by Scott Kaczorowski
Kevin Aker once said in a lecture about the tabernacle: “The tent was the place of meeting. Christ is our place of meeting.”1 That statement perfectly summarizes and captures the essence of what the tabernacle was–an expression of God’s desire to meet with His people (along with His provisions and instructions to make that possible) and a picture of the ultimate meeting of God with His people that can only happen in and through Christ.
The tabernacle is a an interesting phenomenon. It was a place to meet with God. But the design layout with increasing levels of holiness and unapproachablity as one moved towards the Holy of Holies also sent the message that there is only so far that the people could go. The tabernacle both provided a place to meet with God, but also in a way separated them from God. The presence of God would dwell in the inner sanctum, the most holy place, very significantly partitioned off by a veil. There the people could not go. Only the high priest was allowed entrance there and even then but one day a year and with very specific instructions on how he was to approach (Leviticus 16). When Jesus died, it was the corresponding veil in the temple that was torn: “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51). Free access to a holy God had been granted to all.
Because of Jesus we can meet with God and shelter ourselves in Him in the midst of the storms of life. As David says: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:4-5). This is the reality for those of us who are in Christ: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).
1Kevin Aker, lecture, Falling in Love Again with Your Lord for Men, November 13, 2013.