Jesus Tabernacle

Jesus Tabernacle

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} He was in the beginning with God. {3} All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:1-3 NKJV).

These fascinating verses indicate that Jesus was the Word and that He has existed from all eternity. He was a real Person who lived with God and was part of the God family. He was the Word or spokesman for God. Jesus is the focus or center of the entire Bible.

(Request our free article: "Jesus is Your:". This article reveals the many jobs and functions of Jesus, such as: He is our Saviour, Lord, King, Friend, Apostle, High Priest, Shepherd, etc. )

Let’s continue in John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Jesus became flesh when He was born of the virgin Mary as a baby in a manger at Bethlehem. He gave up His Godhead to become human and dwell with sinful man.

Jesus Tabernacled Among Us!

Now, let’s focus in on the phrase: Jesus "dwelt among us".

The following quotation comes from the Believer’s Bible Commentary: "The word "dwelt" means "tabernacled" or "pitched His tent." His body was the tent in which He lived among men for thirty-three years". (1)

Other sources agree that the word "dwelt" means "tabernacled". Under the verse John 1:14, see Adam Clarke’s Commentary, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary and The Companion Bible.

Jesus came down to the earth and "pitched His tent" and "tabernacled" among us. Jesus lived as a human being upon this earth and He suffered (1 Peter 4:1) and He died for us (John 3:16).

The Tabernacle!

God commanded that Moses build the Tabernacle. God gave Moses many instructions in how to build the Tabernacle. The intricate details that God gave to Moses in how to build this portable tent sanctuary are revealed in Exodus chapters 25-31 and 35-40.

The word "Tabernacle" occurs 328 times in the King James version of the Bible. "Fully fifty chapters in the Bible are devoted to the Tabernacle, showing its importance in God’s sight".... "Each part of the Tabernacle teaches us spiritual lessons concerning the Person and work of Christ and the way of approach to God". (2)

The Tabernacle was a place where God might dwell among His people. It played an important part in the life of Moses and the ancient Israelites.

The following excerpt will give us an overview of the Tabernacle: "Tabernacle (tab'er-nak-l, tent), portable sanctuary that served as a place of worship for the Israelites from the time of the wilderness wanderings until the building of the temple by Solomon; typified God dwelling with His people (Exod. 25:8); variously called (Exod. 25:9; 26:9; 33:7; 39:32; I Chron. 6:48; 9:23; 17:5; 2 Chron. 24:6); described in Exod. 25:10-27:19, 35-38; tabernacle stood in a court 150 feet long and 75 feet wide, the sides of which were covered with linen curtains, which were fastened to 60 supporting pillars of bronze. Within the court was the great altar of burnt offering (Exod. 27: 1-8) and the bronze laver used by the priests for ritual ablutions (Exod. 30: 17-21)". (3)

"The tabernacle, which stood at the west end of the court, was a wooden structure 45 by 15 feet, divided by a heavy veil into two parts, a holy place and a most holy place. This was covered on the inside with embroidered linen tapestry and on the outside with double blankets of skin. The holy place contained the table of showbread, a golden candlestick, and the altar of incense. The most holy place, or Holy of Holies, had in it only the ark of covenant, a small box-like structure of wood covered with gold in which therewere the tablets of the law, a pot of manna, and Aaron's rod (Exod. 25:16, 22; Heb. 9:4). The tabernacle was set up at Sinai the beginning of the second year after leaving Egypt (Exod 40:2 17); for 35 years it stood at Kadesh, and always preceded the Israelites when on the march (Num. 10:33-36). Later it was stationed at Gilgal (Josh. 4:19), Shiloh (Josh. 18:1), Nob (I Sam. 21:1), Gibeon (I 16:39; 21:29). David moved it to Jerusalem. It was superseded by the building of the temple. The old tabernacle was but a shadow of the true ideal (Heb. 8:5; 10:1)". (4)

Jesus and the Tabernacle!

Let’s compare the Old Testament Tabernacle with Jesus in the New Testament who tabernacled "among us".

The writer of the book of Hebrews says that Jesus is a perfect tabernacle: "But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation" (Heb 9:11 NKJV).

Jesus is our Gate!

As we approach the Tabernacle we would head for the entrance or the Gate: "For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. It shall have four pillars and four sockets" (Exod. 27:16 NKJV).

The Tabernacle stood in a court 150 feet long and 75 feet wide. The gate was in the 75 foot section which was on the east side and the gate measured 30 feet in length.

(Note: We will assume that a cubit is approximately 18 inches.)

Jesus is our gate, our entrance to the Father and to eternal life. He is our saviour and redeemer: "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me"" (John 14:6 NKJV).

Jesus is our Sacrifice and Atonement!

As we continue in the court of the Tabernacle we would first come to the bronze or brazen altar of burnt offering: ""You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide; the altar shall be square; and its height shall be three cubits. {2} "You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze. {3} "Also you shall make its pans to receive its ashes, and its shovels and its basins and its forks and its firepans; you shall make all its utensils of bronze. {4} "You shall make a grate for it, a network of bronze; and on the network you shall make four bronze rings at its four corners. {5} "You shall put it under the rim of the altar beneath, that the network may be midway up the altar. {6} "And you shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. {7} "The poles shall be put in the rings, and the poles shall be on the two sides of the altar to bear it. {8} "You shall make it hollow with boards; as it was shown you on the mountain, so shall they make it" (Exod. 27:1-8 NKJV).

This bronze altar measured 7-1/2 feet square and 4-1/2 feet high. This was the great altar for the sacrifice of animals signifying the shedding of blood which is required for atonement which is basic to man’s approach to God. This would symbolize the death of Christ, as our burnt offering, who offered Himself without spot to God.

The Apostle Paul said that Jesus was sacrificed for us: "Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (1 Cor 5:7 NKJV). Blood must be shed for the remission of sin: "And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Heb 9:22 NKJV). Jesus was sacrificed to bear the sins of all mankind: "so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" (Heb 9:28 NKJV).

Jesus is our Cleansing and Sanctification!

As we continue our journey in the court of the Tabernacle we would next come to the bronze laver.

"Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: {18} "You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, {19} "for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. {20} "When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die. {21} "So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them; to him and his descendants throughout their generations"" (Exod. 30:17-21 NKJV).

This bronze laver was made of bronze mirrors donated by the women: "He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting" (Exod. 38:8 NKJV).

This bronze laver was a basin in which the priests would wash their hands and feet before they entered the Tabernacle. The priests went barefoot during their ministrations of their duties.

The laver symbolizes that we are to be spiritually and morally clean before entering any service to God: "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (Heb 10:22 NKJV).

Jesus is our cleansing and sanctification: "that He (Jesus) might sanctify and cleanse her (the Church) with the washing of water by the word, {27} that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish" (Eph 5:26-27 NKJV).

How does Jesus sanctify us and make us holy? By God’s word which is truth. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17 NKJV).
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