Lesson Plan

Sanctuary In the Old Testament

After exploring the topic of salvation in the Old Testament in the previous lesson, we jump to the New Testament to study the role and work of Jesus as mediator in depth. The scope of this lesson is too large to go over in one day, therefore, each aspect
Andy L.
Classroom teacher
Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy
Pleasant Hill, United States
Show More
My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Students will be able to...

  • Re-create the history of the building and destruction of Israel’s sanctuaries and temples through a Sanctuary Model, Art Show, One Act Play, Sermon, or Song.
  • Explain the purpose and meaning of the sanctuary where God dwells through a trip to an Ancient Temple, Experiencing a First-Century Meal, or Sabbath Field Trip.
  • Describe the Old Testament picture of the role of sanctuary by creating an accurate timeline of events.
  • Articulate the basic elements of the Seventh-day Adventist doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary and its cleansing beginning in 1844
Social Studies
Grades 11 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes


Free, Paid
  1. Assess students’ knowledge of the sanctuary by using PollEverywhere
    1. When did the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary begin?
    2. When did God first have the Israelites make a sanctuary?
    3. When was the last Jewish temple destroyed?
    4. In what book of the Bible do we learn of the 2,300 days?
    5. When and how often did the priest enter the most Holy Place?

Show animated video clip via YouTube going through the various elements in the sanctuary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgqLsnzG6gM)


Activity: Other — Journaling
  • Invite students to grab their journals, reflect, and respond to the following question:
    • Questions of the Day (QOTD): Reflect on your meeting with God. Are there specific places where you seem to sense God’s presence more personally and powerfully? If so, where are these places? What is it about the place that seems to enhance your experience with God?


Activity: Other — Discussing and Practical Application
  • Discuss important concepts from the lesson by asking the following questions:
    • Why do you think God was so specific and detailed in giving Israel a pattern by which to build the sanctuary?
    • Why do you think so much controversy has surrounded the sanctuary doctrine in Christianity?
    • Compare and contrast your place of worship with the Old Testament sanctuaries and temples. What are the differences? Are there any similarities?
  • Encourage students to respond & ask questions that they might have by doing the following assignment:
    • Instructions: Make a small design of what you would consider an ideal place of worship. List the most important elements that inspire you about this particular design.


  • Instruct students how to download Bible reference resource (e-Sword or Logos)
  • Have them look up the design of the sanctuary in the wilderness, the first temple that Solomon built, and the temple in the time of Jesus.
    •  Compare and contrast all three by getting into groups and construct a model of the sanctuary in the desert, or of the later temple in Jerusalem.


Activity: Creating
  • Give students multiple options for Creative Projects:
    • Art Show: Draw a few pictures of the Sanctuary and be prepared to share and explain the connection from passages in Scripture to your drawings.
    • One-Act Plays: Prepare a skit to show in class and/or chapel about one (or more) of the important messages from the Sanctuary.
    • A First-Century Meal: Food is a very integral part of the culture in Middle Eastern life, so prepare and execute the following: 1) Get recipes for basic Middle Eastern foods such as falafel, tabouli, pita bread, tomato and cucumber salads, etc., and have the class cook and eat a meal together.
    • A Song Service: There are many songs that reference messages from the book of Hebrews in hymns and worship music. Put together an original song conveying one of the themes and share it with the class and/or chapel.
    • A Sermon: Prepare and deliver a sermon or devotional talk based on a passage in the book of Hebrews in class.