And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exodus 25:8
It is said that the story of the Tabernacle reaches deeper than the earth, higher than the sky, and farther than the universe (Ervin N. Hershberger).
The creation of the heavens and the earth are accounted for in merely two chapters of the Bible… but the Tabernacle? Some fifty chapters of Scripture are dedicated to describing the architecture and elements of this building where we read God dwelled among His people.
At Mount Sinai, God spent forty days giving His Law and the dimensions and details of the Tabernacle to Moses. Every measurement was to be precisely as God directed. Its features, furniture, and services were to be just as instructed.
What is it about this place that made it so special? Why was God so concerned with every minute detail of its construction? Would it be a fair assumption to say that the place where God would meet with men must be perfect?
The Tabernacle remained as such a place for Israel until one day Solomon, by the instructions of his father David, would build the Temple. The Temple would be modeled after the Tabernacle… but would be stationary.
What was on God’s mind when He gave all of those specific details of the Tabernacle? Was He simply looking for a place where He could hang out on occasion, or was He establishing a picture, a shadow if you will, of something or someone much greater to come? The Temple: or even greater than that?
I believe so! Hear John’s words as he describes the coming of our Lord and Savior. Look how he intentionally (moved by the Spirit) uses the term, ‘to tabernacle’ (dwelt).
And the Word became flesh and tabernacled (dwelt) among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Did the tabernacle represent a picture of Christ in the midst of the Israelites until that better should come? If so, what can we learn by looking closer at the structure and all of its furnishings? Could we walk away from a study like this with a greater understanding of Jesus and His work on our behalf?
The author of the letter to the Hebrews seemed to imply this possibility.
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11
This new Tabernacle is, of course, eternally superior to the one commissioned at Sinai.
- What was the Hebrew Tabernacle and why was/is it important to Christians? A quiz. (ptl2010.com)
- The Tabernacle (listentothesoundofthesword.wordpress.com)
- Jesus our High Priest…Now! (ptl2010.com)
- Exodus 40 – The Tabernacle Erected (graceofourlord.com)