FOR THERE WAS A TABERNACLE PREPARED: skene gar kateskeuasthe (3SAPI):
(Exodus 26:1-30; 29:1,35; 36:8-38; 39:32, 33, 34; 40:2,18, 19, 20)
There was a
tabernacle - This phrase refers to the Tent of Meeting or Tent of the
Testimony which and is synonymous in this context with the Sanctuary
he has just mentioned. See the diagram above for the schematic of the
Tabernacle and its "furniture".
Notice that the writer
focuses upon the Tabernacle in the wilderness rather than upon the Temple
presumably because he had previously alluded to it in quoting from Exodus
And see that you make them after the
pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain. (quoted He 8:5
- see note)
Keeping in mind that
he is contrasting the Old Covenant with the New Covenant, it is only natural
that the Tabernacle be used in his argument rather than the
Temple, because of the association of the Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting)
with the giving of the Law (Old Covenant) at Mount Sinai.
(skene) means tent, booth, cloth hut and here specifically the tabernacle
which was made largely of skins and was designed to be portable, which
emphasizes the essence of impermanence. The tabernacle gave every impression
of being a temporary structure. It is fascinating that while there are only
two chapters devoted to the creation, there are some fifty chapters that
deal with the Tabernacle (esp Ex 25-40). Clearly, God is saying that the
Tabernacle is important and demands attention. As so many expositors
over the years have noted, the Tabernacle was essentially a "giant portrait
of Jesus Christ" (See related study on
Covenant: Abrahamic versus Mosaic).
Everywhere you look in the Tabernacle you can see the Messiah.
All this was by divine appointment; the
form of the rooms, the style of the furniture, everything was ordained of
God; and that not merely for ornament, but for purposes of instruction. As
we shall see farther on, the Holy Ghost intended a significance, a teaching,
a meaning, about everything in the old tabernacle, whether it was a
candlestick, or a table, or the showbread.
(kataskeuazo from katá = intensifies the meaning of + skeuazo =
prepare <> from skeuos = implement, vessel) is a verb which means to cause to be
thoroughly prepared. It means to make, construct or erect with idea of
adorning and equipping with all things necessary. Kataskeuazo was the word used to
preparing of a way before oriental monarch (see these uses in Mt 11:10; Mk 1:2; Lk 7:27 from Malachi
One purpose for which
earthly tabernacle was prepared was so that it might be a place of worship, where God would meet with His
people. Moses records
And let them construct a sanctuary
(Hebrew = miqdash = sacred place, holy place;
= hagiasma = space set aside for
devotion) for Me, that I may dwell (or "tabernacle" among - the
Hebrew word shakan - gives us the word "Shekinah" which describes the
cloud of God's glory) among them. (Exodus 25:8) (Comment: Notice that
in this passage the word sanctuary refers to the Tabernacle as
a whole unit.)
And I will consecrate the tent of
meeting and the altar; I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to
minister as priests to Me. And I will dwell (Hebrew = shakan > "Shekinah")
among the sons of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I
am the LORD their God Who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I
might dwell among them; I am the LORD their God. (Ex 29:44-46)
Centuries later the
the Word (the Lord Jesus Christ described
in John 1:1 and here clearly identified as a Man, the God-Man) became flesh, and did
tabernacle (skeuoo - to live or dwell) among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only
begotten of a father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) (Comment:
As an aside ["rabbit trail"], think of the original Tabernacle which had the
Shekinah cloud of glory, the manifestation of God's presence among His
people Israel, and then recall the fact that Ezekiel 9-11 describes the
departure from the Temple of this Shekinah glory cloud. And so for some 400
years the Temple had no Shekinah cloud, until the apostle John describes the
Living Word, the Lord Jesus, Who is the sum and substance of the OT glory
cloud, albeit in veiled form for most of His earthly ministry, His
transfiguration being the brief exception. See related topic
Glory of the LORD: Past, Present, Future)
Refer to the diagram
of the Tabernacle above, remembering that it was a shadow or picture
of the Lord Jesus Christ (see related topic
Typology - Study of Biblical types). The courtyard of the
Tabernacle was 150' x 75'. Its single gate, on the east side, was 30' wide
x 7.5' high, allowing a large number of people to enter at the same time a
graphic picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who declared I am the way and
the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me (John 14:6) and
I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go
in and out, and find pasture. (John 10:9) Just as there was only one entrance to the Tabernacle,
there is only one way to God, the only Way and the only Door, Jesus Christ.
Many who resist the truth of God's Word and His gospel argue that Christianity is
too narrow, too restrictive, too exclusive. In that sense, they are correct
but not because Christians make it that way, but because God
has declared it to be so. The tragedy is that many times believers (some
simply professors, some undoubtedly genuine believers) have made
Christianity "exclusive" in the wrong ways or by the wrong means, neither of
which was ever intended by God. I am reminded of Paul's quotation (OT quotes
in NAS are in all caps) in Romans 10...
For there is no distinction between Jew
and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who
call upon Him for "WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE
SAVED." (Ro 10:12, 13-note)
Comment: In regard to the accusation that Christianity is exclusive, this
verse explains that God's invitation to come in the Door is open to
"whoever will call..."
The door of the
Tabernacle always faced East (Ezekiel 11:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,
12, 44:1,2). The Tribe of Judah
was encamped directly to the East of this door! (see Numbers 2:3 "toward the
sunrise"!) (Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah - see Re 5:5-note)
The first article in
the outer court was the bronze altar, of acacia wood sheathed with bronze, 7.5'
square, 4.5' off the ground, topped with a bronze grate.
The first article in
outer courtyard directly in front of the ENTRY DOOR (Ex 40:6) was the
ALTAR OF BRASS (Ex 27:1, 2) with 4 horns, one on each corner, standing
3 cubits off the ground. When the people brought an offering to the Lord,
either for reconciliation because of sin or for consecration, the sacrifice
was tied to the horns of the altar.
The LORD is God, and He has given us light. Bind the festival sacrifice with
cords to the horns of the altar. (Spurgeon's
The offerer laid his
hands on the head of the offering, symbolic of his identification with the
animal's substitutionary death on his behalf—his sins were
"transferred" to the sacrifices, and the life of the sacrifice was
transferred to him. Coals of fire were inside this 5 square cubit box. A
brass grate covered the coals of fire that held the sacrifice as it was
consumed by the fire. The altar of brass was God's picture of the
"Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!" (Jn 1:29, He
1:3, 2:9, 17-see
nailed ("tied") to the Cross for our sins displaying Him publicly just as
the sacrificial animal was displayed (Ro 3:24, 25, 5:8-see notes
2Cor 5:21), baptized with a baptism of fire.
Next one encountered
the LAVER which was between the ALTAR and the opening of the
Holy Place where the priests washed daily (Ex 30:18, 19, 20, 21) so that they might
not die. They could not enter the Holy Place without washing, this "washing"
speaking of the HOLINESS God demands of all who would seek His face. (Lev
11:44) The LAVER was also made of bronze, a symbol of judgment (cf Re 1:5-note).
It had two parts: the circular brass bowl made from the polished brass
mirrors that the women brought with them from Egypt, and the brass foot or
pedestal (Ex 38:8).
Jesus, the Word of
God, said we are made clean through the Word He spoke to us. For example
Jesus said to Peter
who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you
are clean, but not all of you.
(John 13:10). (see related topic
Typology - Study of Biblical types)
Have you "washed"
Can you enter the Holy Place to worship a
Holy God or would you be impeded from entry into His Presence because of
The Word of God is
like a mirror that reminds us who we are so that our conscience is pricked
by His Spirit and we "come clean" through confession and repentance. James
For if anyone is a hearer of the word
and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately
forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the
perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a
forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he
does. (James 1:23, 24, 25-notes)
Moving westward we
come to the Tabernacle proper (45' long x 15' wide x 15' high). The Holy
Place took up 2/3's of the area so that the Holy of Holies was a perfect 15'
cube. Only the priests could go into the Holy Place, in which were three
pieces of furniture. The writer of Hebrews mentions only two, because, as he
says, he cannot speak in detail (Heb 9:5).
THE OUTER ONE IN WHICH WERE THE LAMPSTAND: e prote en e e te
luchnia: (Exodus 25:23-40; 26:35; 37:10-24; 39:36, 37, 38; 40:4,22,
Literally it reads...
for a tabernacle was prepared, the
first, in which was both the lamp-stand, and the table, and the bread of
the presence -- which is called 'Holy;'
The outer one -
The outer (first) room of the Tabernacle which was separated by a veil from the
inner room which contained the Ark of the Covenant, representing the place
where God dwelled.
(protos) refers to the former or first in a series or set.
(luchnia from luchnos = portable lamp fed with oil, not a
candle <> leukos = White, shining) refers to a candlestick and was
used in the
for the Menorah,
the golden lampstand in the Holy Place, the first or outer division of the
Tabernacle (Ex 25:32, 33, 34, 35, 26:35 )
On the left, as the
priest entered, was a pure gold lampstand having seven branches, each filled
with the purest olive oil, which was kept burning night and day, serving as
the only light in the Tabernacle. (Ex 27:20).
I am the light of the world; he who
follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.
(John 8:12 ). (see related topic
Typology - Study of Biblical types)
The believer is
walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, (and then) we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from
all sin. (1John 1:7).
Jesus is the Lamp in
the New Jerusalem for
the city has no need of the sun or of
the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its
lamp is the Lamb. (Re 21:23-note)
Are you walking in
darkness, not knowing where you are going?
Believers are now His "lights" for
You are the light of the world. A
city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it
under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who
are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
(Mt 5:14, 15, 16-notes)
AND THE TABLE AND THE SACRED BREAD THIS IS CALLED THE HOLY
PLACE: kai he trapeza kai he prothesis ton arton etis legetai (3SPPI) hagia:
(Exodus 40:4; Leviticus 24:5,6) (Exodus 25:23,30) (Exodus 26:33)
of Showbread) (5132)
(trapeza from tetra = four + peza = foot) is "four
feet" and so is a table. Trapeza is a word seen on the front of banks
in Greece today. Bankers sat at small tables and changed money (Mt 21:12).
The tabernacle had a table of
acacia wood overlaid with gold on which the showbread was placed (Ex 25:23;
Nu 3:31; Heb. 9:2). A table of gold was in the Temple (1Ki 7:48).
Tables for the burnt offering were furnishings of Ezekiel’s temple (Ezek.
40:39, 40, 41, 42, 43). There was also a table before the sanctuary (Ezek 41:22; 44:16).
The prophet Malachi spoke of the altar as the Lord’s table (Mal 1:7, 12).
R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson's
New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
(prothesis) means a setting forth of a thing and so placing of it in
view (the KJV keeps the sense of this meaning in its rendering showbread)
Nelson's writes that
A type of ritualistic bread known as
consisted of 12 loaves baked without leaven by the Levites and placed weekly
in the tabernacle, and later in the Temple (Ex 25:30). When removed at the
end of the week, the loaves were eaten by the priests. The purpose of the
showbread was to symbolize God’s presence with His people.
R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson's
New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
refers to bread. (See
The Holy Place (Dictionary
refers to that which is set apart, separated, sanctified referring to
that which is set apart (sanctified) as having been so separated for a
special purpose. Specifically this place was set apart by God for sacred
On the right was the
Table on which was the sacred bread,
Table, like the base
of the altar, was acacia wood overlaid w gold, 3' long, one x 1/2' wide x
The Hebrew word
for sacred bread meant "bread of face" or "bread of presence" because
the bread was being set before God. There were 12 loaves of bread
representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Every Sabbath these were eaten by the
priests and fresh bread placed upon the table. This shadow also pointed to
the substance fulfilled in Christ.
In the Old
Testament, Moses records that loaves were replaced weekly on the
Then you shall take fine flour and bake
twelve cakes with it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. 6 And
you shall set them in two rows, six to a row, on the pure gold table before
the LORD. 7 And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be
a memorial portion for the bread, even an offering by fire to the LORD. 8
Every Sabbath day (our Saturday - and thus once each week) he shall set it
in order before the LORD continually; it is an everlasting covenant for the
sons of Israel. (Leviticus 24:5-8)
In the New
Testament Jesus declares He is the fulfillment of the shadow in the Old
I am the bread of life...I am the living bread that came down
out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever;
and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My
flesh. (John 6:48,
50) (see related topic
Typology - Study of Biblical types)
By way of
application, dear believer, what are you eating to satisfy your spiritual
hunger? Only the "Bread of
life" the "Bread of heaven", the Lord Jesus Christ, will ever satisfy your
innermost hunger. Jesus the "Bread of Life" is also the Living Word, the
Word of Life, and He Himself declared that "Man does not live by bread alone
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Eat the Word of God,
for nothing else will satisfy.
example, for even in the midst of a stressful time (read the entire chapter
for the context), he affirmed...
Thy words were found
and I ate them,
And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
(Psalm 19:10 -
And the Psalmist who
wrote Psalm 119...
How sweet are Thy words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(Psalm 119:103 -
Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am week, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more,
Feed me till I want no more.
TODAY IN THE WORD - This past
spring a group of passengers bound for Los Angeles from the east coast sat
aboard an airplane waiting for take off. After a long delay the pilot
announced that there was a maintenance problem–the ground crew could not get
the cargo door to seal properly. He told them that the mechanics had sent
some digital pictures of the door to the airlines experts. But as good as
the pictures were, the experts still couldn’t solve the problem. They needed
to be there to see the real thing in order to fix it. The flight was
cancelled, leaving the passengers to scramble for alternative flights.
Pictures are wonderful things, but
ultimately they are not adequate substitutes for the objects they represent.
Hebrews 9:1-10 makes a similar point. As great as the earthly tabernacle
was, its ultimate purpose was only to represent or point toward something
We ought to spend more time studying the details of the plan of the
tabernacle, for we can see from the author of Hebrews that they contain many
lessons for us today (Hebrews 9:5). The one lesson that Hebrews spends the
time to teach us concerns the annual entry of the high priest into the Most
Holy Place (cf. Leviticus 16:1-34). We learn from the rituals of the high
priest and from the veils that kept the Most Holy Place out of sight from
all but the high priest that the presence of God was closed to sinful people
(Hebrews 9:8). This separation continues between God and humanity because
the sacrifices aren’t able to cleanse the consciences of the worshipers.
That is, they only dealt with the problem of sin at an external level
(Hebrews 9:9, 10).
TODAY ALONG THE WAY - Our understanding of the book of Hebrews, along with
much of the rest of the New Testament, would be greatly enhanced by studying
the Old Testament sacrificial system. (Copyright
Moody Bible Institute. Used by permission. All rights reserved)
F B Meyer
The Way into the Holiest
THE eye is quicker than the ear. And
there is therefore no language so expressive as the language of symbols. The
multitude will better catch your meaning by one apt symbol than by a
thousand words. The mind shrinks from the intellectual effort of grappling
with the subtle essences of things, and loves to have truth wrapped up in a
form which can easily be taken in by the eye, the ear, the sense of touch.
This explains why there is such a tendency toward ritualism in the Romanish
and Anglican Churches. Where man's spiritual life is strong, it is
independent of the outward form; but when it is weak it leans feebly on
external aids. And it was because the children of Israel were in so childish
a condition that God enshrined his deep and holy thoughts in outward forms
and material shadows. The untutored people must have spiritual truth
expressed in symbols, which appealed to the most obtuse. For fifteen hundred
years, therefore, the Jewish worship gathered round the most splendid
ceremonial that the world has ever seen
ceremonial which these Hebrew Christians sadly missed when they passed into
the simple ordinances of some bare upper room.
Let us for a moment study those ancient symbols.
Choose an expanse of sand; mark out an oblong space forty-five feet long by
fifteen feet broad. Lay all along upon your outlines a continuous belt of
silver sockets, hollowed out so as to hold the ends of the planks that form
the walls of the Tabernacle. Now fetch those boards themselves, beams of
acacia wood fifteen feet high, covered with the choicest gold, and fastened
together by three long bars of gold, running from end to end. The entrance
doorway must face the east, composed of five golden pillars, over which fall
the folds of a rich and heavy curtain. Then measure thirty feet from this,
and let another curtain separate the holy from the most holy place. Now
fetch more curtains to make the ceiling, and to hang down on either side
over the gilded acacia beams that form the outer walls; first, a gorgeous
curtain wrought with brilliant hues, and covered with the forms of cherubim;
next, a veil of pure white linen; third, a strong curtain of rams' skins,
dyed red; and, lastly, to defend it from the weather, a common and coarse
covering of badgers' skins. The court is constituted by heavy curtains that
hang around and veil the movements of the priests within.
Let us cast a brief glance at each item as we briefly pass from the outer to
the inner shrine.
THE BRAZEN ALTAR, with its projecting horns, to which animals designated for
sacrifice were tied (Psalm 118:27), or on which the fugitive laid hold
for sanctuary and shelter (Ex 21:14), stood in the outer court. There
were offered the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offering.
It was deemed most holy (Ex 31:37) And well it might be; for it was the
symbol of the cross of Calvary, that wondrous cross where Jesus offered
himself as a sacrifice for sin; himself both priest and victim and altar
None could enter the holy place, save by passing this sacred emblem, any
more than we could ever have entered into fellowship with God, unless there
had been wrought for us upon the cross that one all-sufficient sacrifice and
oblation for sins, which purges our heart from an evil conscience. The
longer we live, and the more we know of God, the more precious and
indispensable does that cross appear: our hope in sorrow, our beacon in the
dark, our shelter in the storm, our refuge in hours of conviction, our
trysting-place with God, our pride and joy.
Blest cross! blest sepulcher! blest
The Man that there was put to death for me.
And if the brazen altar speaks of the one
sacrifice, once for all, of Calvary, the laver speaks of the daily washing
of the stains of our wilderness journeyings, as Jesus washed the feet of his
disciples (John 13).
THE SEVEN-BRANCHED CANDLESTICK, from
which the light was shed which lit up the holy place, would first arrest the
eye of the priest, who might cross the threshold for the first time. Its
form is familiar to us from the bas-relief upon the Arch of Titus. How
eloquently does it speak of Christ! The texture of beaten gold, on every
part of which the hammer strokes had fallen, tells of his bruisings for us
(Ex 25:36). The union of the six lesser lamps, with the one tall Center
one, betokens the mystery of that union in light-giving which makes the
Church one with her Lord forevermore in illuminating a dark world. The
golden oil, stealing through the golden pipes that needed to be kept clean
and unchoked, shows our dependence on him for supplies of the daily grace of
the Holy Spirit (Zech 4:2). And the very snuffers, all of gold, used
wisely by the high-priest to trim the flame, are significant of those
processes by which our dear Lord is often obliged to cut away the unevenness
of the wick, and to cause us a momentary dimming of light that we may
afterward burn more clearly and steadily. His life is the light of men. In
his light we see light. He sheds light on hearts and homes and mysteries and
space; and hereafter the Lamb shall be the light of heaven.
THE GOLDEN SHEWBREAD TABLE
THE GOLDEN SHEWBREAD TABLE must not be
over looked, with its array of twelve loaves of fine flour, sprinkled with
sweet smelling frankincense, and eaten only by the priests, when replaced on
the seventh day by a fresh supply. Here again, as in the last symbol, is
that mysterious blending of Christ and his people. Christ is the true bread
of presence. He is the bread of God. Jehovah finds in his obedience and life
and death perfect satisfaction; and we too feed on him. His flesh is meat
indeed. We eat his flesh and live by him. The table was portable, so as to
be carried in the journeyings of the people; and we can never thrive without
taking him with us wherever we go. This is the heavenly manna; our daily
bread; our priestly perquisite. But the people also were represented in
those twelve loaves, as they were in the twelve stones of the breastplate.
And doubtless there is a sense in which all believers still stand ever
before God in the purity and sweetness of Christ; "for we, being many, are
one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread." Oh, is
it possible for me to give aught of satisfaction to God? To believe this
would surely instill a new meaning into the most trivial acts of life. Yet
this may be so.
THE CENSER, OR ALTAR OF
THE CENSER, OR ALTAR OF INCENSE, is
classed with the most holy place; not because it stood inside the veil, but
because it was so closely associated with the worship rendered there. It was
as near as possible to the ark (Ex 30:6). It reminds us of the golden
altar which was before the throne (Re 8:3). No blood ever dimmed the
luster of the gold; the ashes that glowed there were brought from the altar
of burnt offering; and on them were sprinkled the incense, which had been
compounded by very special art (Ex 30:34, 35, 36, 37, 38). That precious incense,
which it was death to imitate, speaks of his much merit, in virtue of which
our prayers and praises find acceptance. Is not this his perpetual work for
us, standing in heaven as our great High Priest? ever living to make
intercession, catching our poor prayers, and presenting them to his Father,
fragrant with the savor of his own grace and loveliness and merit?
THE VEIL, passed only once a year by the
high-priest, carrying blood, reminded the worshipers that the way into the
holiest was not yet perfect. There were degrees of fellowship with God to
which those rites could give no introduction. "The way into the holiest was
not yet made manifest." "The veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Heb. 10:20).
Oh, fine twined linen, in thy purity, thou wert never so pure as that body
which was conceived without sin! Oh, exquisite work of curious imagery, thou
canst not vie with the marvelous mysteries that gather in that human form!
Yet, till Jesus died, there was a barrier, an obstacle, a veil. It was
bespattered with blood, but it was a veil still. But at the hour when he
breathed out his soul in death, the veil was rent by mighty unseen hands
from top to bottom, disclosing all the sacred mysteries beyond to the
unaccustomed eyes of any priests who at that moment may have been burning
incense at the hour of prayer, while the whole multitude stood without (Lk
1:9). It is a rent veil now, and the way into the holiest lies open. It is
new and living and blood-marked; we may therefore tread it without fear or
mistake, and pass in with holy boldness to stand where angels veil their
faces with their wings in ceaseless adoration (He 10:19, 20).
THE ARK. A box, oblong in shape, 4 ft. 6
in. in length, by 2 ft. 8 in. in breadth and height; made of acacia wood,
overlaid with gold; its lid, a golden slab, called the mercy-seat, on which
cherubic forms stood or knelt, with eyes fixed on the blood stained golden
slab between them; for it was on the mercy-seat that the blood was copiously
sprinkled year by year, and there the Shekinah light ever shone. In the
wilderness wanderings the ark contained the tables of stone, not broken but
whole, the manna, and the rod. But when it came to rest, and the staves were
drawn out, the manna, food for pilgrims, and the rod, which symbolized the
power of life, were gone; only the law remained.
The law can never be done away with. It
is holy, just, and good. Not one jot or tittle can pass away from it. It is
at the heart of all things. Beneath all surfaces, below all coverlets,
deeper than the foam and tumult and revolution of the world, rests righteous
and inexorable law. We must all yield to its imperial sway. Even the atheist
must build his walls according to the dictates of the plumb-line, or they
will inevitably crumble to ruin.
But law is under love. The golden mercy-seat exactly covered and hid the
tables, as they no longer leaped from crag to crag, but lay quietly beneath
it. An ark without a covering, and from which tables of stony law looked out
on one, would be terrible indeed. But there need be no dread to those who
know that God will commune with them from above a mercy-seat which
completely meets the case and is sprinkled with blood. We are told by the
Apostle, who had well read the deepest meaning of these types, that "God
hath set forth Christ Jesus as a mercy seat, through faith in his blood"
(Ro 3:24, 25-See notes
Jesus has met the demands of law by his golden life and his death of blood;
and we may meet God's righteousness in him. Our own righteousness would be
an insufficient covering, too narrow and too short; but our Substitute has
met every possible demand. "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that
died." Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life.
But ah, no blood of goat or calf can speak the priceless value of his blood,
by which we have access into the holiest. Oh, precious blood! which tells of
a heart breaking with love and sorrow; which betrays a life poured out like
water on the ground in extremest agony; which gathers up all the meaning of
Leviticus and its many hecatombs of victims; the pledge of tenderest
friendship, the purchase money of our redemption, the wine of life: thy
scarlet thread speaks to us from the windows of the past in symbols of joy
and hope and peace and immortal love. The precious blood of Christ!