READ EXODUS 27
We’ve been reminded this week of the innate purpose of the Tabernacle: for God to come and dwell among His people. This is the promise of the tabernacle design: the God of heaven was coming to earth to dwell among His people.
The word we looked at earlier this week was שָׁכַן (shaw-kan), the word from which we get the English verb “to dwell.” This word gives us a marvelous picture of the purpose of God’s Holy Tent: it was His place to come and dwell among His people.
And in this שָׁכַן design, we see God’s glorious character proclaimed in every corner. In the very design, we learn about who God is.
What have you learned this week about who God is through studying the following elements:
The Holy Place at the center of the design:
The cherubim and throne symbols throughout:
The curtains and veils that served as barriers to God’s presence:
The altar in the courtyard, not in His presence:
The horns on the altar:
The altar as the passageway between the courtyard and the Holy Place:
This is the summation of God’s presence among His people. This is what it takes for Him to dwell with His people.
Read John 1:14. What word in this verse reminds you of our word study of שָׁכַן earlier this week?
At this point, we may not be surprised to learn that the word used in John 1 in reference to God dwelling among His people in Christ is the Greek word σκηνόω (skay-no’). Do you see its relation to the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle? These words, grammatically and intrinsically linked, remind us the ultimate purpose of the Tabernacle: to point God’s people to when He would come and dwell among them in flesh, in the Incarnation!
In Christ’s coming, God came and finally and ultimately “tabernacled” among His people. Jesus is the heavenly God come to earth – in the flesh. The barriers of heavenly holiness and earthly flesh were done away with in Christ as He was fully God and fully man. And Christ, through His sacrifice for our sins on the cross, became the courtyard sacrifice by which you and I can enter God’s presence. He is the horn of our salvation that we run to when we hear the accusing words of the enemy, and His blood is what we cling to for assurance of our salvation!
Don’t you see it friend? The Tabernacle was the first picture of God’s presence that was always intended to point us forward to God’s coming to dwell among us in Christ, the true Tabernacle! We may look back at the Tabernacle with some faint longing for God to have a physical address among His people again – a place where we can go to know that God is at home – but we have something better! We have Christ, the One who assures us that God has come, that He dwells among us, and that through His perfect sacrifice, we have full access to God.
How do you see the Gospel in this?
PRAY & REFLECT
Praise God for Christ! Praise Him for sending the better Tabernacle, Jesus! Thank Him that through Christ’s sacrifice you have access to God!