Notes on Exodus 25-27

The Tabernacle

 If you were on a hill looking down on a valley and saw the Tabernacle you would be observing how the God of the heavens and earth desires to relate to man on earth. I recommend that you look on the internet to see a drawing of the Tabernacle for truly, in this case, one picture is worth more than a thousand words.

 The first thing we see is the walls of curtains surrounding the parameter of the Tabernacle. These walls represent separation, keeping that which is outside, outside and that which is inside, within. The curtains are held in place with poles set in silver sockets in the ground. Silver represents redemption. Wood represents humanity. Here redemption separates man from the ground and separates those who are redeemed from those who are not.  There is, however, an entrance for the unredeemed to enter in.

 Coming through the entrance the first thing one sees is the Bronze Altar.  Bronze represents judgment. In order to be redeemed our sins need to be dealt with. Paul writes in Romans that the consequence of sin is death. The Bronze Altar was the place where a sacrifice was made and judgment atoned for. There were many sacrifices that were to be made on the Bronze altar and we will deal with them in a later study but for now we will begin with redemption since that is the difference between being outside the wall or inside. The sacrifice looks forward to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins. The Church looks back at the Cross of Christ which is the full and true payment for the sins of mankind.

 Within the curtain walls is a tent. From the outside it looks like any other tent but on the inside it is very different.  The inside walls are made from blue, purple, and scarlet material. Blue represents Heaven. Purple represents royalty.  Scarlet represents the sacrificial blood of Jesus. Also, on the inside of the walls, are embroidered angels. All of these together should represent heavenly mindedness. They should represent our transformed heart.

 Within this room is the Table of Showbread, the Lamp, and the Altar of Incense. On the Table of Showbread will be twelve loaves of bread representing the Word of God brought to the world from the heart of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. In John Chapter one we are told that Jesus is the Word of God. So the bread ultimately represents Jesus. The Church is to bring the Good News of the Gospel to the world. The bread is God’s word or exhibit. Israel and the Church is the place of exhibit. (For a better understanding of God’s exhibition see the study “All Things” on the Shepherd "My Sheep" page on the website.)

The Lamp represents the Holy Spirit who gives understanding and conviction by the Word of God when it is read and shared.

 The Altar of Incense represents prayer.  This altar is set next to a curtain called the Veil.  The Veil separates this room called the Holy Place from another room called the Most Holy place or Holy of Holies. The Ark of the Covenant is in this room. The Ark represents God and God’s covenant with Israel.  Only the High Priest could enter this room and only once a year and never without sacrifice. But the aroma of the incense burning on The Altar of Incense could fill both rooms and reach God. It is a beautiful picture of our prayers reaching God. At the time of the Tabernacle only the Priest could offer the incense but now in our day we can approach the Throne of God with our prayers. When Jesus died on the cross there was a great earthquake and the curtain that separates man from God was torn in two. Jesus has become our High Priest and He sits on the Throne with God and intercedes for us with God when we pray. But the principle remains the same. When we become a Christian we make a covenant with God and he is our source of provision for life and our task.

 In the Holy of Holies is the Ark of the Covenant. It is made of wood that is lined with gold on the inside and covered with gold on the outside. Gold represents deity.  The wood represents humanity. Together these represent the trinity of God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the Ark is God’s Word, the Stone Tablets, the Jar of Manna representing God’s provision, and finally, there is Aaron’s Staff which budded and bore fruit overnight, representing God’s power.  The Ark has a cover called the Mercy Seat with two cherubim on it. A cherub is on each end watching over the Mercy Seat.  The Ark represents the nature of God. We are told in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus is the exact representation of God. In John 20:11&12 we see a beautiful illustration of the Mercy Seat and God’s love for us.

 This is a brief study and much more detail could be given, but let’s look at one more item before we go. The articles described above were to be carried on the shoulders of Israel, specifically the tribe of Levi. Israel was to bear the burden of bringing the Law, and how mankind is to relate to God and to the world. Today there is no tabernacle or temple but the message must still be brought to the world and presently this is the task of the Church. One day the Church will be caught up to the Lord and Israel will complete the task they have been given during the Great Tribulation.  They will rebuild the temple and bring in the most Holy and the Lord will return as King of kings. See Daniel 9:20-27: Revelation 19.

 For now though, we the Church are to take up our cross and carry the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus to the world. Like Israel though, we have One with us as we seek to complete our task.  See Matthew 11:28-30

Pastor Dave