Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Tabernacle

By Hayley Boud

What significance does the tabernacle/temple have for us today? We are the temple of God. God came down on the tabernacle/temple and dwelt there and met His servants there. His presence was felt and seen there. We have the presence of God in us and it is not only felt and seen by us but by those around us as they see the love that is in us and the way we are transformed and changed day after day.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” 1 Corinthians 6:19

Also, the church is God’s dwelling place. “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22

It can also represent heaven where God dwells. “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation”. Hebrews 9:11

What does the bronze alter mean for us today? This is a symbol of Christ’s cross, where Jesus offered Himself up as a ‘whole burnt offering’ to God and only He could do so because He was the only one without any blemish (He is pure).

‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. You are to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” Leviticus 1:1-5

What does the laver represent? This is where the priests washed before entering the Holy Place or approaching the alter. Therefore, we must be clean before coming into the presence of God which is why we always have the step of repentance when we meet at our prayer meetings and why we must always remember this step when we are at home. Before to pray, before to read the Bible, before to worship God, we must take a few seconds to say sorry for anything that has made us unclean and we have to ask God to forgive us.

We need to take it seriously as Aaron would have. He would not have entered the Holy of Holies without being clean. He knew God would kill him. We need to be that serious also and remember we are meeting with GOD! It’s not a joke, it’s a time to be serious when we come next to God. Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” John 13:8-10

The golden lampstand Christ is the light of the world and we also are called to be children of light to this world. "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:15 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden” Mathew 5:14

The table of the bread of the presence or showbread Jesus is the bread of life and the 12 cakes of showbread represent the 12 tribes of Israel dedicated to God’s service. Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

The alter of incense represents our prayers: “they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people”. Revelation 5:8

The veil is the curtain that divided the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies and reminds us that before Christ died on the cross we couldn’t come directly to God, only the Levite priests could go into the holy of holies but now the curtain has been ripped, all of us who believe in Christ, have the right to come to the throne of grace and find mercy.

At that moment [Christ’s death on the cross] the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split” Mathew 27:51 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”. Hebrews 4:15

The ark of the covenant and the mercy seat symbolizes God’s presence among His people. It represents God’s throne which is one of judgment and also grace with the sprinkling of the blood from the sacrificed animal. It also contained the 10 commandments.

We today have God’s laws which He judges us by but we are saved by grace through Christ’s blood. We need God’s mercy and His commandments and we also need to remember He will judge us oneday.

The door: There was only one way to enter the tabernacle and there is only one way to enter the Kingdom of God and that is through Jesus, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

The sacrifices were done daily meaning they could only cleanse a person temporarily but when Christ died on the cross, His sacrifice was once and for all...permanent. “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy”. Hebrews 10:14

The colours Gold: no other metal is like gold, it is the purest of all the metals and we know that Jesus is pure. It is a soft metal, just like God...he is soft with us, waiting for us to change. He could be so harsh and mean, but He is kind and gentle and patient. Gold doesn’t rust and it can’t be dissolved in acid – just like God who is eternal and can’t be penetrated by impurities and is always victorious. It can even be used as a medicine and there is no greater physician than God. It is a conductor of heat and electricity and we know it is through Jesus we can come close to God. Gold is also used by those who are rich to prove they are rich. There is no one more rich than God!

Blue: represents heaven which reminds us that Christ is God!

Purple: the colour of royalty which reminds us the Jesus is the King of Kings!

Scarlet: represents the blood of Christ on the cross to pay for the price of our sin!

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