About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter 25
For the next number of
chapters in Exodus we will learn all about the Old Testament tabernacle.
Hebrews 9:23 and 24 tells us that this tabernacle is actually a
model, or patterned after the heavenly temple.
In some shape or form, even though God is spirit, there is some
kind of heavenly temple. The
tabernacle represents that heavenly temple.
I'm not convinced that this heavenly temple as it stands right
now is material. God is
spirit, so how would he live in a material temple.
This tabernacle is merely a human replication of something
It is commonly understood
that this tabernacle is prophetic of Jesus Himself.
We note in 2 Corinthians 5:19 that God dwelt in Jesus.
The Greek word used for "dwelt" means "to
tabernacle", where "tabernacle" is used as a verb, not a
noun. Colossians 2:9 and
John 1:14 say the same thing.
Hebrews 10:5 speaks about
Jesus, that is, the pre-incarnate Jesus, that a body was prepared for
Him. God prepared a body, or
a tabernacle, for the pre-incarnate Jesus to live in while on earth.
This Old Testament tabernacle represents Jesus' body.
You might want to refer
to Revelation 21:3 where you
will see the climax to all things relating to the tabernacle and
Before we get into the
verses of this chapter, I want to give a brief description of the
tabernacle that we will be studying.
The tabernacle was about
75 fee wide by 150 feet long. The
length of the structure ran from east to west.
If you viewed the structure from the outside, you'd first see a
white linen fence that was as high as the average man's eye level.
The linen fence had one door, and this door faced the east.
Once inside the linen
fencing, you entered what we would call a courtyard. The first thing
that you would see was a brass altar used for sacrifices.
The next thing you would see is a large brass bowl to wash in.
Once in the outer
courtyard you would notice a wooden structure.
You would not see the would.
It was covered in animal skins.
This structure was divided in two.
Each room was 15 feet high, 15
feet wide, and 30 feet deep. This was called the
Once in the Holy Place
you would see the inner wooden walls were covered with gold.
On the right side of the room was a table with 12 loaves of
unleavened bread. On the left side of the
room was 7 branched golden lamp stand that was fed with oil.
As you look beyond the
lamp stand you see a veil. Beyond
the veil was the
Once entering the
All of the things I've
just described are loaded with symbolism, as the New Testament states.
Imagine yourself as a Jew. You'd
come to the east side of the tabernacle.
East would face the Garden of Eden.
There is lots of symbolism concerning the direction of east.
The first thing you'd see
is the only door into the tabernacle, and of course, we know Jesus is
that door as seen in John 10, and He is the "only door".
Yet before you actually got to go into the tabernacle, you would
have to pass through the tribe of
As you approached the
door you would note the white linen fencing.
White represents righteousness throughout the Bible.
We will some day be dressed in white linen.
Once entering the outer
court, the first thing you'd see in the brass altar where a blood
sacrifice was made for your sins. Of
course, Jesus blood sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice.
Then you would see the brass bowl where you would wash and be
cleansed. Jesus Himself is
seen as our cleansing agent. His
words are said to wash us clean.
Once the sacrifice has
been made for you, and you have been washed, you could then enter the
you will see the table with unleavened bread.
This is also called the fellowship table.
You eat with unleavened bread.
You eat as sinless people, because the blood has been shed in the
outer court at the altar, and because you have been washed clean at the
You glance over to the
other side of the room and you see the gold seven-branched lamp stand
that represents the prayers of the saints in the New Testament. This
room is a place of prayer and fellowship.
Then, once a year, only
one man could enter the Most Holy Place, and he was the high priest. There,
you would be in the presence of God and have fellowship with Him.
We should note at this
time that the veil in the Temple
when Jesus died on the cross was ripped, from top to bottom.
This veil was 18 inches thick. This event clearly signifies that
the Most Holy Place
is now available to all who properly approach it.
I've said that the
tabernacle is prophetic of, or represents Jesus.
As with much of prophecy there are also secondary meanings to the
prophecy. I also see three
ages described in this temple. I
see that outer court as the Old Testament days where animal sacrifices
for our redemption were made. I
We should also note that
many people see the Trinity and the three aspects to humans in the
tabernacle. That is, there
are three parts to the tabernacle, courtyard, Holy Place, and Most Holy Place. There are three aspects to
God, as well as three aspects to man.
That is, body, soul, and spirit.
That being said, not all Bible scholars believe that man is made
up of three parts.
In chapter 25, verses 1
through 9 God tells Moses to have the people of
Notice verse two where
God says for those whose
"heart prompts them to give."
The building of this tabernacle was to be a matter of the heart.
This is a taste of the New Testament, a taste of better things to
come, as the book of Hebrews would put it.
Right from the very beginning, the building of a place where God
could live among his people was a matter of the heart.
The same must be true today, but more often than not it isn't.
Tradition and structure has taken away much of the heart from the church
and from Christianity.
Verse 9 tells us that the
tabernacle was to be made "exactly" as God tells Moses, and
that applies to the furniture in the tabernacle as well.
We see God is very detailed and exact in what he wants.
Very detailed might actually be an understatement.
This tabernacle represents a few things as I've already
mentioned, therefore the things that it represents are detailed as well.
I believe the New Testament temple, that is, the Body of Christ,
is to be built to God's exact specifications as well, but we've long
since departed from those specifications.
We've built the church after our own specs, not God's, and have
suffered for it.
Verses 10 through 17
describe in detail the structure of the ark.
It was to be built of wood, covered with gold.
It had two rings on each side with a pole on each side going
through the rings. The rings
were gold. The poles were
wood, covered with gold. The
poles were there so it could be carried without touching the ark.
Inside the ark would be put the tablets of stone with the Ten
Verses 17 to 22 describe
the top part of the ark which would be called the mercy seat.
The top, or the cover, to the ark was to be made of pure gold,
with cherubim at each end, looking towards each other, with their wings
spread upwards. The cherubim
was solid gold as well. In
between these two cherubim, God would meet with Moses, and the high
priests, that would come after him.
Note all the gold.
This stands for royalty, and the all-powerful
and important nature of God.
This section describes
the table that would be put in the Holy Place. Again, it was made
of wood covered with gold. It
had four gold rings so two gold poles could be put through the rings to
carry it, just like the ark. The
bowls and plates to be put on the table were also to be made of gold.
Note verse 30.
The unleavened bread that was to be placed on this table was to
be called "the bread of the Presence".
That would be "presence of God".
Note that Jesus was called the "Bread of Life".
He also told us to eat from Him, which we do in a symbolic way
when we take the Lord's supper, often called communion.
The Bread of the Presence
was unleavened bread because leaven represents sin, and Jesus had no sin
In this section God tells
Moses how to make the lamp stand. It
is also quite detailed and made of gold.
It was to be made so seven lamps would be lit.
Each one of the pieces of
furniture that is described here I'm sure has special significance to
God. Many Bible teachers
over the years have gone into great detail to what each and every little
part of these pieces of furniture mean.
I will not do that. I'm
not sure what they mean, and I'm not sure that what people say they mean
is really what they do mean. One
person may say one thing and another person say something else.
I will not get involved in that debate, other to say that I'm
sure they do mean something to God that speak of Jesus.