A Shadow of Good Things to Come

I hope your interest in God’s Covenant was piqued after Wednesday night’s discussion.  In the next 2 weeks, we will be covering a lot of information, which is why I wanted to write a few blogs to cover some material in between meetings.

If you were not in the group that had to read Exodus 25, please take a few minutes right now to read it.

Why was God so detailed in how he wanted the tabernacle made?  Why did everything have to be made to his exact specifications?  What is the importance?

Hebrews 10 says that the Law is but a shadow of the good things to come.  God is revealing Jesus, the ultimate fulfillment of His promises, throughout His covenants and requirements of the people.  We will take a look at a few examples this upcoming Wednesday, but the tabernacle is something that requires more time not only to explain, but also to ponder and truly understand as it applies to our lives.

 

Look at this picture of how the tabernacle is laid out.  The following descriptions are excerpts from Kay Arthur’s study “Covenant”, pages 152-154.

Tabernacle

“The tabernacle is a study in and of itself, for each article of furniture is a picture of our Lord whom we worship and the redemption He wrought for us…

“The outer court was 150 feet long and 75 feet wide.  The tent was always pitched toward the east and the rising of the sun and could only be entered through this one door.  The children of Israel could enter through the gate into this outer courtyard.

“The holy place…was 45 feet long, 15 feet wide, 15 feet high.  These dimensions include the part beyond the veil called the holy of holies.  Only the priests could enter the holy place.  They would do so daily…

“The holy of holies… was 15 by 15 by 15… It was separated from the holy place by a veil.  This part of the tabernacle was only entered by the High Priest on one day of the year, the Day of Atonement.

“The first article of furniture in the outer courtyard was the altar of bronze.  It had four horns, one on each corner.  It stood four feet off the ground.  When the people brought an offering to The Lord, either for reconciliation because of sin or consecration, the sacrifice was tied to the horns of this altar.  The coals of fire were inside…A bronze grate covered the coals of fire that held the sacrifice as it was consumed by the fire.  The altar of bronze was God’s picture of His Lamb, Jesus, nailed to the cross for our sins, baptized with a baptism of fire…

“The laver was where the priests washed daily.  They could not enter the holy place without washing.  It too was made of bronze, a symbol of judgement.  Jesus, the Word of God, said that we were made clean through the Word He spoke to us…

“There was only one door giving access to the tabernacle.  This door was always facing east. Jesus is the door…

“The table of showbread, made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold, was to the right as one entered the holy place… On it were 12 loaves of bread representing God’s covenant people, Israel. Every Sabbath, these were eaten by the priests and fresh bread placed upon the table.  Jesus is the bread of life…

“Opposite the table of showbread was a seven-branched candlestick made of pure gold.  It burned olive oil night and day, serving as the only light in the tabernacle.  Jesus is the light of men…

“The altar of incense, made of acacia wood and gold, was either in the holy place or in the holy of holies.  It was three feet in height, standing above the table of showbread and above the height of the ark of the covenant itself.  Thus its fragrance wafted across the mercy seat and above the other furniture.  Incense was to burn perpetually showing us Jesus as our high priest who ever lives to make intercession for us…

“The veil, made of blue, purple, and scarlet fine and twined lined, separated the holy place from the holy of holies.  No priest could enter through the veil; it was the only way to approach the ark of the covenant.  This was the picture of Jesus whose torn flesh, like the rent veil, gave access to the very presence of God…

“The ark of the covenant, made of acacia wood covered with gold, occupied the holy of holies…On top of the ark was a lid called the mercy seat.  hovering above the mercy seat were two cherubim, with outstretched wings.  The ark contained the tables of stone, a pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded.  There we meet Jesus, God incarnate, who, before Abraham was born, was the I AM, one with the Father…

“The mercy seat was made of solid gold and covered the ark of the covenant.  One time a year, on the Day of Atonement, after the high priest made a sacrifice for his own sins, the blood of a goat was placed on the mercy seat to cover the sins of the people.  It was there above the mercy seat that God hovered in the pillar of cloud.  The mercy seat was a picture of the throne of God where Jesus’ one sacrifice for sins for all time would sanctify us forever…”

 

Isn’t this amazing, that God literally made his tabernacle to be a shadow of the coming Savior, His Son, Jesus Christ?  Each element inside the place God dwelled and the people interacted with God was a picture of Jesus, who would become human for us and take on our flesh that we might be saved.

 

I ask you all to ponder these questions after you have taken some time to look at the tabernacle:

 

What have you done with your sins?  Have you given them to Jesus, or do you still cling to them in the darkness?

Have you allowed Jesus to cleanse your evil conscience, as it says in the verses we read on Wednesday night in Hebrews 10?  Have you allowed Jesus to wash you clean?

Have you walked through the door into the holy place?

Are you still spiritually hungry, or have you taken the bread of life?

Are you standing in the light of the lampstand, or are you continuing on in darkness?

Have you come to understand and live in a way that honors the fact that Jesus gave himself to us so we would walk into the holy of holies with confidence?

Have you truly trusted Jesus to forgive your sins?  Have you found His mercy?

Take a moment to “walk through the tabernacle” into the holy of holies.  Recognize all that God has done for you so that you can stand with confidence before Him BECAUSE of His great love for you, that He would become the sacrifice, shedding His own blood (God incarnate Jesus), and place Himself on the mercy seat FOR YOU…  Take a moment to say “thank you”, and I encourage you to begin thinking about what this covenant means for you.  God fulfilled the covenant Himself, but invites you in… We will talk about it more in the few weeks to come, but begin thinking about what these covenants mean to you.

2 thoughts on “A Shadow of Good Things to Come

  1. Romans 8:1,2 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

    I know in my head I have been set free from sin, but personally I wrestle with believing that Jesus’ sacrifice fully covers all of them… Past and present. But reading Hebrews 10:26-31, I realize the gravity that doubt holds. My pride causes me to think my sins above His sacrifice, and am I really willing to “insult the Spirit of grace?”

    Those questions are convicting! It took me reading through it at least three times to truly realize the ramifications of not accepting of them, of how they interrelate and are essential to my walk with God.
    In order to FULLY follow Jesus Christ, I have to FULLY accept His sacrifice.

  2. Hebrews 8:5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.

    Suppose there is a Temple in Heaven????

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