“Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it” (Exodus 25:8-9).
“And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
As the children of Israel were beginning their journey to the promised land, God instructed them to build a tabernacle, a mobile tent of worship where the presence of God would be made known.
The tabernacle from its layout to its furniture is a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah. The ark of the covenant was the most holy article in the tabernacle and sat in the inner room called the Holy of Holies. The ark was made of wood representing Christ’s humanity, and covered in gold representing His divinity. Its lid, the mercy seat, was sprinkled with sacrificial blood representing the blood of the lamb, Jesus, that was spilled for us.
The other articles – the golden lampstand, the bread of the presence, the basin of cleansing water, the brazen alter, the golden alter of incense – are highly symbolic of Christ. But the greatest connection is the purpose of the tabernacle; a place for God to dwell with His people.
God is not a distant God. His desire is to come to us and He has come to us in Jesus. When Jesus came to earth, God’s deity came to live and walk and heal and love among us. The resurrected and fully living-in-us Jesus is God’s tabernacle to us today. Jesus is God’s presence with us and in us!
Jesus was present in the tabernacle, because Jesus was there from the beginning!