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Pastor Joby Soriano   /   Feb 07, 2016

The word Tabernacle is used in the book of Exodus to refer to the “house or temple of the Lord.” It is also called God’s “sanctuary” or His “dwelling place,” or the “tent of meetings” and it was first mentioned in Exodus chapter 25. The purpose of God for wanting the people to build a sanctuary for Him is to pursue us. God says, “I want to dwell or live with My people.” But humanity’s biggest problem is sinfulness, rendering law-breaking people not only unworthy, but also unable to enter into the presence of the Holy God. Since God wanted to dwell together with the Israelites He provided the way to meet them through the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle foreshadowed God’s provision for man’s salvation through Jesus. Because God’s revelation is progressive (Hebrews 1:1-2), He did not reveal Himself and His ways all at once. Many parts of the Old Testament will not make sense until you connect it with the New Testament.

The Tabernacle has three sections: The Outer Court, Holy Place and Holy of Holies. The Outer Court has one Gate and two pieces of furniture: the Brazen Altar and the Laver. The Holy Place has three: The Lampstand, Showbread and Incense Altar. The Holy of Holies is the Most Holy Place, where the Ark of the Covenant is placed. Only the High Priest can enter this compartment of the Tabernacle and only once a year. The Tabernacle teaches us how to live in God’s presence. To live in God’s presence there is only:


Everything in the Tabernacle points to Jesus. There is only one gate, only one door to approach God. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 10:9; 14:6). Truth is exclusive. Either Jesus told the truth or He was a liar. The principle of logic is no truth claims can contradict each other. Jesus proved His claims when He died on the cross and rose again.


The purpose of the altar is explained in Leviticus 4:22-26; 17:11. The Brazen Altar is for animal sacrifice, but it must be animals without defect. The animal is slayed as a sin offering, dying for the person’s sins as a substitute. The priest takes some of the blood of the animal and put it on the four horns of the altar. He pours out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar symbolic of sins being covered with forgiveness. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). We cannot pay for our sins by doing good works. Blood must be shed (Hebrews 9:22), but bulls and goats cannot really take away our sins (Hebrews 10:4). The sacrifices in the Tabernacle were a foreshadowing of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice who takes away the sin of the world once and for all (John 1:29, Hebrews 10:4,9-10). Nothing can save us but His blood (1 Peter 1:18-19).


The laver is symbolic of sanctification. Here the priest washes his hands and feet before entering the Holy Place. Even if we are already saved by Jesus (positional sanctification), God is still concerned about our life after we come to Christ (practical sanctification). Jesus transforms us. By His grace, He will give us a new heart to make us progressively growing in the Lord. In addition, His Word is one of the tools given by Jesus for us to practice sanctification. The Word of God is God’s way of cleansing us.

Are you living in God’s presence today? God is giving you the privilege of being in His presence by coming through the One Way, the Gate of Entrance (Jesus). Hold on to the One Truth, the Altar of Sacrifice (that Jesus became your substitute sacrificial lamb, took your place and paid for your sins). And then, you practice the One Life at the Laver of Cleansing by daily reading and applying His Word.  
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