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The Priesthood

Regarding the priesthood, we realize that God wanted all of His people to be priests, but due to the fallen situation of Israel, He selected Aaron and his sons as well as the Levites to serve Him in this capacity.

The Greatest Scandal in the Wilderness

Most of the latter half of the book of Exodus is a set of instructions regarding the building of the tabernacle and the priestly service. In this time period, Moses was called to commune with God on Mt. Sinai. When Moses did not return after 40 days, some of the people pressured Aaron to make gods of gold for worship. Aaron asked the people to take off their ear rings (or face rings) and offer them to make a golden calf. This action was a direct violation of God’s commandments and total disregard for the God who had freed them from Egypt and nurtured them in the wilderness.

The Priestly Garments (2)

Exodus 28 describes the garments for the priesthood. In particular was the ephod having twelve stones on the breastplate of judgment with the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Rabbinical tradition holds that there was a pocket in the linen breastplate worn by the high priest that held the urim and thummin. Urim means light and thummin mean perfection. When God wanted the speak to the priest He could use these two stones to light up and spell out what He wanted to speak by shining through the stones on the priest’s breastplate.

For Beauty and Glory - The Priestly Garments (1)

The priest’s clothes described in Exodus 28 had 6 parts: the turban, the breastplate, the ephod, the tunic, the robe, and the waist sash. These were elegantly designed for “glory and beauty.” It was important that the priests glorified God according to His divine nature and exemplified a beautiful, uplifted humanity. Christ, on the earth both glorified God and expressed the highest human virtues. He was our high priest. Likewise, all believers should follow this same pattern for “glory and beauty.”

The Tabernacle - The Transformation of the Soul

Exodus 25 describes the first room of the tabernacle, called the holy place. The furniture in this room are types of Christ, on the one hand, and also types of the believers, who have been transformed by the work of the Spirit. The table of the bread signifies Christ as our supply, our food (“I am the bread of life”—John 6:35). The transformed believers also become a source of supply to those in need, just as Joseph fed the world in famine in Genesis. How do we become a life supply? We need to be filled with the Word of God, to set apart time in our lives regularly to eat God’s words.

The Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies

Exodus 25 describes the ark of covenant in the holy of holies. The mercy seat or propitiation cover of the ark was to be made of pure gold and guarded by two pure gold cherubim facing each other with wings out spread overshadowing the spot where the high priest sprinkled the blood of sacrifice once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people.

Entering Three Veils

Stuck in a rut? Feeling like you’re moving in circles? The way of the tabernacle opens new horizons for Christians. The tabernacle has three curtains that provide entry into consecutively richer and deeper experiences of Christ. The first entrance is into the outer court of the tabernacle. This is the entrance into Christ in the church. The bronze altar typifies the consecration of our bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1). The first of the experience of a rich Christ in the church life is the practical consecration of our bodies to the church gatherings and service.

Psalms by the Sons of Korah

In Numbers 16 we see that Korah, the grandson of Kohath, and 250 other prominent Jewish leaders were judged severely by God for their rebellion. Yet in spite of all who died with Korah, Numbers 26:11 says: “But the sons of Korah did not die”. Given that picture of the ground opening up to swallow him, and fire coming from God to consume the 250, it seems strange that any of Korah’s family should remain. This was all God’s mercy that the sons did not perish, but instead survived.

The Boards of the Tabernacle

The building up of the church has been a theme repeated throughout the Bible, from the type of Eve, the woman “built” out of the man to the New Jerusalem, a city built with us as precious stones. The tabernacle, as well, is a type of this building. Underneath the coverings is a structure of wood plated with gold. The acacia wood typifies a humanity that has been uplifted, transformed by Christ. Only such a humanity can uphold the testimony of God. The gold overlay typifies our putting on Christ (Gal. 3:27), our hiding our life in Him (Col. 3:3) and magnifying Christ (Phil. 3:20).

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