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.