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Scripture reading – Exodus 26

Review – The Collection for the Sanctuary (Exodus 25)

The LORD had given Moses instructions to speak to “every man” to “bring an offering…willingly with his heart” (25:1-2). So then, leaving no detail unstated, God required specific materials for His sanctuary (25:3-7) that included “gold, and silver, and brass” (25:3). Various colors of linen were required (25:4), as well as dyed skins of rams and badgers (25:5), oil, spices, and precious stones (25:6-7).

Moses was also given the pattern and design for constructing the Tabernacle and the Ark (25:8-28). The Scriptures provide us a description of the instruments that were to be fashioned (25:29) and the furniture that would be required for the interior of the Tabernacle, including “a candlestick [lampstand] of pure gold” (25:30-40).

Exodus 26 – The Tabernacle’s Design (26:1-30)

There were four coverings for the Tabernacle.  The first covering was made with ten curtains “of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with [cherubim] of cunning work” (26:1) woven into the fabric. This beautiful fabric served as the interior ceiling of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:1-6).

A second covering consisted of eleven curtains of goats’ hair (26:7-14) to be used as a covering for the boards in constructing the Tabernacle. Finally, a covering “of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers’ skins” were placed over the boards (26:14). A description was given for the boards that would form the Tabernacle and the riggings that would adhere them (26:15-30).

The Interior Design of the Tabernacle (26:31-34)

A beautiful veil served as the interior covering for the walls of the Tabernacle: an “[veil] of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with [cherubim] shall it be made” (26:31). The veil would divide the interior of the Tabernacle, and provide a space called the “the holy place and the most holy” (26:33).

The Ark, described as “the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony” (26:34), was placed within the most holy place, known as the Holy of Holies. At one end of the “holy place,” a table and a candlestick would be set, and a curtain or “hanging… of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework” (26:36). The curtain would be hung upon “five pillars of shittim wood,” overlaid with gold (26:37).

“The Holy Place and the Most Holy” (26:33-34)

Consider the innermost room of the Tabernacle, the holy place that lay beyond the veil where the Ark of the Covenant was placed (26:33). This room represented heaven and God’s presence amid His people. The Mercy Seatof the Ark represented God’s throne. The veil separating the outer chamber of the Tabernacle from the holy place was a reminder of the great divide between sinners and the LORD (26:34). No man, but the high priest, could enteror look into the holy place, and that was only once a year. As the mediator of Israel, the high priest would bear the blood of a lamb sacrificed for the people’s sins, and He would sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat.

There is no Tabernacle, no Holy Place, and no Ark today.

The Tabernacle, the Holy Place, and the Ark were temporary symbols and testimonies for their day (Hebrews 9:8-9). They were reminders of the sinner’s need for a mediator between himself and God, who is holy and cannot tolerate sin in His presence. (Psalm 89:18; Isaiah 6:3; 43:15; 57:15; Revelation 4:8; 6:10; 15:4)

Christ’s death on the Cross, His atoning blood, and resurrection from the dead removed the need for those temporary symbols. Indeed, when Christ died on the Cross, the temple’s veil was rent in two (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38). The requirement of atoning blood was fulfilled by Christ shedding His blood. His death, burial, and resurrection are a lasting testimony of the sufficiency of His sacrifice for our sins (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Closing thoughts:

Jesus Christ became the believer’s “High Priest” (Hebrews 9:11) and Mediator, for He “entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). “He is the mediator of the new testament [covenant], that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that…[we] might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15).

Friend, is Christ your Savior, Redeemer, and High Priest? His death, burial, and resurrection provided everything you and I need for salvation. Will you turn from your sin and trust Him as Savior? We have this glorious promise in Christ: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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