Pastor Miles opened this Sunday's message informing the Rock that we will finish the book of Exodus in two weeks, and on December 19th we will have a quiz and overview of the whole book of Exodus, similar to what we did with the book of Genesis a few months back. So study up!
Since the Rock began in early 2000, the church spent four and a half years meeting at the SDSU campus. The Rock will continue to meet at the new site on Ruffin Road for two years, and then will move to the "mothership" in Point Loma. With each move in preparing each building for church use, careful thought and planning must come into play. The cost and design of the building are considered and how things will be set up to make the most of each facility is planned out as well.
Life is about building upon experiences. When we look back on certain things we have gone through we can see how one experience prepares for another. Just as the experiences the Rock church will have at the Ruffin Road facility is preparation for what can happen in the new building in Point Loma. It is interesting to see how God works in reverse in all of this. He sees the end result before we see the building blocks and experiences that will take us there.
This Sunday we looked at the design of the Tabernacle in the book of Exodus and how it is foreshadows the life of Christ. We will look at seven aspects of the design of the Tabernacle and how that points to Jesus Christ. What is the purpose in this? We will see how it validates the truth of God and the specific plan that He has.
The Tabernacle and Jesus
The word Tabernacle means tent, house, or dwelling. The Tabernacle was the place where God's glory dwells. John 1:1 tells us that the Word is Jesus and John 1:14 states, And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
A Living Sacrifice
The first step to knowing God is through a living sacrifice. To enter in to the Tabernacle to be provided with access to God, an animal had to be sacrificed on the Altar of Sacrifice for the cleansing of sin. Through that sacrifice, access to God was provided. In the same way, through the death of Jesus, we are provided with access to God.
Romans 5:8-11 states, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
The Laver was the place where cleansing was done to be able enter into the Tabernacle. Continual cleansing is necessary for continual fellowship with God. Before the Priest could enter in to the Holy of Holies, it was required that he wash his hands and feet. Jesus is the cleansing Word. Ephesians 5:25-26 tells us that Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.
It is vital that we continually let the Word cleanse our hearts and minds through daily meditating on scripture. Psalm 119:15-16 states, I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. A practical way of doing this could be every morning before we leave the house and begin our day, is to write a Scripture on a 3x5 card, and put it on our dashboard, or in our pocket, and to think on that Scripture throughout the day, and therefore abolish thoughts of sin that will inevitably tempt us.
There was significance to something even as simple as a door in the Tabernacle. There was only one door that provided access to the Holy Place in the Tabernacle. Exodus 26:36-37 states, You shall make a screen for the door of the tabernacle, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. And you shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold; their hooks shall be gold, and you shall cast five sockets of bronze for them.
There was even specific significance to the colors God designated to be used for the door. Scarlet is a deep red color, used for sin. Purple is the color of royalty, and blue also signified royalty, but also bruising, as the King, Jesus would be bruised by sin.
The Scriptures also tell us that Jesus is the Door. John 10:9 states, I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. Jesus is the one and only door that leads us to God.
Do You Get It?
When someone tells a funny story or a joke to a vast number of people it is interesting to see how fast people catch on. For some it takes a while to get it, before they react and laugh, while others may get it right away.
In the Tabernacle was a menorah, which had seven candles. Those seven candles provided light to serve God. Just as in the New Testament Jesus is called the Light of the world. John 8:12 states, Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
When Christ comes into our lives He shines His light on us. In that He reveals His eternal purpose for our lives. When Christ's light is in our lives it allows us to get it. Just like getting a joke causes laughter, we can get the big picture of His Love for us, His death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, and the hope of eternity spent with Him.
Two Pit Bulls
Exodus 25:23,30 states, You shall also make a table of acacia wood; and you shall set the showbread on the table before Me always. God instituted Communion long before the days of Jesus. In the Tabernacle, bread provided communion with God. In the New Testament Jesus is called the Bread of Life. In fact Bethlehem, where Jesus was born means house of bread. John 6:35 states, And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
When we take communion today, and we eat of Jesus' flesh, and drink of His blood, it is saying that we are living to obey Him. Pastor Miles gave the analogy of two pit bulls. The flesh and the spirit are in a constant battle of wills. Will we do what the flesh wills or what the spirit wills? When we do not feed the Spirit, it is not made weak, but our weakness is found in our inability to submit to the Spirit. In the battle of the pit bulls the dog fed the most will win the battle, the same is to be said of ourselves. If we feed the flesh, our flesh will always overcome us, and if it is the Spirit that we feed through studying the word, prayer, and fellowship, the Spirit will prevail.
Incense and the Ark
In the tabernacle was also the Golden Altar of Incense. The incense was there to burn night and day. Pastor Miles noted that incense is symbolic of prayer. The incense was always to be burning, as our prayers are to be continually lifted to God. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 simply states, pray without ceasing. This is the will of God for those who follow and obey Him.
It is also vital to know that Jesus always intercedes on our behalf. Hebrews 7:23-25 states, Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
The last aspect of the Tabernacle we looked at was the Ark of the Covenant, which is inside the Holy of Holies. It is the place that preserves God's Word and provides His mercy because on the top of the Ark of the Covenant is the mercy seat.
Today we know the blood Jesus shed is that which provides us with access to God's mercy. Hebrews 9:12 states, Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
He is All That You Need
When Jesus died on the cross He became the only way to God. Mark 15:37-38 states, With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. No longer is a continual sacrificing for the cleansing of sin necessary. Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. With knowledge comes responsibility. Therefore, we must take full advantage of the access God has given us to Him through Jesus Christ.