, followers can better understand references made in the New testament. Courtesy photo

Church re-enacts Old Testament service

By EARL WATT • Leader & Times

Worship styles vary greatly today, with some congregations praising God with live bands, others with piano accompaniment, and some with no instrumentation at all. Some recite scripture and others show how the words of the Bible still speak to the world thousands of years later.
But that’s not how worship took place for those in the Old Testament days, and without understanding the process, some verses in the New Testament may not be able to have their full impact.
During a small Bible study group, Central Christian Church Pastor Chuck Scroggs took some cardboard and remade some of the items used in the ancient days, and the class was so inspired by what they had learned that they encouraged him to make the display larger and share it with the entire congregation.
“It started out small,” Scroggs said. “But there are references throughout the New Testament that just won’t make any sense if we don’t understand the tabernacle and the form of worship in those early days.”
So, Scroggs built a larger version of the set.
“It’s still not to scale,” he said.
The Central Christian Church is currently not only learning how the ancients worshipped God, but they are seeing it in the layout of their auditorium, and for the next three weeks, the process will continue.
“Each week stands alone, so you don’t have to start at the very beginning to understand it,” Scroggs said. “If someone came now, we start by reviewing what has already happened.”
And Scroggs said the format is more of a dialogue than a sermon.
“People are able to ask questions, and we are able to discuss what was happening,” Scroggs said.
There was a specific order of worship, starting at the alar where a lamb was offered as a sacrifice.
“The lamb was a sacrifice for the people,” Scroggs said. “It represents how Jesus was the sacrifice for the people in the New Testament.”
The service moved forward to the laver where the priests would have to be purified by washing before they were allowed to proceed to the “holy place.”
“This represents God’s word,” Scroggs said. “We use the word to help wash ourselves and to understand the precepts for our lives.”
The scene then moved on to the tent room, the first room of the “holy place.” Inside the holy place was a table of showbread, a candlestick, and the altar of incense.
“The showbread represented Jesus being the bread of life,” Scroggs said. “The candlestick represented Jesus being the light of the world, and it was fueled by oil which represented the holy spirit. The incense was symbolic of our prayers going up to God.”
The tent was split by a veil, and on the other side in the “holy of holies” was the ark of the covenant, a chest that contained the stone tablets of the 10 Commandments, a bowl of manna, and Aaron’s budding walking stick.
In ancient times, only the high priest was allowed to enter the “holy of holies” once a year, and there was a rope tied around his leg so that if he did not follow the procedure correctly and was killed, his body could be pulled out.
“When Christ died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn top to bottom and fell apart, and you could look into the holy of holies,” Scroggs said. “No longer did man need a priest to get to God. Jesus paid the sacrifice. He is now the veil. We pray to him and he goes to the father.”
By seeing the process, references in the New Testament are easier to understand.
“The scriptures come alive because they see what it was like and what it referred to,” Scroggs said.
Services at the Central Christian Church at the corner of Fifth and Lincoln will share the tabernacle message for Palm Sunday, Easter, and a review the week after Easter, and Scroggs has invited anyone who would like to see a tabernacle service to come and experience it at 10:45 Sunday mornings.
He also said that churches interested in using the set at their church at a later date would be welcome to do so.
For more information about services or to request the use of the set, contact Scroggs by calling (620)391-7289 or to leave a message at the church by calling (620)624-5280.

 

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