In today’s blog post, I wish to briefly highlight some of the most wonderful and deeply spiritual truths about the Tabernacle that we find in our Holy Scriptures.
I pray that this post will not just enlighten your mind, but it will ignite your spirit, soul, and body in a very manner that the writer in Psalms 139:14 boldly proclaimed: “I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders-I know this very well.”
The Meanings of The Tabernacle
The majority of this presentation about the Tabernacle is about the Tabernacle in the Wilderness [Exodus 25-40]. The introduction is a basic discussion about the purpose and some similarities of the Tabernacle. The remaining portion of this blog post will communicate practical ways in which one may live their life, beyond the Veil.
This Old Covenant sanctuary was to be a place where God could dwell in the midst of Israel [Exodus 25:8]. It also was a picture of Jesus The Son of Man who came in the flesh and “tabernacled” among men. “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His Name, Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with Us.” Matthew 1:23
The Tabernacle of the Wilderness was built to restore the torn relationship of humanity back to God due to the inherited sin nature in humanity. Each element of this tent: the Bronze Altar of Sacrifice, The Bronze Laver, The Golden Table of Bread, The Golden Lampstand, The Golden Altar of Incense, and The Golden Ark of The Covenant was designed by God in order that His presence was made manifest on earth and on behalf of this initial sacrificial system that foreshadows Jesus from Nazareth death on The Cross. https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/what-do-the-other-parts-of-the-tabernacle-represent/
Not only was the Tabernacle a dwelling place for God and His people in the earth, and a typology of Christ, there are many things about this tabernacle that will richly assist us in understanding about God’s wish to dwell with human-beings and within the Body of Christ.
God was very particular that every part of the tabernacle should be made exactly according to the pattern that He gave Moses [Exodus 25:9]. Why was God so concerned with its exact design?
First, it was a pattern from the Tabernacle in Heaven [Hebrews 8:5, Exodus 25:40]. Next, it is an amazing type of Christ [John 1:14] “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His Glory, Glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The term dwelt in Strong’s Greek is σκηνόω which means to have one’s tent, dwell. The proper way to use this term is I dwell as in a tent, encamp, have my tabernacle. https://www.awordfromtheword.org/dwelt
Whether it is the tabernacle in the wilderness or the 1st, 2nd Temples or the 3rd rebuild future Temple, the human body is also designed by God, resembling the tabernacle in that, it is not just a living organism, but also as a temple, more like a Human Sanctuary.
We too must dwell in the wilderness as God has delivered us from the slavery of sin, and leads guides and provide us all provisions throughout our earthly journey from the cradle to the grave, and our eternal resting place in the heavenly promise-land called heaven.
Let me give you just two examples; all of the temples were designed with an outer court, inner court, and a most inner court. Each court describes a very important and unique function and purpose, for example, the outer court represents our physical nature, the inner-court represented our mental capacities, and the most inner court represents our spiritual nature. See 1 Thessalonians 5:23
“May the God of shalom make you completely holy- may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah.” Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Second, there is perhaps no greater supportive Scripture reference of the reality that each follower of The Messiah is a literal “Human Sanctuary” for God’s purposes than 1 Corinthians 6:19
“What? know ye not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Living a Life Beyond the Veil
The veil of all the elements in the wilderness Tabernacle for this writer expressed the clearest message of God’s love for sinful and lost humanity. The veil also is known as the “curtain” separated the Holy Place from the inner Holy of Holies inside the tent of meeting.
It hid a Holy God, who dwelt above the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant, from sinful people on the outside. God could not look upon evil nor could sinful people gaze upon God’s holiness and live.
The Veil was one of the most beautiful objects in the Tabernacle, woven from fine linen [white] and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. These four colors represent Christ in a very profound way.
Christ was the completion of the sacrificial system established by God the Father. Only shed blood could atone for sins, and only the sinless Son of God could serve as the final and satisfying sacrifice.
When Jesus died on the cross, God tore the veil in the Jerusalem temple from top to bottom. [Matthew 27:50-51] No one but God could have done such a thing due to the fact that the veil was over 60 feet tall and four inches thick. The direction of the tear meant God destroyed the barrier between Himself and humanity, which is an act that only He can do. https://www.gotquestions.org/temple-veil-torn.html
This tearing of the temple veil now meant God restored the priesthood of believers [1 Peter 2:9]. Now every follower of The Christ can approach God directly, without the intervention of an earthly priest or human institutions. Christ as the colors will reveal, now is the High Priest that intercedes for us before God. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, all barriers have been destroyed, now through the Holy Spirit, God dwells once more with and within His People.
White linen was used for garments for royalty and persons of rank and has been found in the tombs of the Pharaohs. White linen always speaks of purity and righteousness:
Proverbs 12:5 “The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the councils of the wicked are deceitful.”
Keeping yourself pure involves keeping your thoughts and heart to that which you know to be good and right. It involves checking your actions and making sure they are of the right motive.
But purity is also one more thing; it is keeping in check what sort of feelings you allow to rule your day. There is a trend to live by what feels “right to me.” Keeping yourself pure is choosing to think, say and do the right thing regardless of what you feel like.
Revelation 3:5 — “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
The fine-twined, white linen speaks of righteousness and typifies Jesus, the Son of Man, spotless, pure, and sinless.
1 John 3:3-5 — “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure…and you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.”
The interwoven thread of blue seems to speak the fact that Jesus remained completely loyal and true to His heavenly Father; that He faithfully maintained his righteousness and purity at all costs.
The word loyalty brings to mind a powerful sense of belonging and solidarity. With it comes the idea of wholehearted fidelity. In the Bible, the concept of loyalty is purely relational. This means our whole being is thoroughly committed to someone [Joshua 24:15].
Such loyalty is expressed to us in both the divine and human realms as given to us in the 1st two commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” [Mark 12:29-31]
Blue is the color of the sky without clouds and so it is also known to be a symbol of what is heavenly.
Blue is also the color of nobility. We recognize those qualities in our Lord Jesus. He came from heaven, he then returned there as a divine soul. “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you” (1 Peter 1:20, ESV).
We read that Jesus came and being found in the appearance of a man humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-11).
Scarlet represents Christ’s blood shed for all — his sufferings and death on the cross. Our Lord’s loyalty and faithfulness were put to the severest tests, tests in which obedience to the will of God resulted in his sacrificial death on Calvary’s cross.
We are all called to sacrifice throughout our lives. Paul writes, “Therefore, I urge you, Brothers and Sisters, in view of God’s mercy [because of all that Jesus has done for us through the sacrifice of Himself on the Cross], to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.
God wants you and I to offer all of yourself and all of your lives-your time, ambitions, possessions, ears, mouths-as well as your mind, emotions and attitudes. Paul’s description of a living sacrifice also reminds us that you have to go on offering your life as a sacrifice to God, offering the whole of your life for the whole of your life.
The Apostle Peter captures the thought here in saying “it was not with …. silver and gold you were redeemed… but with the precious blood of Christ“ (1 Peter 1:17-23).
It is Christ’s blood which gives life and purifies.
Purple represents Jesus’ royalty; he was of the royal line of David, Lord of the earth, and the inheritor of all the promises of God. Our Lord Jesus became King of kings and Lord of lords since Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18, NIV).
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2-9
The image of royalty, taken directly from 1 Peter, is supposed to remind us of our identities as sons and daughters of God; that we are heirs to Christ and His rewards, and have been given authority to issue decrees in the Kingdom and to do God’s business on the earth as Jesus did.
Jesus is king of a kingdom not of this world (John 18:33-39).
Because of Christ’s faithfulness unto death, God indeed did highly exalt him to the royalty of the kingdom, as was prophesied many centuries in advance:
“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).
The closing Gospel Message
The High Priest Over the House of God
“But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol [the High Priest] of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent [Tabernacle] which is not man-made[ that is, it is not of this created world], He entered the Holiest Place once and for all.
And He entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of His own blood, thus setting people free forever. For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!
It is because of this death that He is the mediator of a New Covenant [or will]. Because a death has occurred which sets people free from the transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. (CJB) Hebrews 9:11-15
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their mind will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (KJV) 10:16-18
So, brothers, we have the confidence to use the way into the Holiest Place opened by the blood of Yeshua [Jesus]. He inaugurated it for us as a new and living way through the parokhet [veil], by means of His flesh.
We also have a great cohen [High Priest] over God’s Household. Therefore, let us approach the Holiest Place with a sincere heart, in the full assurance that comes from trusting-with our hearts sprinkled clean from a bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without wavering; for the One who made the promise is trustworthy. And let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds…, but, rather, encouraging each other.
And let us do this all the more as you see the Day approaching. (CJB) Hebrews 10:19-25
Question: Won’t you step into the outer courtyard and accept the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah from on High, that will pay the debt of your sins and wash away the stains?
Only then can you enter into the Holy Place with the Light of the World and the Bread of Life with the prayers of the saints.
Finally, you can step through the torn veil of the sacrificed Lamb of God into the Holiest Place to be eternally home with the very Presence of God. Amen.
Grace and Peace