Every board, bar, socket, and curtain in the Tabernacle was full of meaning. Each part was intended to teach God’s people some truth about His great plan of redemption and salvation; and it would be a great blessing to the Church in our own day if the Lord’s pattern for this beautiful sanctuary was more thoughtfully studied! We must always remember, dear brothers and sisters, that the Tabernacle was a picture – drawn by the Holy Spirit – of Jesus’ Person and work. Let us seek for His help to make it plain to the eyes of our understanding!
The foundations of the Tabernacle were silver sockets. Into these sockets, the boards that formed the “walls” of the sanctuary were fitted into, so that they might stand upright. And when we observe where this silver came from, we shall understand the meaning. We are told that the sockets were made out of the silver money that was paid to the Lord as the ransom for every man who was numbered among the children of Israel (Ex. 30:11-16). Everyone paid the same amount. Each man, rich and poor alike, brought the same coin – half a silver shekel (about 4/5 ounce, worth around $21*) – as “atonement money,” or a ransom for his soul. In this, we clearly see a picture of redemption – the mighty work that Jesus came to accomplish! His work of redemption is the foundation of the Gospel, just as these silver sockets – made from the ransom money – were the foundation of the Tabernacle. It was for the purpose of redemption that God sent His Son into this world. It was for redemption that Jesus gave Himself to die. The Gospel – the good news of our salvation – stands upon redeeming love, in the same way that the Tabernacle stood upon the ransom-silver.
In light of God’s plan of redemption, a Redeemer had to be found. In His love and pity, He determined to redeem the lost world; but when He looked around, so to speak, for one to accomplish the tremendous work, there was no one! He said, “I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me” (Isa. 63:5). God not only resolved to provide redemption for the ruined world, but He also provided the Redeemer, too! He would so near to God Himself, that He could uphold His glory and truth; while at the same time, He became sinful Man’s nearest Kinsman, in order to redeem his lost inheritance. So God sent His only beloved Son to take fallen Man’s nature, but without sin; and He was to be both God and man at once – to act for God, His Father, on the one hand; and for Man, His brother, on the other.
This perfect Redeemer – Who was God and Man in two distinct natures, but only one Person – was foreshadowed by the framework of the Tabernacle, which was made of wooden boards that were covered entirely in pure gold, held together by bars of the same, and fixed firmly into the sockets of silver. The pure gold signified the Godhead of Jesus, and the wood signified His Manhood! And although the wooden objects in the Tabernacle were all enclosed in pure gold, yet the wood and the gold remained entirely distinct. Brothers and sisters, this was God’s own pattern or picture of the Person of our Redeemer! The Son of God took our very human nature – just as we have it, only without sin – unto His glorious Godhead. His human nature remained perfectly separate and distinct from His Divine nature; but it was surrounded, strengthened, and supported by it – just as the wooden boards were enclosed, strengthened, and supported by the gold. And the gold and the wood together made only one Tabernacle, just as the Godhead and the Manhood of Jesus together made only one Redeemer – not by confusing or mixing the two natures together, but by joining them into one Person. We can’t understand this wonderful truth, but we can well believe it; and we can bless our Lord for our perfect Savior Whom we can worship and rest upon as God Almighty, and Whom we can love and trust as our very own Brother and Friend!
The bars of wood that were covered with gold served to strengthen the boards and keep them firmly in their upright position. They represented the fact that our Redeemer – perfect God and perfect Man – is strong and mighty to save. Just as the gold strengthened the wood, the nature of God in Jesus strengthened and sustained His human nature, so that He was able to bear the crushing load of the world’s sins, as well as the curse of God on account of that sin.
There were two rooms inside the Tabernacle. The front room was called the Holy Place; it represented the true Church of Christ on earth – which only contains believers – gathered in all time, and from all lands, unto Christ Himself. The second room was called the Holy of Holies; and it represented heaven itself, where the Presence of God is.
The Holy of Holies was separated from the Holy Place by a veil or curtain made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twined linen. It was richly decorated with figures of cherubim. We read in the Gospels that at the very moment when Jesus gave up His Spirit and died on the cross, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom – showing that the way to heaven, “the Holiest of all,” is now open to each and every person who will enter through Him! Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that unless God had given His Son – unless the Savior had given His life in our place – the gates of heaven could never have been opened to any son or daughter of the human race. But now He Who died on Calvary is alive for evermore! He is in heaven, interceding before God in the Most Holy Place, on our behalf. He is preparing His home for all who love Him, and soon He will come again to take them home with Him forever!
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