The Tabernacle in Exodus

Last week in Merry Ministries we began our study of the tabernacle.  We covered chapters 25-29 of Exodus.  God’s purpose in having Moses and Israelites build the tabernacle is clear – He wanted to dwell among His people (25:8).  

This tabernacle was to be God’s dwelling place. God knew it needed to be something real and visible as the people learned to worship Him, follow His laws and move towards the Promised Land.  God dwelt amongst His people in the tabernacle for centuries until an amplified version of it was built in Jerusalem by King Solomon. About a thousand years after that, God dwelt among His people in the flesh when Jesus Christ was born.  John 1:1 tells us that “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us … (Dwelt is literally tabernacled among us.) After Christ died, rose from the grave and later ascended to heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us/believers.  When we become believers, the Holy Spirit dwells in us (Luke 11:13; Luke 12:12; Acts 2; Romans 5:5;  1 Cor. 6: 19″Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” Also see Eph. 1:13-14; & many, many more verses.



God gave Moses very specific instructions for building the tabernacle and all the “furniture” that will go into it.  He describes the tabernacle from the inside out. Later, when it is built and described from the outside in. 

I had a 3 page handout describing the tabernacle and pictures of the different articles of the tabernacle.  Everything about it points ahead or foreshadows Jesus Christ.  The following will be a one page handout I worked up for next week as we continue the study. 

Seeing Christ in the Tabernacle

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt [tabernacled] among us,” John 1:14 (ESV).

“I have spoken by the prophets and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets,” Hosea 12:10.  (God gave foreshadowings, symbols and prophesies of Jesus Christ through the Tabernacle.)

The materials and colors used to build the Tabernacle and what they may foreshadow in Jesus Christ:

GOLD – His kingship and divinity
SILVER – His blood, redemption (firstborn male was redeemed by a blood sacrifice or silver)
BRONZE/BRASS – fire, judgment; Jesus is the ultimate Judge
WOOD – His humanity; the Cross
GOAT’S HAIR – sin offering; atonement; Christ atoned for our sins.
RAM SKIN – substitutionary sacrifice; (Gen. 22);  Christ was our substitutionary sacrifice
SEA COW/BADGER SKIN/ – exact translation not known, but this was the outermost covering and it gave protection and provision just as Christ does for us.
OIL – Holy Spirit; light; Jesus is the light of the world
INCENSE – priesthood; prayers of the saints (Rev. 8:3-4)
WATER –  Jesus was the living water (John 4:10-14; 7:37-38); also baptism
BREAD – Jesus was the bread of life (John 6:41-58)
JEWELS/PRECIOUS STONES – His priesthood, treasures, heavenly rewards He will give us; foundations of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21)
LINEN – White linen; His holiness and purity; linen was a priestly fabric; Christ is our high priest
BLUE – Heaven, where Christ is now
PURPLE – royal majesties; Christ is the King of kings
SCARLET – His blood; earthly glory

The furniture/articles of the Tabernacle also foreshadow Jesus:
ARK – wood covered with gold signifying His humanity covered with divinity; 
MERCY SEAT (ATONEMENT COVER) – By the mercy of Christ, His blood atones for our sins.
ALTAR OF INCENSE – prayers of believers as a sweet aroma to God (Ps.141:2; Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4)
GOLDEN LAMPSTAND – made of pure gold showing His pure divinity; The design of the vine and the branches points to Jesus in John 15:5  –”I am the vine; you are the branches.”  Also, “I am the light of the world,” John 9:5.
TABLE OF BREAD – points to Jesus as the Bread of Life (John 6) and His humanity covered in divinity again.
VEIL – Christ’s flesh torn for us (Mark 15:38; Hebrews 10:19)
DOOR – only one door, one way in to God; John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved ” John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

HIGH PRIEST – Jesus is our High Priest – Hebrews 4:14-15 – “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” See also Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 5:5; 5:10; 6:20;7:23-28; 8:1-3; 9:11.
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