Insufficiency of the Law, Sufficiency of Christ

In Ex.26-28, we see that God gives Moses great detail for the building of the Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting.  Everything had to be perfect, right down to the smallest utensil.  The Tabernacle would be the place where God would meet with the people of Israel, where animal sacrifices would be made for their sins, and where their sins would be covered.  Even with this great blessing from God, notice the separation between God and the people. God tells Moses, 

30 you shall erect the tabernacle according to the plan for it that you were shown on the mountain. 31 “And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. It shall be made with cherubim skillfully worked into it. 32 And you shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, with hooks of gold, on four bases of silver. 33 And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy. 34 You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the Most Holy Place..

The Most Holy Place was highly restricted, access to the Mercy Seat was allowed only by a single priestly representative.   

In Ex.28, God instructs Moses, on how to make the holy garments to be worn by those of the priesthood, Aaron and his sons.  God said,

9 You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, 10 six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, in the order of their birth. 11 As a jeweler engraves signets, so shall you engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall enclose them in settings of gold filigree. 12 And you shall set the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel. And Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord,on his two shoulders, for remembrance.

Notice the picture of Christ here.  Aaron, clothed in a type of holiness, as represented by these holy garments.  In this way, he will be able to stand before God on behalf of the people.  He will be able to present to God, the temporary covering, the blood sacrifice, for their sin.  

29 So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them to regular remembrance before the Lord. 30 And in the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the Lord. Thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the people of Israel on his heart before the Lord regularly.

36 “You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ 37 And you shall fasten it on the turban by a cord of blue. It shall be on the front of the turban. 38 It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall bear any guilt from the holy things that the people of Israel consecrate as their holy gifts. It shall regularly be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.

Each element of the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, the contents of the Tabernacle, and the priestly garments, all have great meaning.  Each element points to our Holy God, to some aspect of the gospel, and to our need for a perfect Savior.  As such, each element had to be crafted precisely, perfectly, according to God’s intention.  It would seem to be impossible to get it all right, but that God said to Moses, in Ex.28:3, 

Ex. 28:3 You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.

God often calls us to do the impossible.  For all the works of God are impossible with Man, but all things are possible with God.  

When we get to Matthew 2, we see that Wise Men from the East, follow the Star, in order to pay homage to Jesus, the King of the Jews.  

3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. (Isn’t it interesting that Herod knew that this inquiry was for the birth of the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world). 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.  Herod was the so-called king of the Jews, but he knew that the true King had now been born, to claim what rightfully belonged to God.  Herod was an oppressor of God’s people, but born in Bethlehem was the Christ, who came to be Shepherd of His people.  

The Wise Men found the Savior and brought Him gifts, and being warned by an angel, they left by another route.  Joseph, also being warned by an angel, took Mary and Jesus to Egypt.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”

In Mt.3, we see John, preaching and baptizing in the wilderness, telling all the people to 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 

Then Jesus went to John to be baptized—

16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

God provided for the holiness of Israel in the wilderness.  There was the altar, where the continuous blood sacrifice of animals would point to the once and for all sacrifice of the Christ.  There was the Most Holy place, where intercession for sin would be made, pointing to Jesus, our mediator and intercessor.  There was the Tabernacle, the place where God would dwell, in order to meet with one man, a representative of all of the people, pointing forward to Christ, who would not just meet with us, but dwells in us, never to leave us, never to forsake us.  

Prayer:  Ps.69  29 … let your salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. 35 For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; 36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

From FBCP Bible Reading #26

~ by James M. Winslow on 2021/04/12.

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