The Tabernacle, Jesus Christ and Us.


When God was going to make a formal covenant with the Children of Israel they boasted that "anything God commands we will do!" So God gave them the Ten Commandments and the Law Covenant to show them that they couldn't and that relying on themselves would only bring death.

Knowing that they could not and would not keep the law, God provided a way for them to receive the mercy and grace that they had before under the Abrahamic Covenant. With each failure to keep it, the law would lead them to the tabernacle, tabernacle worship and the tabernacle sacrifices in which they would obtain mercy and grace.

The Tabernacle, all the items of furniture and the sacrificial system which God gave to the Children of Israel to use in worship of Him represents in all it's details Jesus Christ. So right from the beginning the law was a tutor to lead people to Jesus.

Every item and every component, from the outer Curtain Wall to the Mercy Seat is a picture of Jesus Christ and His redeeming work.

The Outer Curtain Wall.

The outer curtain wall to the tabernacle enclosure was made of white linen. From a distance you could see it gleaming and glistening in the light of the sun. White linen represents righteousness; that is, Jesus' righteousness. In Revelation 19:8 it says that...

Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

But realise that this is Jesus' righteousness imputed to them, for they are cloaked in the righteousness of Christ.

In the symbolism of the Tabenacle when we enter inside the enclosure we are enclosed in white linen (righteousness); not our own righteousness based on our obedience because this is not acceptable to God, but the righteousness of Jesus.

Isaiah 64:6 All our righteousnesses are as filthy (blood soaked) rags.

The scriptures also say that, "None is good, no not one"; and there is no prize for "almost being obedient". The only righteous acts that we do which are acceptable to God are the ones that Jesus does through us. As Paul says in the book of Galations, Chapter 2, verse 20....

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Before we move through the Gate let's take a look at the poles which are holding up the Curtain Wall.

The Poles Holding The Curtain Wall.

These Poles were made of Acacia (Shittim) wood. This is a strong, durable wood toughened in the wilderness. Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness being tempted by the devil but without failing. Wood speaks of humanity; in this case Jesus' perfect humanity.

The poles rest in sockets made of bronze. Bronze represents suffering and judgement and this speaks of Jesus' suffering in life and during His passion in taking our punishment and judgement upon himself for us.

The Poles have capitals at the top made of silver which are the anchor points for the guy ropes anchoring the poles. Silver speaks of redemption and Jesus is our redemption.

The poles are anchored to the ground by ropes made of goat's hair. Goat's hair represents the sins that hold us down and which Jesus took for every one of us. The ropes are attached to the silver capitals showing that Jesus has redeemed us from the sins that so easily tie us down.

There are bronze nails/pegs at the ends of the ropes anchoring them and thus the poles to the ground. The nails going into the ground show that Jesus would die on our behalf for our sins and be burried. You should notice though that unlike the pegs you may have used when you went camping these are only driven halfway into the ground. This is because even though Jesus would go to the grave for us taking our punishment, death and the grave could not hold Him! Amen.

As we walk around the curtain wall we should come to a realisation that we need to find the way in to reach God. Eventually we come to the Gate or entrance to the Tabernacle enclosure in the Eastern wall.
This gate or entrance given to the Children of Israel represents the Law. This was the way given to the Children of Israel to gain access to God, when they said that they could do anything God asked.

The only Gate - on the East Wall.

To enter the Tabernacle we approach the Gate facing West, go through this gate in the 'East Wall' and proceed westward thereafter.

This is the opposite to other religions of the time in which the adherents usually faced East in worshiping their god.

In the worship of the true God though, we face West. This is because even though Jesus is the 'Sun of Righteousness', we focus on the work Jesus finished for us; in the setting Sun on the cross in the evening at Calvary.

So we turn our backs on other gods and move towards the true God, Jehovah.

And in the evening light the Gate stands out vividly with it's pattern of Red, Blue and Purple threads.

The Red threads are considered to represent the blood that must be shed for forgiveness of sins.

Also, I understand the Blue threads as being representative of the divine spirituality of the Law. The Law is spiritual while we are carnal.

Purple threads is for royalty. No one was exempt from the demands of the Law. In fact the kings of Israel were to be examples to the people of right living by the Law. No-one though, king or citizen kept the Law.

When we try to enter by the Gate we are condemned by the Law as law-breakers (sinners) and if we are spiritually aware we will realise that we cannot keep it perfectly and therefore we need a saviour to open the way. This realisation brings us to the Altar of Sacrifice.

The Altar of Sacrifice

On this first altar sacrifices for the sins and transgressions of the people were made. Without this there was no access to God, and as the apostle Paul pointed out, "the blood of bulls and goats" (animal sacrifice), cannot remove our sins.

This Altar is before the door to the tabernacle and a perfect sacrfice is needed to pay for our sins or we cannot enter the door. Jesus is the door, and Jesus also is the perfect lamb whose sacrifice for sin, when we accept it as a substitute for us, gives us access through the door to God. Jesus died for us. He is the sin offering that the Father has accepted in our place.

When someone brought a sin offering of a lamb for instance, the priest checked the lamb for blemishes and that it was whole and healthy. He did not check the sinner; he checked the lamb! Then the sinner put his hands on the lamb identifying himself with the sinless lamb and the lamb was killed in his place. His sins were placed on the lamb and the lamb's innocence was imputed to him.

We in coming to God must identify ourselves with Jesus as the lamb slain for us. We have a perfect sacrifice in Jesus and God looks at Him and imputes His righteousness to us.

Meanwhile our life is hid in Him and we die in Him. After that the life we live is not our own but it's Jesus Christ's who lives in us.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

So having entered the Gate and come inside the curtain wall, by His blood on the Altar we are redeemed; by Jesus' stripes we are healed; and we are translated into the Kingdom of our God and His dear Son as 'kings' and 'priests'.

Once we believe in Jesus and accept His suffering on our behalf we have healing and deliverance and shalom by faith.

Jesus' suffering and death has bought us everyting that we were unable to provide ourseles by our vain efforts to keep the Law. Jesus has brought us healing, deliverance and salvation when we revere Him and accept His sacrifice on our behalf.

Malachi 4:2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.

The fringe of the Tallit or prayer shawl worn by Rabbis was known as the 'wings'. When Jesus was walking along on His way to heal the daughter of Jairus it would have been this flowing fringe, with it's blue threads woven into the tassels, that was touched by the woman with the issue of blood.

So after the Altar we move on through the courtyard. and come to the Bronze Laver.

The Bronze Laver

The Laver was a large bronze bowl of water which the priests used to wash before doing their duties in serving God in the Holy Place.

Having been redeemed by the blood of the lamb we are clean in our spirits as we have been given a new spirit, but our conduct or 'walk' needs to be changed and brought in line with the word. This cleansing by the washing of the word is represented by the Laver.

Today baptism pictures this event as we lay down our lives and die with Christ and rise with Him in newness of life.

The Laver was made from the bronze mirrors of the ladies in the congregation of Israel. This shows another function of the word of God; to show us what needs to be renewed! The word is a mirror to the soul showing us the things that need to corrected in our walk after the spirit.

James 1:23-24: Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

We must look into the mirror of the word of God and do what it says is needful to grow into the stature of Jesus. It's in the word of God that we learn what God's will is so that we we can pray and make our confessions according to His blessings and His covenants and His word.

The priests washed both their hands and their feet before going into the Tabernacle's Holy Place to serve God. Their actions (obedience) and their walk needed to be cleansed. For us though, as Jesus' showed at the last supper, only our walk needs to be cleansed and so only our feet need to be washed.

As we have had Jesus' obedience (His righteousness) imputed to us (We have been clothed in His righteousness), we do not need to have our hands washed! We live by faith in Jesus and His righteousness, not by offering our own righteousness.

Philippians 2:13 ... it is God who works in you, both to will and to do, for his good pleasure.

We rest in Jesus who works through us. The Laver represents the cleansing of our walk in life to be like Jesus'.

It's interesting that all this is done before going into the Tabernacle itself to serve God. The analogy here is that while we as Christians are in this area, getting our sins forgiven and our feet washed as at the last supper, we have not yet started to serve our great God. In order to do that we have to move on beyond this courtyard into the Tabernacle.

The Tabernacle (Tent)

The entrance to the Tabernacle was a door in the East wall. This door is Jesus. He is the door as He states Himself in John, Chapter 10, verse 9.

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

The boards of the wall of the Tabernacle were made of Acacia wood. We are the Temple (Tabernacle) of the living God. Wood again represents humanity and it is overlaid in gold representing the righteousness of Christ surrounding us completely. The boards rested on sockets of Silver. This represents the redemption Jesus provided for us.

The boards are held together by poles running horizontally through them which tie them together tightly, uniting the structure. Jesus is the centre of everything in the Church uniting it into one body.

The Tabernacle was covered by curtains of various materials.

The innermost curtains were of Linen with intricate designs of Cherubim on them. These represent the righeousness of Christ and the protection of the area from anything profane entering.

The second layer of curtains were of Goat's hair which represents the sins Jesus took on our behalf.

The third layer was of Ram skins dyed red showing the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

The outer layer is of Badger skins which would look quite plain and ordinary. This is said to represent the fact that Jesus was not special in terms of beauty so that people would not admire Him for just His exterior looks. His beauty was in hosting the divine. This should also be the same for us.

Now we can move inside the tabernacle itself to look it's components.

The Holy Place

The Tabernacle (or Tent) proper was divided into two parts. The Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. Only the priests could go into the Holy Place and they did this to serve God. Only the High Priest could go into the Most Holy Place beyond that, and he did this only once per year.

In the Holy Place were three items of worship furniture; The Table of Shewbread; The Lampstand (Menorah) and The Altar of Incense. It's in relation to these three that our Soul is changed to be like Jesus'.

The Table of Shewbread

To go beyond the Laver into the Holy Place was to move from observing and reading and talking about God to serving God.

The Table of Shewbread represents Jesus as the 'Bread of Life'. By partaking of this bread we come into fellowship and communion with Him.

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty".

John 6:48-51 "I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world".

God wants all those who serve him to be close in relationship with Him and this is represented by the 'Table of Shewbread' or 'table of Presence' which pictures a meal in the presence of the Lord. This is a warm picture of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. This pictures the renewing of our soul as we take in information, knowledge of Jesus through the word (logos).

The Lampstand

Where the Shewbread pictures relationship the lampstand pictures enlightenment. Having come into close relationship with God He imparts to us wisdom, knowledge, revelation, insight; the things we need to do the will of God that we learned at stage 3 (The Laver), through Jesus living in us.

Jesus is the light of the world.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Enlightenment comes through Jesus. The Lampstand throws light on every part of our thought life and we must use it every day to know what changes God wants. The lampstand was kept running continuously and every morning before sunrise was re-lit for the day. This was done by snuffing out the five that needed most work done to them, cleaning, adjusting and trimming the wicks, etc, and then relighting them from the other two which were kept lit. This could be a parallel with the seven churches of Revelation where two have nothing said against them while five do and need to be re-lit.
The Lampstand pictures the effect of meditation on the word (logos) which brings revelation as Holy Spirit takes that word from our head to our heart and spirit and it becomes the 'rhema' word of God. Now it's not just knowledge, it's become faith, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (rhema) word of God.

The Golden Altar of Incense

The altar of Incense was smaller that the Brazen Altar in the Outer Court. It was square with each side measuring 1/2 a metre approximately and it was about 1 metre high. It was made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold representative of humanity enclosed in Jesus' perfect righteousness. Four horns extended from the four corners of the altar.

God commanded the priests to burn incense on this golden altar every morning and evening at the same time that the daily burnt offerings were being made. The incense was then to be left burning continually throughout the day and night as a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

Incense represents the prayers of the saints so it's at this point in our progress through the Tabernacle that we start serving God in prayer and in intercession.

Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

The Altar of Incense pictures our body, soul and spirit, now brought in line with God's heart communing with him continually in prayer. We 'pray without ceasing'. It's at this stage as we have moved forward through the Tabernacle that our Soul; our Emotions, Intellect and Mind, are aligned with the heart of God. Now our prayers, our intecession, can flow unhindered up to God.

The Holy of Holies

So far our flesh has been sacrificed on the Brazen Alter. Our walk has been cleansed at the Laver. Our soul; emotions, intellect and mind has been renewed and left serving God in the Holy Place. Now our spirit moves forward through the veil (now torn in two) to worship God. God is a spirit and we worship Him in spirit; spirit to Spirit.

The Ark Of The Covenant

In the 'Holy of Holies' or 'Most Holy Place' is the Ark of the Covenant. A box made of Acacia wood and covered with gold.

With reference to us now in covenant with God (The New Covenant) we find that in the Ark are the two tables of the Old Covenant. Jesus kept these perfectly and now we live through Him, not through attempting to keep the law ourselves.

To offer God a partial keeping of the law as though this could ever be considered the equivalent of His Son's complete work would be to insult Jesus. We know from the book of Acts that when Annanias and Saphira offered a partial gift to God while acting as though this should be considered 'complete', that God was not happy and they died. Let's not fall into the same trap but rather let's rely in faith on the finished, complete, perfect work of Jesus.

The Mercy Seat

Speaking of the finished work of Jesus brings us to 'The Mercy Seat'. This was a cover placed over the Ark of the Covenant with two Cherubim on top which looked inwards to the middle of the cover with their wings outspread and coming forward to meet at their tips.

Onto the area between the Cherubim the High Priest once per year sprinkled the blood of a sacrifice for the sins of the people, seven times. Once for each of the seven places where Jesus' blood would be spilt in removing the curse from mankind. This blood on being accepted by God covered the sins of the people for another year, but could not remove their sins entirely. The blood of Jesus though, sprinkled on the mercy seat in Heaven takes away our sins eternally.

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

When the High Priest sprinkled the blood on the 'mercy seat' the presence of the Lord came down in the midst of the Cherubim and accepted the sacrifice. This represents the grace of God showing mercy for the sins of the people under the law. Notice that the law is in the box under the mercy seat and the presence of God is above it on the mercy seat. We in the New Covenant are to live by grace. Grace is above the law and if you were to decide to go down and live by the law you would have 'fallen' from grace!

Starting in Eden when Adam sinned Cherubim were always placed to guard the way to the tree of life. Had we eaten of it before accepting God's grace and having all our sins were removed then we would have had eternal life with sickness and disease and reprobate minds. Now that we have come to God via Jesus and had our sins removed and our minds are being renewed, the way to the tree of life is open once again and we can be temples of the living God.

We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. That is every blessing God has for us is kept in the spirit realm for us to access as needed. This includes redemption, healing and wholeness.

Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.

ALL those who believe have the power in them through Holy Spirit to represent Jesus in preaching the Gospel and to receive and give healing. The route to all these blessings, including eternal life is by seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Start at the entrance Gate in the outer wall and move steadily to greater and greater fellowship with and worship of God.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

Isaiah 65:24 Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.

As it says, seek righteousness. Not your own but God's righteousness. Like our father Abraham, build faith in God and grow in grace. Your faith will be counted as righteousness. You wil be clothed in Jesus' righteousness. Righteousness is a gift like justification. It's comes with Jesus; and when you have Jesus you have everything else as well!

Live after the spirit and you will be well pleasing to God! And you will do all the things that Jesus did, and even greater things, because he has gone ahead to our heavenly Father to represent us.


Confessions of who we are in Christ. Click Here.
Blessings Of God. Click Here.
What do you mean - Grace? Click Here.
Wilderness to the Promised Land Click Here.
The Heart Of God Click Here.

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