Introduction To The Study Of The Tabernacle



We read in Hebrews 8:5 and 9:9: who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things . . It was symbolic for the present time...  The word copy means ‘type’ or ‘shadow’. So, we are reminded that the tabernacle was only a shadow of something bigger that lies in the future (Heb. 9:11-14). The tabernacle in the wilderness was therefore an image and a shadow of Him (Christ) who would come.

The furniture of the tabernacle was arranged so that it formed the shape of a cross. The tabernacle therefore speaks predominately of one thing; our salvation in the work of the person Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. A close view of the arrangement of the furniture in the tabernacle shows an astounding truth, the whole tabernacle bears the stamp of the cross. The foot of the cross is the place of suffering and death - the altar of burnt offerings. The head or top of the cross is behind the veil in the Holy of Holies, the place of glory - the Shekinah of a completed work. From the outside to the inside it is a straight path of salvation, cleansing, intercession (prayer) and a torn veil (Heb. 10:20-22), right into the presence of God the Father. To the right and left of the two arms of the cross are two areas of blessings – fellowship at the table (shewbread), and the witness, the light - the golden candlestick. The tabernacle is God's witness to the cross of Calvary.

Without the tabernacle and its furnishings and the spiritual meaning contained therein and portrayed, we would never fully understand the doctrine’s of: salvation; reconciliation; substitution; atonement; righteousness; imputed righteousness; prayer; sanctification; forgiveness and mercy.