I don’t know about you, but I felt like last Sunday was a little bit like taking a drink out of a fire hydrant! There was so much real estate that we covered; but hopefully you left with a strong sense in examining the tabernacle and the priests and seeing God’s preparation and plan for Jesus. Further, we saw God’s intention is to be present among and dwell with His people.
There were two significant aspects that we saw in Exodus 25-30, that lead us to God’s presence.
God’s Presence in the Tabernacle: 25:1-27:21
It’s difficult in this space to capture the various items in the tabernacle and the host of ways that they point us to Jesus. We took a significant portion of our time on Sunday doing this very thing, and I would point you to the podcast that you can listen to here (embed web link here). What I want to take this space to emphasize is how God is creating a category, not only for the people of Israel, but for all of humanity to be able to understand who Jesus is and what it is that He accomplishes in His death on the cross. The tabernacle itself, and the various items in the tabernacle begin to teach the people of how they are to understand and approach God. They make clear God’s holiness, perfection and righteousness while simultaneously speaking to our sinfulness and our need of a Savior. It truly is a beautiful thing to see at the formation of the nation of Israel, God’s purpose and intent for His Son to come and rescue His people. God’s presence in the tabernacle becomes a slow, methodical means that will eventually lead to and culminate in God’s presence in His Son.
God’s Presence Through the Priests: 28:1-29:46
God moves from the tabernacle to the priests. There are two different items that are addressed with the priests; the priestly garments and the consecration of the priests. The garments reveal to us the sense that the high priest carries the people and keeps the people close to his heart. This is a beautiful portrait of what Christ will eventually do for us. In chapter 29, we see the consecration of the priests. In this, we see some strikingly similar aspects to our salvation. As the priests are washed, we are reminded of how Christ washes and cleanses us from sin. As the priests are robed, we are pointed towards Christ robing us with His righteousness. As the priests are anointed with oil, we’re reminded of God’s commissioning on our lives to serve Him. Finally, as the blood is placed on the priests, we’re reminded that it’s only under the blood that any of this is possible for us.
We come into God’s presence through God’s redemptive work. We remain in God’s presence through His sanctifying work. Then we’re sent out as believers to tell the world of God’s finished work.