Yeshua is Our Tabernacle
Reflecting on the topic of my recent blog series about our spiritual journey through the tabernacle, I find it impossible to overlook Yeshua’s portrayal of Himself. The parallels between His identity and the tabernacle are no coincidence.
The tabernacle the Israelites built and carried through the wilderness before entering the Promised Land includes ten pieces that God instructed Moses to arrange inside the courtyard – seven created by man with God’s specific blueprints, and three pieces created by God alone. The first thing we understand from this is that the tabernacle is a combination of God and man, a place where God and man come together, a foreshadowing of both God and man on earth – a foreshadowing of the Messiah, Yeshua.
Yeshua, in fact, is the perfect human portrait of an earthly tabernacle. Consider the parallels as we encounter each of the ten pieces that were included within the tabernacle:
- The Bronze Altar – where the burnt offering was presented to atone for sin. Yeshua is our atoning sacrifice once and for all. His blood removes our sin forever. (Hebrews 7:27)
- The Bronze Basin – where the water was used for cleansing the priests. Yeshua is our living water that gives new life (John 4:9-13); we are His kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:3-8).
- The Menorah/Lampstand – the only light in the Holy Place. Yeshua is the light of the world (John 8:12), and when we follow Him, we become the light of the world (Matt. 5:14-16).
- The Table of Showbread – where the loaves of bread were constantly in the presence of God. Yeshua is our bread of life, feeding us with His life (John 6:47-51).
- The Altar of Incense – where the incense offered twice daily represented the prayers of God’s people. Yeshua is our intercessor, continually making intercession for God’s people (Hebrews 7:25).
- The Ark of the Covenant – where the very presence of God dwelt. Yeshua makes it possible for us to be in the presence of our Holy God without blemish (Hebrews 4:14-16). He was God’s presence on earth; when we put our faith in Yeshua and follow Him, we are God’s presence on earth (1 Cor. 3:16).
- The Cover of the Ark – also called the Mercy Seat, where God spoke to Moses about His instructions for the Israelites. Yeshua is our mediator of mercy (Hebrews 7:25) and makes us alive spiritually to hear God’s voice and instructions to us (John 8:47).
Inside the Ark there are three items that God alone created. In these, as well, we see a perfect portrait of Yeshua:
- Manna – the food supernaturally provided to the Israelites for 40 years as they sojourned in the wilderness. Yeshua is the source of all our provisions for life, in Him we lack nothing (Matt. 14:15-21).
- Aaron’s Staff – the instrument used to supernaturally show God’s appointment of Aaron as the high priest for the Israelites. Yeshua was supernaturally revealed as God’s Son and high priest for mankind (Matt. 3:16-17).
- The 10 Commandments – a summary of the instructions for living an abundant life with a Holy God, supernaturally inscribed by the finger of God. Yeshua was God’s Word made flesh, the living Word (John 1:14), supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:30-35).
In this view of the tabernacle, it becomes clear that we must accept God’s atonement, cleansing, guidance, sustenance and mercy in our lives in order to find His supernatural provision, leadership and instruction in our lives. In short, you could say we must seek after Yeshua and follow His example. He is the only way to God’s abundant life and presence. When we come to Him, we have all the richness and unity with God that the physical tabernacle and subsequent temples provided to the Israelites.
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you….Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
Psalm 84 (excerpted)