God never intended for the tabernacle nor the temple to be permanent. His intent is that both of them would simply point forward to a true High Priest, Jesus Christ, and God's intended temple, our hearts.
When I lived in Duncan Oklahoma every Monday began the same way. I would run, study and the go and have breakfast with Frank Barnes. Who is Frank Barnes you ask. Well Frank was a "retired" church planter from Washington state who currently was the interim pastor a church of about 20 folks. I simply had the pleasure of being Frank's pastor.
Now, Frank's claim to fame was a Bible study he did over a week in churches called The Tabernacle In The Wilderness. Frank would come into a church, set up the elements of the Tabernacle and teach what each meant. When I first learned of this week long event, being young, arrogant and dumb, I didn't schedule it. For me the thought of it gave me flashbacks of Sunday School dioramas. Honestly, I had a particular distaste for most of the Old Testament. I liked Genesis, but from the second half of Exodus to Malachi I didn't see how it affected me. That was the part of the Bible I just skimmed through.
One Monday morning as I was eating my sausage mcmuffin, frank brought me his notes on the bible study. I began to read over them. One resounding theme came through over and over, the tabernacle was built to show how Jesus Christ would intercede for us. As the priest would walk in, from the incense to the altar every part pointed to God, ultimately in Jesus Christ, creating a way for fallen men to know Him.
On Wednesdays at Memorial Baptist Church we have been going through a year long study called Genesis is about Jesus. We will finish it in a few weeks. After we conclude that study we will move to a new study, Exodus is about Jesus.
Today, Pastor's Challenge friends, as you read over the painstaking detail about the tabernacle, don't miss Jesus. He is the Ark of the Covenant, the mercy seat of God Himself. It is His word that we eat at the table of show bread. He is the true lamp stand lifted up for all to see grace. He is the perfect sacrifice where we go for salvation. He is the great High Priest who continually makes intercession on our behalf.
God gave us the tabernacle and the temple, not to hold on to or reestablish, but instead to point forward to their great fulfillment, Jesus Christ. The temple without Jesus is powerless. It really is all about Jesus.
I ended up scheduling Frank to lead us for a week at our church. Today, because of Frank Barnes, I understand how Jesus is what the WHOLE Bible is all about.