Summary: The study of the tabernacle Part 2 the Curtains
One Way – The Curtains of the Tabernacle June 22, 2005
By Rodney A. Fry – Pastor New Hope Baptist Church
"There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites" (Exod. 25:22 NIV).
Exodus 26: 1-14
Several weeks ago we started looking at the tabernacle let’s start back into this study.
Lets recap we presented a bird’s-eye view of the tabernacle, or the tent of worship, which God instructed Moses to build. We listened as God told Moses why he was to build this unusual tent with all of its furnishings. We saw the symbolism of each piece of furniture as it spoke prophetically of the coming Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Tonight we will focus on the curtain of the tabernacle.
I. The fence enclosing the courtyard (Exod. 27:9)
A. The amazing thing we discover about this fence is that it was not constructed of boards or slats; rather, finely woven white linen was hung between the posts.
But then, before we consider the curtained fence itself, we might ask: Why was this outer court necessary, since God actually dwelt inside the building, in the Holy of Holies? With all other things considered, it would appear that the outer court says that God demands separation from the world. There had to be a place where the priest could become "separate" before entering God’s presence, because God cannot tolerate sin.
This does not mean that God expects his people to withdraw and be cut off from the world. We are "in" the world, just as the tabernacle was in the midst of the people. But we should be obviously different from the world in a refreshing sort of way. We should have something unbelievers cannot find in their own lives or in the world.
Certainly this was so with Jesus No life ever lived on earth was more "separate," more different than his. Yet he was constantly mingling with the people, rubbing shoulders with them, giving himself to them.
B. The panels of this fence were made of white linen, a pure color representative of righteousness.
Concerning the church, the Scripture declares, "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (Rev. 19:8). Thus, the indication is that the courtyard was encircled with the righteousness that God demands. We cannot provide this for ourselves; God provides it for us.
Before we can come into his presence in prayer, we must be surrounded by and enveloped in the righteousness of his Son.
C. The posts that supported these linen panels were high enough that no one could climb over them.
No person could scale this "fence of righteousness" on his own; he had to enter by the gate God had provided. People still would rather enter God’s presence by their own method, by way of their own good works.
As we walk around that white linen fence, too tall to climb over, we feel a sense of hopelessness. First, the brilliant whiteness of it blinds us; we cannot look at it. We are cut off! God is inside, and he is perfect and sinless. We are outside, and in spite of our finest efforts, we still fall far short of God’s quality of goodness. Any way you look at it, it seems to be an impossible situation.
II. As We circle the courtyard, we come to the east end, and there we find one gate, and only one (Exod. 27: 16).
A. There was no other entrance to this courtyard, just as there is no other way to God The Father except through Jesus Christ (John 10:7-9).
The one gate points to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only way of salvation. Throughout the New Testament we find abundant evidence and references to the fact that Jesus Christ is human kind’s only hope for salvation. .
B. There were four colors in the curtains of this gate-blue, purple,
scarlet, and white.
All through the tabernacle we shall find these colors. They too represent the Lord by symbolizing several characteristics of his being.
I. Blue is the color of heaven; it speaks of Christ’s heavenly character.
He was with God before he came to earth.
II. Purple, which is a mixture of scarlet and blue, was the color most frequently associated with royalty. So this color pointed to Jesus as the King.
As a mixture of blue and scarlet, the purple color also pointed to Christ as the one who combined the heavenly nature he had with the sacrifice for sin-the shedding of his blood.
III. Scarlet is the color of blood. This color in the curtains of the gate looked forward to Jesus, who would come and give his life and shed his blood on the cross for our sins.