Jesus in the Tabernacle Furniture (Exodus 25:10-40)

Inside the Tabernacle were certain pieces of furniture, a golden table, a golden lampstand, and the Ark of the Covenant.  These pieces of furniture were all used in connection with worship.  We must understand that Jesus is the complete embodiment of the temple/tabernacle system from his words,

Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in 3 days…But the temple he had spoken of was his body. (John 2:19, 21)

Therefore the elements of the temple must point us toward Christ as well.  First lets see how the lampstand points to Christ.  As a priest entering in to worship, the lampstand would have been lit and would give light to the eyes in order to see clearly. Truly without Christ, our worship is dark and hindered but we know that Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12).  Without Christ there is no way to see forward in order to worship.

But he is also the Table.  The Table was where the Bread of the presence was placed each day.  This bread was then removed 24 hours later and the priests were invited to eat of it.  Likewise, Jesus declares,

I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

As the priests would never starve when worshipping in the temple, so Christ makes himself the very food which all worshippers can thrive upon and live.

The final piece of furniture in the temple/tabernacle was the Ark of the Covenant.  This object was placed in a room all by itself and upon it the blood of the yearly sacrifice was sprinkled.  And with this blood God declared the sins of the people covered for another year.  While Hebrews 9 doesn’t explicitly mention the ark, we know that it is referenced.  Read this passage,

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.  The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!  (Hebrews 9:11-14)

The ark was a picture of the offering that Christ would make which would truly cover over sin.  He is the golden box upon which all who are inside may be righteous – fully keeping the law of God, chosen as symbolized in the rod that budded, and nourished as seen in the jar of manna.

What a great salvation we have in Jesus.


About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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