Bible Study Series: Jesus in the Tabernacle
Jesus in the Tabernacle - The Outer Court
by I Gordon
Only One Way
'I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.' (John 10:9)
- Unlike the continual sacrifices of unwilling animals that occurred at the brazen altar in the tabernacle, Jesus was a willing sacrifice that would end all sacrifices.
- At the brazen altar the animals had to be tied down to the four horns for they didn't want to die. Yet Jesus went willingly to the cross saying 'greater love has no man that he lays down his life for his friends.'
- And what's more, the fires of God's judgement burnt out in Christ! He was the final sacrifice taking all the judgement of God. Any who are now 'in Christ' are forever safe.  That is not to say that the fire of God's judgement no longer exists at all. Surely it does and for those that reject God's offer of salvation in Christ then for them the text will be fulfilled that 'it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God'. 'Vengeance is mine says the Lord and I will repay.'
But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. Then Solomon was told, "Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, 'Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.' " Solomon replied, "If he shows himself to be a worthy man, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die." Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, "Go to your home."
The constant need to see yourself
 ↩ Remember when you were little, it was the middle of summer and your Mum hadn't purchased the key to the school pool? And what did you do when you wanted to have a swim? Well, you looked left and right and when no one was looking you jumped the fence didn't you? Well, you did if you were like me! The worst that could happen was maybe some voice yelling 'Hey, what do you think you are doing... get off there!' Well, with the tabernacle there was no jumping the fence. God Himself was the one who watched and EVERYTHING had to proceed as He had prescribed. There was only one way into His presence and that was through the single gate. Jump the fence and you may end up dead! Many today think that they can come to God in any way that they want. Even some within the church (and especially within the 'emergent church' movement) are moving more and more to be more inclusive of all faiths as if Jesus was wrong when He said that 'no one can come to the Father except through me'. Be careful to come to God in the way He has told us in His word, the Bible. Jesus said that on the day of judgement many will say did we not do this, and did we not do that in your name... and he will say 'depart from me, I never knew you'. Solemn words. These are people that thought they could come to God without going through the gate and participating at the brazen altar and laver. How wrong they were... and how grave were the consequences of not following God's command.
 ↩ Of course, the gate, as mentioned earlier is Christ. He is the one who came down from heaven (blue). He is the royal king (purple). He is the one who gave His life as a blood sacrifice (scarlet). He was the only man that has ever been completely righteous (fine linen). If salvation was to be found you had to come through Christ. That was the picture God gave then, that is the reality for all now.
 ↩ I have mentioned this illustration before but it is worth repeating. It was one of the first illustrations that spoke to the heart of H.A Ironside as he would later recall:
"One of the first gospel illustrations that ever made a real impression upon my young heart was a simple story that I heard a preacher tell when I was less than nine years old. It was of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They travelled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely, and was coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have an understanding as to what should be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it. As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror. "Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?" The leader replied, "My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!"
On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
Which would have sunk a world to hell.
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus becomes our Hiding Place.
The fires of God's judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been.
 ↩ A couple of scriptures for you to ponder...
Eph 5:25-26 'Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word'
James 1:23-25 'Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does.'
 ↩ I really like the following words of advice from an old Pastor. A young believer went to his pastor and said 'It is no use! No matter how much I read the Bible, I don't retain anything of it. I'm like a sieve!' The wise old pastor replied 'Well, if you hold a sieve under a running tap, it's probably not going to retain much of the water either. But at least you'll have a clean sieve!' And that is so true. If you don't remember much of what you read, the word of God will still be active and you will be washed with the water of the word!