READ EXODUS 25
Yesterday we saw how the courtyard and altar are brought into their proper focus in Christ. But what about in the Tabernacle itself? What about in the Holy Place and in the Holy of Holies? Where do we see Christ in this system of worship?
Read Exodus 25:31-40. What did we learn about the lampstand?
Why was the lampstand needed?
What did the almond blossoms represent?
Who used the lampstand and what would it have reminded them of?
What did the always-burning light remind God’s people of?
The lampstand was a golden fixture in the Holy Place. Necessitated by the four-layers-thick tent walls, the lampstand was the only item giving light in the Holy Place. It gave the priests light as they navigated through their worship practices, showing them the way to the Holy of Holies. And, when their hands would quiver under the awe of the presence of God, the almond blossoms would remind them that just like Aaron, God had chosen them to be there. Sinful as they were, they were consecrated to do just this work. When Israel felt alone and wondered if God really came to dwell among His people, they would just look to the lampstand — always lit, the people knew that God was at home.
Read John 8:12. How does Jesus fulfill the role of the lampstand?
Jesus Christ is the light of the world by which we find our way to God. In the incarnation, Jesus brought clarity and light into a world that was in the dark regarding the things of God. We were hopeless, feeling our way through the dark without a hope of knowing God personally. But then Jesus came! And He illuminated every corner of God’s character, revealing God to us in a way we could understand.
It is Jesus that lights the path to God. And when we with quivering hands wonder with awe at the presence of God, we grab ahold of Jesus who assures us: God has called us into relationship with Himself. Yes, He is holy. And yes, He also desires for us to be in His presence. When we feel alone and wonder where God is in this world, we look to Jesus, reminded that in Christ God made His home in this world so that one day, we could make our home in heaven with Him.
Read Exodus 25:23-30. What was the purpose of the table for bread?
What did it teach God’s people?
The Bread of the Presence was constantly before God. The priests ate the bread each week in the presence of God and then replaced it. There were twelve loaves, one for each tribe of Israel. The constantly set table in the Holy Place served to remind God’s people that He was always at home, and that there was always a place for them in His presence.
Read John 6:32-35. How does Jesus bring the Bread of Presence into its intended fullness?
Jesus Christ is the nourishing Bread of Life for you and me today. Since we have entered the Holy Place by His sacrifice, it is Christ who will remind us that we have a place in the presence of God. It is Christ who nourishes us with His body, giving us the nourishment of salvation by His broken body.
This is the joy of what we celebrate every time we come to the communion table. The table is set, and for those of us who are in Christ, there is a place for us at the table. We cannot come on our own merits or by “hopping the fence.” We enter into the table God has prepared for us by His Son alone. Brother, do you wonder if Christ has forgotten you? Come taste and see! Sister, do you wonder if there’s a place for you at the table of God? Come taste and see! The bread is His body, the wine is His blood, and it’s through this sacrifice that we have the joy of participating in the mystery of grace, through Christ gaining access to the very presence of God.
How do you see the Gospel in all of this?
How can you worship God in response?
PRAY & REFLECT
Praise God for sending Christ to be the light in the world and the bread of life for you and me. Thank Jesus for His sacrifice. Praise Him for His sufficient work on the cross that renders your sin powerless and welcomes you into the presence of God.