The courtyard of the Tabernacle reminds us that God delights in calling many to Himself. The call into relationship with Him – into proximity to Him – goes out far and wide.

And yet, the entrance to the Tabernacle is narrow. The fabric walls with cherubim woven into them stand as a reminder to us that the way to God cannot be found through unholy means. We cannot “hop the fence” to God’s presence. We must enter through the singular way God has created for us. 

Read Exodus 26:9-19. What did the opening to the courtyard look like?


What decorated the opening to the courtyard (verse 16)?


Where have we seen this decoration pattern before? (hint: you’ll have to look back)


The same colors that lined the inside of the Tabernacle – the place of God’s presence – line the gate to the courtyard. The rich colors of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn that don the gate to the courtyard resemble the walls in the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place, the place of God’s presence. 

Why do you think this is significant?


While scholars have long debated the significance of each of the colors, we do much better to learn the significance of the commonality between God’s dwelling place and the gate to the courtyard. Yes, the blue may represent God’s heavenliness, the purple His royalty, and the scarlet the blood of the sacrifice required to gain access to God. But while we don’t have concrete biblical evidence for that interpretation, we do clearly see this: God’s dwelling place is holy. This is why the Tabernacle was lined so throughly with these ornate designs, with gold finishes and furnishing. In the Holiest place, there was nothing but these woven colors and gold. Those stepping into God’s presence would have known: I’m in the presence of the King.

In the courtyard, however, we find less-precious metals. While still valuable, as we move into the Holy Place we find silver furnishings and dishes, and we also note the bronze altar in the courtyard. There is a progression from the most precious metals to lesser precious metals as we travel from the place of God’s dwelling to the courtyard.

Why do you think this is significant?


But as we travel from the Holiest Place filled with gold to the courtyard with bronze, we finally come to the gate. And here, at the gate, we find the same colors and patterns that line the Holy of Holies. And there we learn a precious truth: access to God’s holy and royal presence can only be gained through holiness and royalty. We do not gain access to God through lesser means. The means by which we approach Him – the gate – must be consecrated just as His place of dwelling is consecrated.

Read John 10:9. What does this reveal about the fulfillment of the Tabernacle gate?


You and I approach God through a narrow and holy gate today. Through Christ, the Holy Son of God, we gain access to the presence of God. If Christ were not holy, He would not have been a sufficient gate. If He were not royalty (the Son of God), He would not have been a sufficient gate. Access to God required a narrow and holy means of access, and that access is none other than Jesus Christ.

How do you see the Gospel in this?



Praise God that He has given you access to His presence through Christ. Confess to God that He alone is the gate through which you must pass. Thank Christ for His holy and royal sacrifice that made a way for you to come to God.

Author: amygannett

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