The Hebrew Tabernacle: Jesus’ sacrifice opened the way for whoever accepts His atonement to freely commune with God. We are welcome and equal in our relationship with Christ.
Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 5 (1 Peter 2:9).
We Are Welcome
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (2:9).
Ah…there’s that beautiful word “chosen” again! Yet this Scripture goes beyond chosen. Not only are we chosen, but if we have trusted in Christ, we are part of a royal priesthood. What does this mean?
In the Old Testament, the priests were set aside to offer lambs and other sacrifices for the sin of the people. The priests also were given the opportunity to communicate directly with God in the Holy of Holies area of the Hebrew Tabernacle and later the Temple. Then they would share God’s words with the people. The Tabernacle was composed of three parts, and the Temple was later patterned after the Tabernacle. There is rich symbolism throughout. Each part in some way symbolized Jesus.
The first part was an outer court in a fenced-in area. Just inside the Gate (Jesus, our Entryway) was the Altar (Jesus, our Sacrifice) where the lambs were sacrificed to atone for sin. Also in the outer court was a basin or Laver (Jesus, who cleanses us.)
The inner part of the Tabernacle consisted of two rooms. The first room, called the Holy Place, contained a Table of Bread (Jesus, our Sustenance), a Candlestick (Jesus, our Light), and an Altar of Incense (Jesus, our Intercessor).
The second part was the most holy place, called the Holy of Holies. It was separated from the Holy Place by a curtain, or Veil. The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant (Jesus, our Ark of safety and Fulfillment of promise).
It was inside the Holy of Holies that the priest went to commune with God. When Jesus gave his life on the cross as our atoning Lamb, the Veil of the Temple, which was as thick as a man’s hand, was torn in two. This symbolized the beginning of a new era. We would no longer need a priest to communicate to God for us in the Holy of Holies. In the New Testament, Jesus, the Lamb of God, became our High Priest. The Veil was torn in two, as Jesus’ sacrifice opened the way for whoever accepts His atonement to freely commune with God.
We Are Equal
“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:11-12).
Christ offered his life as a sacrifice for our sin. Once the sacrifice, God’s redemption, was complete, Christ sat down at the right hand of God. No further sacrifice is needed to atone for our sin. When we accept the sacrifice he made for us, we become part of the priesthood under Jesus. Now we can communicate directly with God our Father.
“In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God” (John 16:26-27).
There are Scriptures that tell us that Jesus does intercede to the Father for us. But he wants us to know that he has also made a way for us to communicate directly with the Father because we love Jesus and the Father loves us!
The Israelites are God’s chosen people, chosen to be a holy nation. However, the Bible teaches that today every believer in Christ becomes part of God’s spiritual holy nation. God has lovingly called us “a people belonging to God.” Male or female, we share this same privilege. We are equal in our relationship with Christ.
God has shown us the light of truth. Have you responded to the truth and received Jesus as the sacrifice for your sin? If you haven’t, that is the first step. Click our Seekers page to learn more about this important step.
We no longer live in the darkness of rebellion. Now we are free to walk in the wonderful light of God’s loving watch care!
Thank you, Lord, for showing us who Christ is for us, and accepting us when we respond to him. Thank you that all who believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are equal in their relationship with him. Amen.
Questions for Discussion
- How is the Hebrew Tabernacle a picture of who Christ is for us?
- What is the significance of the torn Veil at Jesus’ death?
- What is the significance of Christ’s sitting down on the right hand of God?
- How can we communicate directly with God?
- What does it mean to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord?
Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.