Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Meeting Place

Observations on Exodus 24-26

Before Moses and the elders can ascend the mountain, before the Book of the Covenant can be read, there must be sacrifice. Man cannot approach God or respond to his gracious initiation outside the shedding of blood.

70 is the number of the world, and this picture of the 70 Israelite elders, led by Moses - the priest king of Israel up the mountain to God is a picture of how Jesus leads the nations of the world into the presence of the Father.

Just as Moses sprinkled the altar with blood, (the altar is representative of God's people) so he actually sprinkles it on the people - probably just the 70 elders as representative of all the people rather than all two million of them.

Lapis Lazuli is the colour of the sky, which is in turn the colour of water. It is symbolic of how Moses and the elders have passed through the second baptism (death) into Heaven. There they feast in the presence of God and God does not destroy them. But, as with everything that happens in the OT they are kept at a distance.

They go back down and Moses is called back up again, with his aide Joshua and he delegates his authority to Aaron before he leaves.

Don't let anyone tell you that life under the Old Testament law was all about legalism and compulsion. Here the people give from the heart as they feel led for the building of the Tabernacle.

The Tabernacle is a multivalent (see no.4) model of:
  • The Universe (The Heavens and the Earth)
  • Eden - the place where God and Man meet
  • God's people and what they are to do for the nations
  • Jesus and what he is to do for the world
This video (along with part 2 and 3) helps you visualise what's going on in these texts. For now let's keep it simple:
  • The Ark is symbolic of the throne of God - where we find mercy - in Christ
  • The Table with the Bread is symbolic of God's provision - heavenly bread that is Christ
  • The Lampstand (note this is not a candle-stand - olive oil would flow from the base to the top and burn) is symbolic of revelation of the Spirit i.e. Christ.
  • The blue, purple and scarlet curtains interwoven with cherubim would be symbolic of Heaven, so when the high priest passed into the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, it was a picture of how Christ - the great high priest would ascend into Heaven and from there renew the whole creation.

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