The Picture of Christ found in the Tabernacle
Exodus 29:43, 45-46 “And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the Tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.
And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.
And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God.”
The Tabernacle was the dwelling place of God, among His people after He had brought them out of bondage, across the Red Sea. They needed a dwelling place to come and meet with Him as they crossed the wilderness, to go to the land of Canaan. (The Promised Land). This was the Tabernacle.
It was erected according to the pattern God gave Moses in the mount of God, or Sinai (Exodus 25:8-9). The Ten Commandments had been spoken to Israel, and they had made a covenant with Him to do what He said.
Exodus 24:7 “And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.”
The Tabernacle was divided into three stations.
The first was the court of the Tabernacle. Here there was Natural Light to shine for the work to be done by the priests.
The first piece of furniture to meet the petitioner when they came was the Brazen Altar.
Exodus 27:1-2 “And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be four square: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.
And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. ”
(Brass speaks of judgement. Judgement for sin must be made. Either on the sinner, or upon a substitute.)
Here was the sacrifice made. And the blood pour out by it. (Exodus 29:11-12). There was to be a continual burnt offering.
Exodus 29:42 “This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak there unto thee.”
Here God would meet the sinner, or petitioner, and speak peace by the blood. So we who believe, have peace with God through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 4:24-25, 5:1. “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
The next piece of furniture was the Laver. It is also of brass, symbolizing judgement. Our judging ourself, that we might maintain fellowship with Christ.
Exodus 30:18 “Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.”
The priests hands would be bloody after working at the Brazen Altar, and their feet dirty from the bare ground; so they were to wash their hands and their feet before going into the Holy Place.(Everything in the Holy Place symbolized fellowship with God, for the sin question was dealt with outside.)
As Christians, we too, should “wash” our hands and feet, so we can maintain fellowship with our Lord.
We do this by confessing our failures: the failures of our service (our hands); and the failures of our walk (our feet).
We are to be in the world but not of it, and we are defiled by walking around in this world. (How much filthy language, hatred, rage, etc. we come into contact with every day!)
We confess our sins, so we can come before the Lord, in fellowship, and prayer.
Peter learned this when, at the last supper, Jesus washed his feet.
John 13: 8-10 “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
Jesus saith unto him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, But is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.”
Jesus did not say, If I don’t wash you, you’ll have no part in Me. But He said, You’ll have no part with Me.
Peter was clean, just needed the washing which would show his fellowship with Jesus. That Jesus did.
We do the same when we come to Him to get “washed, and cleansed” from our sins, so we can have fellowship with Him.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The second section of the Tabernacle was the Holy Place. Everything here was covered with gold, which speaks of God.
Everything here spoke of fellowship. Only the priests could enter here, and minister.
There were three pieces of furniture:
The Table of Shewbread.
The Golden Altar of Incense.
Exodus 25:23-24,30 “Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown to the border thereof round about.
And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me always.”
The Table of Shewbread spoke of Christ, The Son of God manifesting Himself as the bread of life. He sustains us, as we have that fellowship with Him we need. He manifests Himself in His glory, and Kingship for us, as we fellowship with Him. (the breads were sprinkled with frankincense, which is the spice of Kings. One of the wise men presented Christ with it at His birth.)
Exodus 25:31 “And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knobs and his flowers, shall be of the same.”
Exodus 27:20 “And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.”
The Lampstand or Candlestick is of one piece of gold, beaten into the seven lamps atop one candlestick. The bowls were filled with pure olive oil and burned.
They were to be continually burning, and had to be filled and seen to morning and night.
This speaks of The Spirit of Christ, who in the time after Christ has ascended to heaven, Lights the darkness, that we, as priests, may minister before the Lord.
He shows us the things of Christ for our lives, and work.
John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Exodus 30:1,3 “And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.
And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.”
The Incense Altar was gold. It was to have the fire from off the Brazen Altar put into it, and special incense burned upon it every morning and every evening, when the Lamps were filled and see to.
Also on the day of Atonement, blood was to be brought in and touched on the horns of the Golden Altar.
This speaks of the Intercession of our Risen Lord. He is our Mediator. (1 Timothy 2:5)
His prayers for us are always effectual.
Hebrews 9:24 “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, when Christ are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”
(Everything speaks of Christ; but to the glory of Christ Jesus, we are to pray for all men to be saved; and especially pray for the household of faith. 1 Timothy 2:1, 8.
This is the Holy Place, and this, for Israel was as far as any could go, except on the Day of Atonement, when the High Priest would crawl under the Veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies with blood for the sins of the people.
In the Holy of Holies, the third section of the Tabernacle was only one piece of furniture:
The Ark of God, covered with the mercy seat. This speaks of the Presence of God, for over it the glory of the Lord dwelt.
The Ark was a wooden box covered in and out with gold. In it the Ten Commandments, and the testimony of their journeys was kept.
On it, rested the Mercy Seat, made of pure gold, with cherubim of gold looking inward where the blood would be poured.
Exodus 25:10-11, 17-18 “And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.
And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.”
The Veil was between these two sections, separating Israel and God. But when Christ died on the Cross the Veil was rent from top to bottom, showing the way to God was open by His sacrifice.
Matthew 27:50-51 ” Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
Access to God by faith in Christ Jesus is now possible. The Atonement was made, and we can come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Hebrews 10:10-14 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifice, which can never take away sins:
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
The Tabernacle showed forth Christ. Yes, it was not a clear picture; but for all who believed God, they looked forward to Christ’s coming salvation with joy.