For this week we will look at an old series on the Tabernacle and how it showed us Christ is the Old Testament. This was my favorite series to write and it was really amazing studying it all!
There are so many people in the Bible who are “shadows of Christ”. In fact, there are so many that I have started an entire section on the subject and within a year or two, I’d like to move that all to its own website. However, for now, I will stick with writing about it here.
There are many people that represent Christ, but, there are also many, many objects in the Bible that represent Him. One of these images comes from the Tabernacle, which is home to one of the most holy objects in the Old Testament: the Ark of the Covenant.
Although we won’t talk about the ark today, I would like to talk about the Tabernacle and how it shows us an image of Christ.
First of all, to start the process of the making of the Tabernacle, God commanded the people to give “an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass . . .” (Exodus 35:5)
Gold was a future sign of Christ’s royalty. He would be as pure gold, and would rule forevermore as King of kings. Nothing quite says “royalty” as gold does.
Silver represents the price Christ would be paid for. He would be betrayed to satisfy man’s lust of money and evil. From the same silver that Joseph was sold into slavery, to the silver that made the Tabernacle, to the silver that Christ was betrayed for . . . it all represented a sacrifice that had been taken.
Now, the brass was a sign of Christ’s taking our iniquities on Him. The Hebrew word for brass can also mean filthiness. In the same way that the Israelites sacrificed their brass (filthiness) to God, so did Christ sacrifice His life with that brass (filthiness/sin) from the people of the world.
Next, the people were to offer, “blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair . . .” (Exodus 35:6)
Blue, at least in the Hebrew word used here, was a color taken from a certain type of mussel. As we all know, mussels are nasty things that literally destroy the livelihood of many. So, the blue represented another destructive force thrown on Christ: suffering.
Purple, again, represented His royalty. Remember that the people mocking Christ threw a purple robe on Him, hailing Him as a King. However, they didn’t really believe He was King. So, although purple represents royalty, it also tells a sad fact of Christ’s life.
Now, when we reach scarlet, we find something I found extraordinary. In this verse there are two words for the word “scarlet”, the only time (except for Exodus 25:4 where it is saying the same thing) this ever occurs in Scripture. One word means scarlet and the other means a worm or maggot.
Remember the verse in Isaiah 1:18:
“Come now, and let us reason together,” saith the LORD: “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
The red, scarlet appearance of our sin eats away what is good like a maggot or worm would. We are full of red sin and maggots. It is no wonder God used those words. And, you want to know something else extraordinary? The word “crimson” in the Isaiah verse is the same as the maggot word!
What are the chances that two different words appear in the same verses that talk about the tabernacle, a shadow of Christ, and redemption, a shadow of Christ? I wouldn’t call that a chance!