Christ in the Old Covenant Scriptures (11)

Significance of the pattern of the Temple and its furnishings

God instructed Moses to make the dwelling for His hideout and arrange its furnishings exactly like the pattern He showed him. God gave Moses the precise instructions concerning the size, orientation, and what kind of furnishings to include in the dwelling place for Gods hideout (the sanctuary). The pattern of the furnishings inside the Temple portrayed a crucial lesson. The temple building, or the tabernacle, which means “dwelling,” was oriented East-West with the entrance on the East-end of it. God did not tell us why the orientation of the Temple had to be East-West, but there are several parallels which give us a clue. God planted the garden for the humankind in the East of Eden. Genesis 2:8. The glory of God departed to the East, just before the Babylonian exile. Ezekiel 10:19. The star that announced the birth of the Messiah to the three wise men rose from the East. Mathew 2:1 -2. Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, which is East of the Temple (Mishkan). Luke 24:19.

The “Most Holy,” in the Temple in Jerusalem stood on the West end of the dwelling place, the tabernacle. The altar for the sacrifices, the altar of incense, and the arc of the Pact (agreement) in the Most Holy formed a straight East-West line. The lamp stand and table for the bread formed the strait North-South line. This arrangement created the pattern of a cross. Top of the cross was the “Arc of the Pact,” the Mercy Seat, at the West-end of the tabernacle. The curtain separating the Holy from the Most Holy chambers hung from North to South and just behind the altar of incense. When the high priest on the annual day of removal (atonement) entered the Most Holy, he faced the Golgotha, which was west of Jerusalem, and just outside its wall. The curtain represented the body of Jesus Christ as it hung on the cross at Golgotha. Hebrews 10:19.

The service performed once a year, on the day of removal, or day of atonement was the most potent show-and-tell lesson for the people. It portrayed clearly how, in the fullness of time, God would sacrifice the “Lamb of God” to remove the sin that separated the humankind from Him and restore it to Him as His children. The pattern of the furnishings pointed to the west of Jerusalem, the Golgotha, where Jews crucified the Lamb of God. That was the same place where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac, but God provided a ram instead. Therefore, there was entirely no reason for not recognizing that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

To strike the rock once or twice? Read the next blog.

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Dan Lazich

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