The Tabernacle erected (Exodus 40)
The Tabernacle Erected and Arranged:
Almost a year after Israel left Egypt, the tabernacle was erected. The Lord gave Moses instructions about the physical arrangement of furniture (40:1-8). Seven times in this chapter it is mentioned that "Moses did all things as the LORD had commanded". People completed the work according to the pattern and specification Moses had given to them. They had to bring their completed works before Moses for his approval (39:33-43). Moses placed each piece of furniture in its proper place in the court, in the Holy Place and the most Holy Place. The brazen alter represents Christ on the cross. It was at the entrance of the court. This is the first item a sinner had to come across. Without the shedding of the blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Cross of Christ is the pathway to salvation. The ark of the covenant with the mercy seat is highest point in the tabernacle. At the brazen alter we come as sinners and our sins are put away by the blood . Christ's blood cleanses us from all our sins (1 John 1:7). Then we enter into the holiest as saints to fellowship with God. The believers are called into the fellowship to Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor 1:9). This is also the place of worship. The blood on the mercy seat gives us a perfect standing before God. Christ shed his blood for the remission of our sins. Therefore we have the confidence to enter the presence of God by the blood Jesus (Heb 10:18-19). Christ is our great mediator and we are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6). He is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). The blood of Christ made it possible that the throne of judgment had become the throne of grace.
The Anointing Oil: Exodus 30:22-33. God instructed Moses how to make the anointing oil for anointing of tabernacle and the priesthood. Aaron's sons had to be consecrated with Aaron by anointing oil. Aaron's sons are a type of all believers. The believers are baptized and anointed by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13; 1 John 2:20). Moses made the anointing oil with myrrh, cinnamon, cane, cassia and about a gallon of olive oil. When mixed, these would make a fragrant blend. This is most holy oil and not to be used for any other purpose. Myrrh was used for medicinal purpose. This speaks of Christ’s suffering to heal our spiritual sickness. Christ bore our sins in His body on the cross. By his stripes we are healed. Our ultimate sickness is sin that leads to eternal death (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Pet 2:24). Cinnamon, cane and cassia speak of Christ’s perfect character. He was sweet aroma to the Father. Christ did all things well (Mark 7:37; Matt 17:5). By anointing the furnishings in the tabernacle Moses consecrated them for God’s holy use. The church is God’s dwelling place and it must be set apart for God’s glory and holy use. All believers are anointed by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 1:21). This anointing enables believers to discern between truth and error. Also this qualifies and empowers them to serve Christ. God has power to heal the brokenness of our lives and restore all things to its completion someday.
The Consecration of the Priests: Exodus 29; 40:12-16. Because God is holy, the priests were to approach Him with dignity and reverence. So Aaron and his sons were dressed with garments of glory and beauty. Aaron is a type of Christ and his sons are the picture of believers. Believers are holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God (1 Pet 2:5, 9). As royal priests we show forth His praises by serving God who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Aaron and his sons were to be brought before the holy God to set them apart for His service. They were washed with water and were clothed with clean linen. This is the picture of believer's washing of regeneration and the imputed righteousness they receive from Christ (Titus 3:5; 1 Cor 1:30). Then the priests lay their hands on the sin offering. This is a picture of transferring their sins to the animal before God. The animal had to be sacrificed for the for forgiveness of their sins. Also a burnt offering was made for them. These sacrifices were consumed by the holy fire and thus they knew that they are accepted by God. As believers in Christ we know that we are accepted in Christ because of His atoning death on the cross. Christ's resurrection is the proof that his atoning death for our forgiveness was accepted by the Father. Then a ram was brought before them and they laid their hands on it. It was killed and its blood was poured out. The blood was applied on the right ear, on the thumb of the right hand and on the great toe of the right foot. This speaks of their devotion to God. They are committed to His word and His serve. They were totally consecrated to the Lord. Paul exhorts believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Rom 12:1, 2). They are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Aaron and his sons were anointed with oil. This is a type of the anointing of believers by the Holy Spirit when they get saved (1 John 2:27). Moses consecrated Aaron and his sons for the ministry in the tabernacle. Moses is a type of Christ our Great High Priest. The priests knew their unworthiness to serve God. So they stood around the brazen altar with hand full of wave offering and praised God. The believers are the recipient of God's infinite grace. God has made us the kingdom of priests to serve and worship Him (Rev 1:6).
The Pillar of Cloud: Exodus 40:34-38. When Moses completed the physical setting of the tabernacle and consecrated, the glory of God descended and filled the tabernacle. The pillar of cloud rested on the mercy seat. This cloud followed Israel throughout their wilderness journey This was the cloud of glory that represents the presence of God in their midst. God desired to dwell among His people (Exodus 25:8; Leviticus 26:11). The pillar that came down from the cloud rested on the mercy seat. Thus they knew that God is present in their midst. This cloud never left them until they reached the promise land. When the cloud lifted from the tabernacle, Israel traveled and when it rested on the tabernacle, people rested in the camp. This cloud speaks of the Holy Spirit. Christians are born again by the Holy spirit. They are also indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13,14). The Holy Spirit abides with them forever and never leaves the church until the the rapture of the church takes place (John 14:16).
Israel on the March: Numbers 10:24-28.