Recently I begin studying the Tabernacle in the Old Testament.
Many who study the Bible never really look at the Old Testament and the truths of the Tabernacle found there. But much of the Bible is revealed in a study of the Tabernacle.
- More than 50 chapters are devoted to the details of the Tabernacle.
- In Exodus chapters 25-40 give guidance on the construction of the Tabernacle.
- Leviticus contains 18 chapters on the function of the Tabernacle.
- Deuteronomy has 2 chapters on the Tabernacle.
- Hebrews shares a New Testament commentary on the Tabernacle in 4 chapters.
- Revelation gives images of the Tabernacle (Temple) in heaven.
The people were told that the purpose of the Tabernacle in the Old Testament was so God could dwell with them.
“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8
We see in Revelation that God’s desire is still to dwell among us.
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:3
We know that was the point of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus – to make us able to have a relationship with God.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
As we look at the Tabernacle, we notice that there was only one gate – only one way to enter.
This clearly points to Jesus:
“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” John 10:9
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father by through me.” John 14:6
I AM – Jesus used these words several times in the Gospels. In Matthew 22:32 He basically quotes Exodus 3:6.
‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. So he is the God of the living, not the dead.” Matthew 22:32
“‘I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” Exodus 3:6
Later Jesus made it plan that he was calling Himself God. The people recognized His claim because they tried to stone Him for blasphemy.
“The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I am! At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.” John 8:57-59
THE WAY– Jesus did not say I am “a” way. He said He was “the” way. In today’s culture, I know it is not politically correct to say there is only one way. A person can reject Christianity, but if they accept the Bible, they have to accept the claims of Jesus.
THE TRUTH – Again Jesus used the definite article to that He is the only truth. Jesus demonstrated this on HIs Sermon on the Mount. He pointed out different commandments they had and then said “but I say unto you” placing His truth above what the culture of the day said.
THE LIFE – Strange in a way that as Jesus is talking about his death, He claims to be “the” source of life. He claimed because He lived, we would too.
“Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19
He claimed He was giving us abundant life.
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
As a follower of Jesus I believe He was promising eternal life after this life. But more than that, I believe He was promising a real life of freedom from condemnation, of joy even in difficult times. Abundant life consists of abundance of love, joy, peace, and the rest of the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5.
In following Jesus I have found true joy. I love this picture of Jesus! To me, this is how I picture Him.