Key Verse: But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. Hebrews 9:11
As the Hebrews walked in the Wilderness, God instructed them to build a special tent called a Tabernacle. God told Moses the exact plans, down to the inch, for how the Tabernacle should be built. Although they didn’t know it at the time, every part of the Tabernacle was a symbol for Jesus (Hebrews 8:5, 9:11). The word Tabernacle means “tent.” It is the same word translated as dwelt in John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling (Tabernacle) among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Tabernacle had three distinct part. The outer part of the Tabernacle was the Courtyard. This is where the people could go.
The heart of the Tabernacle was called the Holy Place. Only the priests could enter here to burn incense and take part in other ceremonies. Inside was a Lamp stand made of pure gold, the lamp gave light inside a dark room. The lamp stand was a symbol of Jesus being the Light of the World. There was also a table with twelve loaves of bread, which represented the twelve tribes of Israel, were placed on this table. Later, Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life (John 6:48).
At the end of the Holy Place was a thick curtain. On the other side of the curtain was ‘The Holy of Holies’. The thick curtain was a symbol of a barrier in the relationship of God to man. Only the high priest could enter and only once per year. When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom, indicating that through Jesus’ sacrifice, all people now had direct access to God.
Vernon McGee, wrote: The Old Testament temple which succeeded the Mosaic tabernacle was marked by partitions. There were three entrances into the three departments: the outer court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. Then there were sections partitioned off for priests, Israel, women, and Gentiles. Christ, by His death, took out the veil, and He became the Way (the outer court), the Truth (the Holy Place), and the Life (the Holy of Holies). Now we come through Christ directly into the presence of God the Father. Those who come to Him are removed from their little departments and are placed in Christ, the new Temple where there are no departments. The Cross dissolves the fences, and the gospel is preached to the Gentiles, those who were afar off, and to the Jews, those who were near. What a picture we have here!