127/365 days of blogging.
There are all kinds of Christians – Christians who make you wonder, “How can he call himself a Christians?”; Christians who are too busy doing church work to even talk to you; Christians who live a good life, but who never give a word of testimony; Christians who glow.
If you are a Christian, chance are you fit into one of these categories. If you study the word, you will find a parallel for the different Christians, and you will also find yourself.
Around the Tabernacle was a white curtain over eight feet high. It was symbolic of God’s righteousness – pure white and too high for any man to attain. Are you still on the outside? That is where the unsaved wander to and fro, unable to see or understand the peace which the Christian has found behind the curtain.
Once you step within the curtains be believing in Christ, you are in the outer court. There you see the brazen altar. It corresponds to the most simple and widely known Christian experience – the sacrifice of Christ. At the brazen altar, during the Old Testament ritual, the lamb was slain. So as a Christian, the first thing that must be established in our hearts is the sacrifice of Christ, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” It is a blessed relief to have the sin question settled, but Christ has more joys for you. Surely you want to go on!
Your next step will be to the laver where the priest washed their hands. In John15:3 Jesus tells us that “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” Some of us value the Word of God so little that only occasionally do we read it, and then only a few verses. How much we miss! We are almost like the unsaved in our confusion. Our standards are low and questions go unanswered in our hearts. The answers to all our problems are in the Word, for our seeking; yes, and for our obeying. We need to do more than read a verse here and there, claiming the promises we like. We need to read the Bible – the verses we like, and the ones we don’t like – and obey it, that we may come to the full stature of Christian maturity.
The brazen altar and the laver are all there is in the outer court. Some Christians spend their entire lives in the outer court. They think that by having accepted Christ’s sacrifice and having read His Word, they have done all that is required of them.
But Christ offers more. Beyond the outer court is the Holy Place, and there He offers service. During the Old Testament times only the priests were allowed to go in there; but we are “a royal priesthood,” and it is our privilege to go into the place of service.
In the Holy Place three types of service are represented by the table of bread, the candlestick, and incense. the two kinds of service which Christians are most familiar with is the bread, which is communion or breaking of the body of Christ, and the candlestick, which is representative of living our Christian testimony.
God’s Word has said, “Ye are my witnesses.” And whether you realize it or not, once you have accepted Christ, you ARE a witness. You can be a poor, fumbling witness, or you can be the best witness possible. If you teach, your life must rise to your teaching. If you give something to someone, it must not be in the name of your own kindness, but in the name of Christ. To teach without “living the life” is to become a stumbling block. You must both live for Christ and testify for Him.
The third piece of furniture in the Holy Place is the farthest inside and is the altar of incense. It is symbolic of prayer. It is the last service to which most Christians devote themselves. Ah, yes, they pray for what they want – but is this the service of prayer? For how many people, other than your family, doe you pray? For how many of your neighbors, of your business associates? How many missionaries? By name?
However, there was still a third compartment in the Tabernacle – the Holy of Holies. In it was the ultimate glory of God. As the entrance into the Holy of Holies was through the veil. Entrance into the secret of His presence is through suffering. Of the veil, Scriptures say in Hebrews 10:20 “by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,”
To each one of us suffering comes in a different form. To one it is an automobile accident, to another an illness, the loss of a child, or loved one, or lack of money. Perhaps it is living with exacting, fault-finding relatives, or working hard while others receive the credit. Each one thins his trouble is the worst, because the Lord knows how to make the yoke which fits each situation. He knows which kind of suffering, and how much, will develop each situation to its fullest capacity.
Suffering in itself will not make you perfect. It is your attitude toward it which counts. Some people suffer and become bitter. Others suffer and become stronger in their faith.
The Christian life is one of variety, with a place for each one of us. At different times in our lives, we serve in different places. And the pattern of the Tabernacle shows you exactly where you are serving the glorious Lord. Are you serving the Lord as you should? I pray that you will have a deep desire to be all that God desires you to be. To be the kind of Christian who becomes an example to others of the joy, the patience, the consistency that characterizes a true child of God.