All Posts Tagged: tabernacle

The Lamb of God – Part 5

 

 

 

They will know that I am the Lord their God,who brought them out of Egypt
so that I might live among them.”
Exodus 29:46

“The people must build a dwelling for me so that I can live among them.”
Exodus 25:8

God said to Moses, “The People of Israel are to set up camp circling the Tent of Meeting and facing it.
Numbers 2:1-2

 Moses finished the work. Then, the Cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Glory of God filled The Dwelling.

 

Israel had been delivered from bondage so that God COULD LIVE with them. Hence, His top priority was the construction of His residence, called the Tent of Meeting.

 

When completed, Father’s house was placed in the center of the Israeli encampment. Then, God entered His residence and all the people saw His Presence!

Conclusion: the passion of the Father’s heart is to live in a relationship of love with His kids!  “The end of creation is that all things may return to the Creator and be united with Him.” (Emanuel Swedenborg) PROOF? Of the culmination of God’s plan for humankind we read: I heard a loud voice shout from the throne: God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own.” (Revelation 21:3)

The Father wants you to be His home. He desires to meet with you therein. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth.  You know him already because he has been staying WITH you, and will even be IN you!” (John 14:15-17)

You invite people to your house. Your guests, standing before the door, ring the doorbell, anticipating entrance to your residence. However, you don’t open the door.  Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together.”  (Revelation 3:20)

Have you opened the door to the Lamb of God, the One who, on this day “restored our relationship with God while we were still his enemies.” (Romans 5:10)

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling
O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ
Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today there’s no reason to wait
Jesus is calling
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born
Jesus is calling
O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ
O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ
Oh what a savior
Isn’t He wonderful?
Sing hallelujah,

Snapshots of the Cross in the Old Testament—the curtain

Whereas the whole earth was given to humankind to inhabit and rule (Genesis 1:28), the Garden of Eden was specifically designed as a Meeting Place for God and man. “The truth is clearly set forth that Life comes from God, that for man Life consists in nearness to God and that it is the central concern of God’s fellowship with man to impart Life” (Geerhardus Vos).

The Creator’s plan was diverted. Disobedience produced disconnection. Fellowship was fractured. Consequently, “God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life.”

tabernacleFortunately, the story didn’t end there. After God delivered His people from 430 years of Egyptian bondage He gave this order: “Let them make a Dwelling Place for Me, so I may live among them. Make the meeting tent like the plans I will show you.” The design called for three sections oriented to the east: the Courtyard, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, the latter two separated by an ornate curtain. “Make a curtain of blue, purple, and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. Have a design of angel-cherubim woven into it by a skilled craftsman” (Exodus 26:3-33).

Did you catch it? Just as at Eden angel-cherubim guarded the eastern entrance (the curtain) to the place of God’s Presence, the Holy of Holies. So, how would disconnected humankind be able to have face to face fellowship with God? How was God able to have a Dwelling Place in the midst of disobedient traitors? It seems as if God changed His standards!

arkOnce a year on the Day of Atonement (see last Lenten post) the High Priest entered God’s Dwelling Place with the blood of a slaughtered lamb. The High Priest walked around the throne (i.e. the Mercy Seat) of God’s Presence seven times, sprinkling blood on it as he moved. So, for a brief period the High Priest had fellowship with God because of the blood. God and sinful man were ONE through the blood. OOPS! Don’t forget this: The High Priest bore on his shoulders and over his heart the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. One might say that the entire nation was in long distance fellowship with God during that period.

Centuries later the real Lamb of God was dragged to Calvary to be slaughtered. As His blood oozed out, His life was depleted. Finally, Jesus said, “It is finished!” After that “the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom” (Matthew 27:50-52). Brothers and sisters, because of the blood of Jesus we can now confidently go into the Most Holy Place. Jesus has opened a new and living way for us to go through the curtain, His own body” (Hebrews 10:19-22).

The door is open! Just walk into Father’s Presence via the blood of the Lamb of God!

Snapshots of the Cross in the Old Testament—the high priest

The activities on the Day of Atonement took place around and in God’s dwelling, the tabernacle. Though many priests were involved, the High Priest played the central role. I want to concentrate on two objects that the High Priest wore when he walked into God’s presence.

ephodThe ephod was similar to a pair of suspenders.  Have the Ephod made from gold; blue, purple, and scarlet material; and fine twisted linen by a skilled craftsman. Give it two shoulder pieces at two of the corners so it can be fastened. Next take two onyx stones and engrave the names of the sons of Israel on them in the order of their birth, six names on one stone and the remaining six on the other. Then mount the stones in settings of filigreed gold. Fasten the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the Ephod. The High Priest will wear these names on his shoulders as a memorial before God” (Exodus 28:6-13).

The breastpiece was similar to a baseball catcher’s vest, though much smaller. “Now make a Breastpiece, using gold; blue, purple, and scarlet material; and fine twisted linen. Make it nine inches square. Mount four rows of precious gemstones on it. Set them in gold filigree.

breastpieceFirst row: carnelian, topaz, emerald.
Second row: ruby, sapphire, crystal.
Third row: jacinth, agate, amethyst.
Fourth row: beryl, onyx, jasper.

“The twelve stones correspond to the names of the Israelites, a name engraved on each. The High Priest will carry the names of the sons of Israel over his heart as a memorial before God when he enters the Sanctuary” (Exodus 28:15-30). 

Now, let’s proceed to the “main event.” A spotless lamb is slaughtered. Its blood is drained. The High Priest takes the blood into the Sanctuary of God’s presence. God observes the stones (names) through the efficacy of the blood. He views the names over his heart—the symbol of love, compassion, mercy and grace. In a similar fashion He observes the names on his shoulders—the symbol of responsibility (as in, “he shouldered the whole task”).

Who is Jesus? He’s the Lamb of God who was slaughtered so that His blood flowed profusely. He’s the Great High Priest who presented His own blood to the Father for our redemption. Ah yes, what about the stones? Jesus bears on His shoulders and over His heart the name of every person who has received Him as Savior!

In a single sentence Paul beautifully summarizes the meaning of the Ephod and Breastpiece: “I am absolutely convinced that there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:30-32).