The Tabernacle was built to be the earthly abode of God: the place where God would dwell among His people. The following picture is an artist depiction of what the Tabernacle may have looked like.
Moses built the Tabernacle in strict conformance to the specifications given by God. For example, in the following scripture God gives Moses a detailed list of items that are required to build the Tabernacle:
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” (Exodus 25:1-9)
Statements like this one are frequently found in the scriptures written by Moses. Many of these references emphasize the building of the Tabernacle precisely to God’s instructions. This fact suggests that the form and content of the Tabernacle is extremely important to God; that perhaps it is designed on a heavenly model, one that will enable Him to dwell among His people as He once did in the Garden. In fact, what we see in this case, is that God did dwell in the chamber of the Tabernacle called, the Holy of Holies, just above the Ark of the Covenant.
Therefore, if we believe that Jesus is God and that He came in human form to dwell with His people on Earth, then we can look to the Tabernacle, its functions and purpose to validate that Jesus is who we believe Him to be (because God does not change). In other words, we can look at the scriptures that define the specifications, processes and objects found in the Tabernacle, and then find corresponding attributes, words and actions in the life of Jesus Christ to demonstrate that in Him is a far superior fulfillment of the Tabernacle covenant. The good news is that we have already done this and have found Jesus to be a far superior fulfillment to each and every component of the Tabernacle. Even better news is that we will be presenting all of this to you in the subsequent postings.
Interestingly, when we searched for an understanding of what Jesus meant when He claimed to be “the Way, the Truth and the Life,” our discernment was that He was referring to the entryways to the three chamber of the Tabernacle. We believe that the material presented here in this body of work, strongly supports this case. A side benefit of looking at old testament scripture pertaining to the Tabernacle, from a perspective of being the subject of the claim of Jesus of being the Way, the Truth and the Life, is that you will come away with a splendid insight into who Jesus is and why He came. This understanding, in-turn can dramatically improve your relationship with God by providing insight into how we can progress toward a closer and more intimate relationship with Him.
So this is where we are headed. We are going to do a correlative study of the Tabernacle and the life of Jesus. Doing so will support the proposition that Jesus is the Christ, that Jesus is the prophetic fulfillment of the Tabernacle, and that Jesus was referring to the Tabernacle when He stated: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
As a result of this we will proceed with our presentations by stating the above points as facts to be proven by supporting details that will follow. So for example, we will presenting a diagram of the Tabernacle that includes, “the Way, the Truth and the Life,” as the names of the entryways of the Tabernacle, with the understanding that we will provide scriptural support that backs up the premise as we progress through our series of postings.
Some have said that there is no scripture that directly confirms that names of the Tabernacle entryways and therefore we can not know what Jesus meant when in His statement. While it is true that these names are not provided in the Bible, I would also like to say that there is no scriptural reference where Jesus states; “I am the Christ.” Yet we know that Jesus is the Christ because we read about His life, His words and actions, that substantiate this premise. We plan to do exactly this by way of a study of scripture that will enable you will understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Tabernacle and at the same time give you valuable insight into what being, “the Way, the Truth and the Life,” means. Once we understand that, then we will understand that Jesus was in fact referring to the Tabernacle in His proclamation.
We initiate our series of postings with a diagram of the Tabernacle upon which the names (the Way, the Truth and the Life) are used to identify the entryways into the three major compartments of the Tabernacle.
The Way leads us into the Courtyard, the Truth leads us into the Holy Place, and the Life leads us into the Most Holy Place. It should also be noted that the Tabernacle is constructed in such a way that these passageways must be entered in order. The Way must be entered prior to entering the Truth, and the Truth must be entered prior to entering the Life. This significance will be discussed later.
Our plan is to investigate each of these three chambers in an effort to identify what it is that Jesus is leading us toward. What we will find is that Jesus is drawing us into a closer relationship with God. He is drawing us into the Father by using the model of the Tabernacle as a model of Himself. Jesus knows that if we follow this clue that we will grow and strengthen our relationship with Father and Him.
What we are about to discover is that the Tabernacle structure communicates that there are three separate and distinct levels of relationship that we can have with God. As we have stated previously, these relationships can only be obtained by passing through the doors of the Tabernacle in only one possible sequence. However, as one progress from one chamber to the next, they will develop a progressively closer relationship with God and discover the gifts that God has waiting for those who seek Him with all their heart.
While all of this may seem mysterious at this high level, we plan to provide the details in subsequent postings. For now we will present a high level overview of our journey through the Tabernacle and its correlation with the life of Jesus. With that said let us start with the Tabernacle Courtyard.
The Tabernacle Courtyard
Our presentation of the Tabernacle Courtyard is found in the following post:
The Tabernacle Holy Place
Our presentation of the Tabernacle Holy Place is found in the following post:
The Tabernacle Most Holy Place
Our presentation of the Tabernacles Most Holy Place is found in the following post:
All of these links will also lead the reader toward a better understanding of the objects found inside each of the major chambers of the Tabernacle. They will also lead toward a better understanding how each object is prophetic of the coming of Jesus.
Once these concepts have been digested, then applying what has been learned is advised. The following links can help in this regard:
Read the truly amazing life story about how the forces of good and evil battle over a man and the vision that God gives him. Joseph W. Gordon’s Possess the Vision (Xulon Press, $12.95, 140 pages, ISBN 1-59781-205-6) tells about the mysterious spiritual experiences that occur throughout his lifetime.