Summary: Since Jesus became flesh and lived among us for a while, he gives us the power to overcome the struggles of this life.
Jesus Fulfills God’s Promise
INTRODUCTION: There are things that we struggle with. How do we deal with them? How do we change?
I. Description of first tabernacle & ministry that took place there.(1-8)
A. Everything about it was pomp & circumstance – meaningful, but only symbolically.
1. The furnishings all were physical symbols of spiritual realities.
2. Even the Ark of the Covenant and the articles inside were physical things with no inherent value but what they symbolized – the presence of God. There is a theme of God’s presence related to the use of the word skene in the NT.
B. The sacrifices that took place were antitype of Christ’s sacrifice – just to show that forgiveness would be completely accomplished through the shedding of blood.
ILLUSTRATION: The ministry of the Tabernacle and the Temple was like washing a junk car. Looks good to the outwardly, but there is nothing on the inside consistent with the outward appearance. They were getting a wash, wax, maybe even a detail job. They needed a complete overhaul of everything mechanical. What the OT could not do was change the heart. Sinful people need a heart change.
ILLUSTRATION: A sapling that is planted has support. The support makes sure the tree grows straight. It cannot get crooked because it has definite boundaries. When the tree grows strong enough the supports are removed and the tree remains straight. Why? Because it is stronger inside. Something changed in the inside. The OT Law and sacrifice system created the support system for God’s followers. The boundaries they had as described by Moses were obvious, as were their transgressions of those boundaries. The purpose was to keep them straight so God would be honored. It didn’t work because those boundaries were still broken. The nation of Israel never “kept straight”; therefore, never honored God as they should have. As long as the law, tabernacle & sacrificial system stood, the inward changes were not wrought. It took the new covenant brought by Jesus to change us inside. (Cf. 8:10-12).
II. In order to change us inwardly we need a priest who ministers completely –not with only outward support, but with inward change as well.
A. We still have the outward demands. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17 We still have those outward supports (e.g. the Ten Commandments). Jesus goes beyond the Ten Commandments.
B. Jesus goes through a heavenly tabernacle
1. Jesus was the tabernacle – God’s presence on the earth. (Cf. John 1:14 Greek word skenoo, translated “lived among us” is cognate of skene, Greek word for “tabernacle” – God’s presence in the wilderness.
2. This will be repeated in an even more complete way in the new Jerusalem. “Now the dwelling (skene) of God is with men, and he will live (skenoo) with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:3
C. Jesus redeems us with his own blood
APPLICATION: God’s presence through Jesus & Jesus’s shedding of his own blood does something inside that moves us to service & devotion. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I know what it is like. Rachel & Zachary get to do things that Abbey cannot do b/c of her age. They were invited by a friend to their pool. Abbey was left out. I was looking forward to relaxing in relative peace & quiet. Abbey thought she was going to swim also. Something touched me inside, so I offered to take her to the park to play in the sprinkler. Abbey stirred love inside of me. I don’t want her to be hurt. Jesus’s acts of love toward me do the same thing. It stirs me to action. “We love because He first loved us.” I John 4:19