Saturday, March 14, 2015


And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.  (Exodus 25:8)

There is a place where God meets with us.  In the Old Testament Era, His glory was seen in the cloud that resided over and within the tabernacle (later replaced by the temple); in the New Testament dispensation that glory was seen in the Son of God.  John wrote, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)  In the Greek text, this literally translates, “and ‘tabernacled’ among us.”  The tabernacle is a type of Christ—rich in symbolism.  The writer of Hebrews affirms this in chapters 8-10—that the tabernacle is “the copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (8: 5a).  In that ancient meeting place with God, there is the shadow of which Jesus is the substance.

We should grasp THE PURPOSE OF THE TABERNACLE.  Its purpose was to be a place of worship and witness.  The tabernacle was an elaborate tent, which went with the congregation wherever they traveled and pitched in the heart of the camp when they rested.  This underscores that worship is to be central and consistent for the people of God.  The tabernacle was a testimony to the presence of God among the people.  Since it could not be entered without a sacrifice being offered, it was a witness to the holiness of God and sinfulness of man—as well as to the need for the shedding of blood to make atonement for man to approach the Lord.  That is why Jesus came—God made flesh—to reconcile Holy God to sinful man by His blood shed on the cross.

We can see THE PREVIEWS IN THE TABERNACLE.  The tabernacle was a temporary tent—later replaced by the solid construction of a temple meant to endure.  Thus, Jesus “tabernacled” among us for less than four decades.  The tabernacle speaks of the first advent of Christ and the temple to His second coming.  The tabernacle was a movable structure—never resting in place for long.  We certainly see Jesus on the march in the gospel accounts.  The tabernacle from the outside was a tent—and not even an ornate one—very plain.  One reason Israel had difficulty recognizing their Messiah was His humble appearance.  The tabernacle on the inside was a different matter.  Within the veil dwelt the glory of God.  Likewise, within the simple Carpenter resided the God’s glory—and three disciples got a peak on the Mountain of Transfiguration (see Matt.17:1-7).  The tabernacle, as previously mentioned, was the place of sacrifice, where forgiveness of sins was secured.  Only in Christ and His sacrifice can we be saved—the blood of the New Covenant fulfilling what the blood of the Old Covenant foreshadowed.  The tabernacle contained the Ark of the Covenant and the Ark contained the two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments.  Christ fulfilled that law in His perfect obedience.

Further, we note THE PATTERN OF THE TABERNACLE.  You entered the tabernacle by first offering a sacrifice on the altar of burnt offering, then washed in the bronze laver, entered the Holy Place where the table of showbread, the gold lampstand, and altar of incense were found, and then inside the veil to the Holy of Holies and the ark.  We are taught that God is only approached by sacrifice, cleansing, intercession and invitation—through the blood of the Lamb of God—Jesus Christ (John 1:29).

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