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presents "Light from the Old Testament"
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Lesson 9 (Part 1)
The covering or roof of the Tabernacle consisted of two sets of coverings and two sets of curtains. All four speak of Christ. We will start from the outside and go to the inside. (See this Scripture passage: Exodus 26:1-14—click link)
First covering—badger skins
This was the outermost, visible covering. It protected from the sun's scorching rays and the desert storms. On the inside, the Taberncle was all glorious, with boards overlaid with pure gold, and the curtians of fine needle-work. But these were seen only by God's anointed priests who entered the Holy Place. On the outside, there was no beauty to attract the gaze of men.
The outer covering points to Christ as "the despised One." The prophet Isaiah wrote of Him,
"He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He has no form nor comeliness [beauty]; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…" Isaiah 53:2-3
What does the world see in Jesus today? Nothing!
But to those of us who know Him, He is "the Fairest of the fair," and "the Chiefest among ten thousand."
Second covering—ram skins
This speaks of Christ as the devoted One—the One who came to do His Father's will at all cost, even to the death of the cross.
First curtain—goat's hair
At this time the goats in that part of the world were black. The daily sin-offering was a young goat.
This curtain points to Christ as our sin-offering. The Bible says,
"For He [God] has made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
Second curtain—fine twined linen
This curtain was visible only to the priests within the Holy Place. This curtain was made of fine twined, white linen, with woven colors of blue, scarlet and purple.
This speaks of Christ in all the glory of His resurrection and exaltation. The fine twined, white linen speaks of purity and righteousness. Blue is the heavenly color; it speaks of His deity: He is the Son of God. Scarlet is the color of the earth in Palestine and it speaks of His humanity: He is the Son of Man. Purple speaks of His royalty: He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Thus, inside the Tabernacle we have the glories of Christ and of His saints as risen with Him. The boards covered with gold were all joined together, and the curtains were joined to the boards so as to form "one Tabernacle." The saints, as risen with Christ, are all united in the one Body of Christ. We are God's dwelling place in this world!
The Tabernacle was divided into two distinct sections: the Holy Place and the "Holy of Holies." The priests went into the Holy Place daily to accomplish "the service of God." Only the High Priest went into the "Holy of Holies," and he went in only once a year, carrying the blood of the sin offering.
In Israel, the priesthood was given by God to a single family—the family of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. The only way any man could be a priest was by being born into the family of Aaron. All others, the "common people," were forbidden to enter the Holy Place, on the penalty of death.
In the present age of grace, it is exactly the opposite. By natural birth, we are all members of Adam's sinful family, separated from God. But, by being born again spiritually, all believers are "priests of God."
In the Church, the Body of Christ, there are no such distinctions as "priests" and "common people." It is a dangerous and unscriptural presumption for anyone to put himself above other believers or to assume a place between God and the believers.
It is also wrong for anyone to put himself between sinners and Christ or sinners who are seeking God. The Bible says,
"For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5
Under the new Covenant, all believers are priests. Jesus Christ Himself is our great High Priest. The Bible says, "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood..." (1 Peter 2:9).
As priests of God, we have the privilege of entering the Holy Place. We come first to the "door" of the Tabernacle, a beautiful curtain of blue, scarlet and purple. The curtain hangs on five pillars of acacia wood, overlaid with gold. The curtains are held up by hooks of gold.
Entering the Holy Place, we are amazed at its beauty. Everything is gold and silver, gleaming in the light of the Golden Candlestick on our left. On our right is the Table of Showbread, overlaid with gold. Directly ahead of us is the Golden Altar of Incense. Overhead is the beautiful, fine twined, white curtain with blue, scarlet, and purple woven into it.
As new persons in God's new creation, the heavens have been opened unto us. We see the things of God in the unseen spiritual world. We are "seated with Christ in the heavenlies." We worship and commune with God. The unsaved people of the world know nothing of this. It is no wonder that David said, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of My God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness" (Psalm 84:10).