The tabernacle was a type and a picture of Jesus Christ!
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8)
No wonder why Creation is given so little attention while the tabernacle receives so much more! Creation only gives glory to God, but Christ is the Glory of God! Hebrews 1:3, speaking of Jesus Christ, says,
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person!
Creation is no match for Salvation, and though Creation on the outside displays its wonders to us, it moans before God. But the tabernacle has not the display of beauty on the outward appearance. In fact, Isaiah 53:2-3 says,
…he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Yet on the inside of this ugly tent that you now see, there is beauty that cannot be told of: from the Golden Candlestick, to the Golden Table of Shewbread, to the Golden Altar, and indeed, to the Golden Ark of the Covenant that no man could even look upon!
But before we go inside to see the spectacular furniture, let us walk around the outside of this tabernacle for a moment and observe a few things. Notice that this tabernacle was a tent. As a matter of fact, the word “tabernacle” means a dwelling…a tent. This tabernacle was an earthly, temporary, residence. Hebrews 9:1 describes it as a worldly tabernacle. It was made of perishing materials which belong here to the earth!
You see, this tabernacle is a far cry from its cousin, the temple, and while both of these places pictured Christ, they represent 2 completely different aspects of Jesus’ ministry: The Temple represented Christ when he comes the 2nd time, but the tabernacle represented Christ when he came the 1st time on Christmas night over 2,000 years ago!
- After all, it was the Tabernacle that was made first, then the temple. The tabernacle was temporary, and when Christ came the first time, he was here for only 33 some years, and while he was here, he abode not in 1 place.
- But the temple was permanent. And when Christ comes again, he’s here forever!
- The tabernacle was erected by a prophet, and when Christ came the first time, he held the office of a prophet.
- But the temple was constructed by a king, and when He comes the second time, He will be King of Kings!
- The #5 is prominent in the tabernacle representing grace, and when Christ came the first time, his ministry was all about grace.
- But the #12 is prominent in the temple (#12 is the # for governmental perfection), and when he comes the second, he’s here to rule the kingdom.
- The tabernacle was built in the Wilderness, and when Christ came the first time, he was born in a manger, raised on a carpenter’s bench, ministered with nowhere to lay his head, and when he died, he was laid in a borrowed tomb.
- But the temple was in Jerusalem, the city of kings, and when he comes again, Sound the trumpet! Lift up your voice and sing! Look to the throne of Grace and worship and the King of Kings!
- The tabernacle was mean, humble, and unattractive on the outward appearance. And Christ, when he came the first time, had no beauty, no form, and no comeliness. He was veiled in flesh.
- But the temple was magnificent, and when he comes again, Christ will be exalted!
In the book of Revelation you do not find the words meek or lowly; humble or obedient; but instead, you find the Apostle John saying in Revelation 5:11- 12,
… Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see!