In 1988 a handsome man placed a wedding band on my finger, and we became man and wife. The ring is symbolic of several things, two being the unbroken circle (for the timelessness of marriage) and being made with gold or other valuable and precious metals (like your marriage is valuable and precious). We can make parallels between many things in life, and man makes items that hold symbolic meaning. God does the same in the Bible as there are many symbols, types and parallels* in there to help us understand God’s truths.
The Tabernacle of Moses was highly symbolic and considered to be a type of Christ in every piece and layout. I do not want to take away from any of that, but I was thinking this morning that often times God uses things on multiple levels that our human minds do not always catch. Here are my thoughts on a different parallel with the Tabernacle. Below is a picture of the layout.
From what I read (there are conflicting views on this) the Jews would bring their sacrifices into the outer court to the priests. The priests would kill the sacrifices, burning them on the brazen altar. The priests used the brazen laver to wash their feet and hands (keeping themselves clean). Priests would also tend to duties in the
Here are my thoughts. What if the tabernacle also parallels Christianity? We all come into the outer courts when we give our lives to the Lord and are born again. There at the brazen altar we accept the sacrifice of our Lamb Jesus for our sins. The Bible indicates that believers are, “…a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” (1Pt. 2:9) so we become priests (Rev. 1:6); then we can use the brazen laver to wash our hands and feet- the parts that get dirty by our work in the earth. The thing was, the laver’s base was made with mirror (Ex. 38:8) and first showed us our dirt/ sin.
So then, we can amble around the outer court for a very long time once forgiven, and maybe go by the laver on days we are willing enough to see our sin and wash it off (ask forgiveness). Perhaps this is our comfort level, staying on the outskirts of God’s presence.
Perhaps we want more and we go (washed clean) west, into the holy place. There our lives are illuminated with the lamp stand/ Light of the world- Jesus (Jh. ) and we partake in the bread/ sufferings of Christ^, picking up our cross daily (Lk. ) and always praying (1Th. ) to Almighty God for His mercy, grace and forgiveness (Ps. 141:2) as we get closer to Him by the altar of incense, relying on Jesus our Intercessor (Heb. 7:25). We can amble around this place for the rest of our earthly journey if we want. Yet if we want more of God, we can venture further west.
Almost every Christian is aware that the veil of the temple (built similar to the Tabernacle) was torn from top to bottom- indicating by God’s hand not man’s- when Jesus died on the cross (Mt. 27:51; Mr. 15:38; Lk. 23:45), so we now have access directly to God’s presence by passing by the altar of incense and into the Holy of Holies- at one time only available to the High Priest. But our High Priest Jesus (Heb. ) entered in for us first and now we can follow Him (Lk. ).
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Heb. ,20 RV (Mt. 27:51)
So going further west, into the Holy of Holies of God’s where God talked to His people (Ex. 25:22), we enter into the direct presence (Ex. 40:38) of Almighty God. If you are not satisfied with being on the outskirts of the presence of God, and still not contented to stay an arms length away, get closer. Consider entering into His presence where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forever (Ps. ), and staying there as long as possible. That’s where I want to be and I hope you’ll be there with me. One last comment before I stop writing…
Go west young man, go west!
*drawing parallels- comparing two things/ people/ events together that connect somehow.
symbolism- the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities (ex. thorns are cares of this life Mr. 4:18,19)
types- to be characteristic or representative of something in the future. (ex. brazen serpent typified Christ Nm. 21:8; Jh. 3:14)
^and giving thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body, which is broken for you… 1Cor.