JOURNEY THROUGH THE OLD TESTAMENT #2: THE TABERNACLE
(Pastor Chris Jordan)
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
- I love the Bible! It is God’s love letter to us and reveals His heart.
- My goal in this series is to help you to better understand the whole Old Testament.
THE 5 BOOKS OF LAW: (Also called the Torah or the Pentateuch = written by Moses).
- GENESIS: Beginnings (Creation, the fall, flood, nations & the Patriarchs).
- EXODUS: Exodus or Deliverance (God calls Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt).
- LEVITICUS: Levites and Priests, Offerings and Feasts.
- NUMBERS: Wanderings (in the wilderness, from Sinai toMoab).
- DEUTERONOMY: Second Law (farewell addresses by Moses as he is about to die).
KEY VERSE: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” (Exodus 20:2).
AN OVERVIEW OF EXODUS:
Genesis ends with Joseph – a shepherd who becomes a prince – and becomes a deliverer.
Exodus opens with Moses – a prince – who becomes a shepherd – and becomes a deliverer.
- Ch.1 – the oppression of the Israelites inEgypt
- Ch.2 – Moses is born, raised as a Prince of Egypt, and flees to Midian
- Ch. 3-4 – God calls Moses at the burning bush
- “Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10).
- Moses is a type of Jesus: Moses-Pharaoh-Egypt / Jesus-Satan-World.
- Ch. 5-11 – Moses goes toEgyptto tell Pharaoh “Let my people go!” (10 plagues)
- Ch.12 – The Passover
- The Passover Lamb is a type of Jesus: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
- Ch. 13-15 – Deliverance at theRed Sea
- Ch. 16-19 – God’s provision (Manna and Water from a Rock = Jesus)
- Ch. 20-24 – AtMount Sinai: The Law & the 10 Commandments
- Went through these last June – first 4 = loving God; last 6 = loving people
- Ch. 25-27 – The Tabernacle
- “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” (Ex. 25:8-9). God wants to dwell in the midst of His people – US!
- The tabernacle was a simple tent in the middle of the Israelite camp.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE TABERNACLE: SEVEN STEPS TO APPROACH GOD:
“The pieces of furniture were thoughtfully placed in the structure. The priests daily approached each piece showing to all ofIsraeland us, how God is to be approached.” (Barry Buzza).
1. THE ENTRANCE GATE:
“The curtain that covered the entrance to the courtyard was made of fine linen cloth and embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn. It was 30 feet long and 7 1/2 feet high, just like the curtains of the courtyard walls.” (Exodus 38:18, NLT). [see 38:9-20]
- The colors are significant: blue (Heaven), purple (royalty) and red (blood of Jesus).
- Jesus is the gate: “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures.” (John 10:9, NLT).
- If we want to approach God and have a relationship with Him, we come through Jesus.
2. THE BRONZE (BRAZEN) ALTAR (OF BURNT OFFERING):
“Using acacia wood, make a square altar 7 1/2 feet wide, 7 1/2 feet long, and 4 1/2 feet high.” (Exodus 27:1, NLT). [see 27:1-8]
- Every morning and evening, animals were sacrificed on the altar…
- Sheep or oxen were sacrificed in our place which provided entry to God’s presence.
- Symbol = points towards Jesus who would die on the Cross 1400 years in the future:
- “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
3. THE BRONZE BASIN (OR LAVER):
“Make a large bronze washbasin with a bronze pedestal. Put it between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water.” (Ex. 30:18, NLT). [see 30:17-21]
- Here the priests would wash their hands and feet before entering the Holy Place.
- Symbol = Jesus’ death on the Cross: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.” (Heb. 10:19, NLT).
- Second Symbol: The water was a picture of God cleaning and purifying our souls, just like water baptism today.
- However, too many Christians stay here in the outer court – they’ve received salvation by trusting in Jesus, and been baptized, but they never go into theHoly Place.
4. THE TABLE OF BREAD:
“Then make a table of acacia wood, 3 feet long, 1 1/2 feet wide, and 2 1/4 feet high… You must always keep the special Bread of the Presence on the table before me.” (Ex. 25:23,30, NLT). [see 25:23-30]
- First item in the Holy Place: Twelve loaves of bread = placed on the table every day.
- This would remind them that God would provide for their daily needs.
- Symbol = Jesus: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35).
- If we want to be satisfied and fulfilled in life, we must feast on Jesus and His Presence!
- Second Symbol = The Word of God: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4).
- We need to feed on the Word every day – it is food and nourishment for our spirits!
5. THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND (MENORAH):
“You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece… You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it.” (Ex. 25:31,37). [see 25:31-40]
- Symbol = Jesus: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12).
- Second Symbol = The Holy Spirit: Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
- “The lampstand speaks of the sevenfold perfection of the Spirit of God in illuminating God’s truth.” (The Pentateuch, L. Thomas Holdcroft).
- If we want to draw near to God, we need the help of the Holy Spirit.
- Third Symbol = The Word of God: “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105).
- Interesting Study: Of the 6 side candlesticks, they each have 9 almond blossoms (6 x 9 = 54). On the middle candlestick, there are 12 blossoms (54 + 12 = 66). Total of the first four candlesticks = 39; total of the last three candlesticks = 27. Books of the Bible!
6. THE ALTAR OF INCENSE:
“Then make a small altar out of acacia wood for burning incense.” (Ex. 30:1, NLT). [30:1-10]
- This altar stood right outside of the doorway to the Most Holy Place (Holiest of Holies).
- Symbol = our prayers & worship: “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Rev. 5:8).
- Before we can enter the Most Holy Place of God’s presence, we must worship and pray.
- Between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was a four inch thick Veil.
- Only the High Priest entered there once a year on Sept. 30 – Day of Atonement.
- When Jesus died on the Cross hundreds of years later, the Veil was torn in two, symbolically revealing to us that we have continuous access to God’s presence.
7. THE ARK OF THE COVENANT:
“And they shall make an ark of acacia wood… And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.” (Ex. 25:10,22). [25:10-22]
- There was only one piece of furniture in the Most Holy Place: The Ark.
- This was the place where God promised to meet with the High Priest.
- Hebrews 9 paints a beautiful picture of how Jesus is the fulfillment of the tabernacle.
- “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16).
CLOSING: Do you want to draw near to God? Come through the gate (Jesus), go to the Cross (the bronze altar) and receive cleansing from sin (the bronze laver). Enter theHoly Place by feasting on the Word (Bread of the Presence), with the help of the Holy Spirit (the lampstand), worship and prayer (the altar of incense) and come to the mercy seat (Jesus!)…
- The Red Thread – by Pastor Barry Buzza and Emily Lim
- Pentateuch Course Pack – by Pastor Barry Buzza and Emily Lim
- What’s in the Bible – by R.C. Sproul and Robert Wolgemuth
- The Spirit-filled Life Study Bible – edited by Jack Hayford
- The Pentateuch – by L. Thomas Holdcroft