Sunday, November 26, 2017

all the way from here to there

The Word for today:
Exodus 37:10-38:31
Yesterday, we entered the Most Holy Place-- into the presence of God--through the torn "curtain," the torn flesh of Jesus Christ:
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. (Hebrews 10:19-22)
When we enter the Most Holy Place, what do we find there? We find a gleaming chest made of wood.
Which might prompt you to wonder how a wooden box can gleam. Here's how:
The Ark of the Covenant.
The ark was a wooden chest covered inside and outside with gold. It was a perfect symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ in His deity and humanity. His deity was represented by the gold; his humanity was represented by the wood.
The ark could not be spoken of as merely a wooden chest because it also was a gold chest. It could not be called a gold chest because it was also a chest of wood. It required both gold and wood to depict Christ as the Son of God/Son of man.
The ark had a covering.  Called the Mercy Seat, it reminds us of our forgiveness through Christ. It was made of pure gold with cherubim on each end. With their wings spread, the cherubim looked down upon the cover of the ark where the high priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice. It was the blood that made it the mercy seat, symbolic of the work of Christ.
The Glory of God (the “Shekinah Glory”) rested on the Ark of the Covenant, first in the Tabernacle and later in Solomon’s Temple. The Glory departed just before the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians (Ezekiel 8-11). There is no record that it ever returned—until Jesus came. At the Transfiguration (Matthew 17) Jesus for a brief time was seen in all his glory. (See Exodus 33:7-23 & Matthew 17: 1-8.)
The Tabernacle is a picture of the way to God. When Thomas asked Jesus to point out the way, Jesus pointed to the real Tabernacle--himself:
"I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
That verse is the Bible's summary of the Tabernacle. And the Tabernacle is the Bible's summary of itself:
And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. (1)
(1) John 1:14 / Amplified Bible & Young's Literal Translation

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