Gal 3:24 “And so the Law was our guardian until the Messiah came, so that we might be justified by faith.”
The tabernacle was the center of the camp, just as Jesus should be the center of our lives. It was surrounded by the twelve tribes. At the entrance was the tribe of Judah. Our whole goal is to get beyond the veil.
Three ways to look at the tabernacle:
- The literal tabernacle plan of Moses.
- Type and shadow of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
- The way the church is to live and approach God today.
The dimensions of the tabernacle were very specific. The furniture and the layout were specific as well.
The Altar of Sacrifice symbolized the sacrificial death of Jesus and our own repentance. The altar was to always be burning, always ready for sacrifice. There must be an application of blood in order to be saved. There is no way to get life but through death. You must die to self. Jesus said to die and follow Him. Forget about entitlement. Forget about all you think you are and become one of His.
The Laver of Water, place of cleansing, symbolized baptism. The water takes the form of a man’s life away and causes you to come up out a new creature. You must die to sin, repent, and then be washed. Before you can become a new creature, you have to die to the old creature. The first time, the priests went all the way under. After that, they only needed to wash away all that blood from the sacrifices. ‘Wash with water that they die not.’ (Ex 30:20) We are buried with Him in baptism. We identify with Jesus when we are baptized. I John 1:8-9 “If we say that we do not have any sin, we are deceiving ourselves and we’re not being truthful to ourselves. If we make it our habit to confess our sins, in his faithful righteousness he forgives us for those sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.” That laver also symbolizes repentance after we’ve been baptized in Jesus’ Name.
The Holy Place symbolizes the place of worship. The Altar of Incense is a place of prayer. Rev 5:8 “When the lamb had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders bowed down in front of him. Each held a harp and a gold bowl full of incense, the prayers of the saints.” Heb 13:15 “Therefore, through him let us always bring God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess his name.”
Heb 9:1-8 “Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent was set up, and in the first part were the lamp stand, the table, and the bread of the Presence. This was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was the part of the tent called the Most Holy Place, which had the gold altar for incense and the Ark of the Covenant completely covered with gold. In it were the gold jar holding the manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the Tablets of the Covenant. Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the place of atonement. (We cannot discuss these things in detail now.) When everything had been arranged like this, the priests always went into the first part of the tent to perform their duties. But only the high priest went into the second part, and then only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins committed by the people in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was indicating by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first part of the tent was still standing.”
The Holy of Holies was beyond the veil. Ex 25:22 “I’ll meet with you there, and I’ll tell you all my commandments for the Israelis from above the Mercy Seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the Ark of the Testimony.” The veil symbolized our flesh. Inside that Holy of Holies was the mercy seat. The wrath of God came down and if there was a sacrifice rightly done, it came down upon the mercy seat and God showed mercy.
Heb 10:19-20 “Therefore, my brothers, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh),”
We can’t have boldness without repentance. You must be right before God. Hunger and thirst after righteousness. If you are feeling guilty, plead the blood of Jesus, repent. You can then be bold.
Mat 27:50-51 “Suddenly the curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth shook, rocks were split open, tombs were opened, and many saints who had died were brought back to life.”
The only way to get ‘beyond the veil’ is God’s way. There must be repentance (just like the altar fire always burning at the entrance to the tabernacle), baptism by water in Jesus’ name (symbolized by the laver), and baptism by fire of the Holy Ghost (symbolized by the fire of God coming down in the Holy of Holies) [Acts 2:38, Mat 3:11].
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.