“And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy.
And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy” (Exod. 40:9-10).
Exodus 40:9-10 shows us that the sanctuary was to be regarded as “holy.” The basic idea of holiness is separateness and uniqueness, in combination with belonging to God.
“The typical service was the connecting link between God and Israel. The sacrificial offerings were designed to prefigure the sacrifice of Christ, and thus to preserve in the hearts of the people an unwavering faith in the Redeemer to come. Hence, in order that the Lord might accept their sacrifices, and continue His presence with them, and, on the other hand, that the people might have a correct knowledge of the plan of salvation, and a right understanding of their duty, it was of the utmost importance that holiness of heart and purity of life, reverence for God, and strict obedience to His requirements, should be maintained by all connected with the sanctuary.”—Ellen G. White, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1,010.
God’s holiness transforms us and sets us apart. His holiness is the ultimate motivation for the ethical conduct of His people in all spheres of life (see Leviticus 19), whether that be observing the dietary laws (Lev. 11:44-45), respecting the priest (Lev. 21:8), or not conforming to former lusts (1 Pet. 1:14). Obviously, God wants us to grow in holiness as we get closer to Him. This change can come about only through a self-surrender of our sinful natures and through a willingness to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.
Think about yourself, your habits, your tastes, your activities, et cetera. How much of what you are, and what you do, would be considered “holy”? It is kind of a tough question to face, isn’t it?