The tabernacle; the dwelling place for the hideout
“‘Make this tabernacle and its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.'” Exodus 25:9, NIV. The “Mishkan,” the tabernacle means the “abode,” literally. It refers to the abode for the God’s sanctuary, the hideout. It also refers to the “abode” for the “pact,” or an agreement between the people and God. The tabernacle, therefore, was a reminder to the people that they had an obligation to their God; to obey Him as they have promised. In messages in the Hebrews, the “pact,” or the Ten Commandments, served as a witness against the people that they could not fulfill their part of the pact, perfectly.
The critical meaning of the “Mishkan,” the temple, was that God would establish an eternal dwelling with His people. God’s permanent dwelling with the humankind is the body of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifices and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me’;” Hebrews 10:5, NIV. Jesus confirmed that the temple, the “mishkan” represented His body. “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ However, the temple he had spoken off was his body.” John 2 19 – 21, NIV. Therefore, the temple, the “Mishkan,” was the shadow pointing to the reality, the body of Jesus Christ. “These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:17, NIV.
Jesus is the High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Therefore, like Melchizedek, Jesus did not serve in a building or some physical structure; He served in his body. The Melchizedek also served as the priest to the “Most High” God in his body, not in a temple. The human body, Jesus shared with the humankind, was made by God, not by man. Because He is a High Priest forever Jesus, after His resurrection, continues to serve in His body because, in Jesus’ body, God is with us forever.
To be continued in the next blog.