The Tabernacle, The Ark of the Covenant, A Type of Christ, Part 2 - Lesson 20
Now imaging yourself positioned above the tabernacle and looking in every direction and at every item that has physical existence.
Look hard and intently and also remember our lessons thus far and you will come to the conclusion that in everything you see you are given something that will reveal to you Jesus Christ.
For by him, even in the matter of the tabernacle, all things consist and if you look into all things you will see Christ.
The Bible is the Word of God and the Word of God is Christ so everything that God presents in his word is for the purpose of presenting His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ for when you see Christ you will see the Father.
And this presentation is especially clear in the matter of the Ark of the Covenant, that Ark over which God himself dwelt.
In our last lesson we saw the crown of gold atop the ark, surrounding the seat of mercy.
This crown of course is a crown which announces royalty, and that royalty is the royalty of royalties, King Jesus whom John in the book of Revelation declares as the King of King and Lord of Lords.
For he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
This royalty was declared in everything about the Ark, and even in the contents of the Ark for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is the perfect Law keeper as was the Ark of God the keeper of the tables of the Law.
Those tables given to Moses on the mountain top by God were symbolic of Jesus Christ as the keeper of the Law.
Thank God that He is my law keeper for in this flesh I cannot keep the law and if I am to have hope there is only hope in the perfect law keeper, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ kept the law perfectly for we are told in Matthew 5:17, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
As the Ark kept the law, Jesus Christ, the true Ark, kept the law and satisfied the justice of God for the justice of God demanded the shedding of blood for transgression of the Law.
The unbroken tables of stone set forth Jesus as the One who perfectly kept the Law and never broke God's Commandments.
The Bible says that He "committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth."
Our Lord Jesus felt the pressure of temptation at its full intensity yet he never sinned.
In the keeping of the law in the Ark, God revealed to the world the perfect law keeper to come and by the shedding of his blood his law keeping was applied to me and to you.
Now the second item in the Ark, Aaron's rod that budded, also speaks of Jesus Christ.
For the rod had died but supernaturally came to life again.
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life."
Aaron’s rod was a type of Christ for once it was dead but again became alive and budded.
The third item in the Ark, again a type of Christ was the golden pot of manna which spoke of Jesus Christ as the bread of life who came down from heaven to bring food, the Word of God, to a world in darkness, a world dying of hunger for the true bread.
For his bread is not the bread of this world but his bread is the Word of God.
For Jesus Christ in Matthew 4:4 tells us what is the true bread,
……..It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Now even in the story of the Ark being captured by the Philistines seven terror filled months and their wonder at what they should do with the Ark, for keeping it and the curses connected to it was beyond consideration.
The Philistines asked "What shall we do with this Ark?"
Even in this experience of the Ark we find similarity to the predicament of the Pharisees and the scribes as to what they should do with Jesus.
For we read in Luke 6:11, And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
And even in the return of the Ark to Israel from the Philistines, we see a shadow of Christ for there was great rejoicing as it entered the city as there was great rejoicing when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Matthew 21:9,10, And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved.
Another shadow revealed in the Ark concerned the results of its reception when it was brought back to Jerusalem.
Jesus Christ was despised and rejected of men.
That was His reception but that reception brought misery and horror to Israel.
Luke records in Luke 19:41-44 that Jesus wept over the coming destruction and barrenness of Jerusalem saying: and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
The result of rejecting Jesus Christ is destruction and barrenness.
Remember what happened to Michal the daughter of Saul who came out to meet David as he returned to the city rejoicing with the Ark of the Covenant.
She saw not the greatness of the Ark, the cause for David and the people’s celebration, and therefore diminished the coming of the Ark to the city.
Therefore barrenness not only came to her soul but Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
All those who despised the coming of the Ark were smitten with physical barrenness and those who despised and rejected Christ are also left in spiritual barrenness.
Another comparison concerns the travel of the Ark across the Brook Kidron associated with the rejection of King David as he fled from Absalom.
II Sam 15:30, And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
It was in David’s darkest hour, the rebellion of his own son, when the Ark was brought across the brook and this reminds us of Jesus darkest hour when he, the true Ark, crossed the same brook Kidron, with his disciples
John 18:1, When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
Another shadow of Christ is revealed in 1 Sam 4:10 when the Philistines fought and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent.
What did the Philistines take from Israel? They took the Ark of God.
This is a shadow of the taking of Christ in the Garden, for at that taking, the disciples fled.
Matthew 26:56, But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
They fled and left the true Ark of the Covenant to the Philistines of Jesus day, the Pharisees, the scribes and the Romans.
The Philistines said in 1 Samuel 5:8, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?
Pilate also wanted to know what he should do with the true Ark, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 27:22, Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?
So everything about the Ark points to Jesus Christ, the true Ark of God.
The Ark of old went before the people, Jesus, the true Ark, went before the people, as we learn in John 10:4, And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
The Ark of old was positioned in the middle of God's people.
Jesus is in His people as we read in John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
The people were to follow the ark - We are to follow Jesus:
Luke 5:27-28, And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. 28And he left all, rose up, and followed him.
So in example after example in the scriptures, the Ark of the Covenant points to the one and only one who is the preeminent One of God, Jesus Christ, the True and Living Ark for there is none other name given among men whereby ye must be saved.
Now Our next study of the furniture of the Tabernacle requires us to move from the Most Holy Place thru the veil into the Holy Place.
The Holy Place has a floor area twice the size of the Most Holy Place and it also houses more furnishings.
But we will learn of these furnishings in the order that God told of them to Moses in the book of Exodus.
After giving Moses the details of the Ark of the Covenant, God describes a table of shittim wood that Moses is to build.
Exodus 25:23-30, Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits (36 inches) shall be the length thereof, and a cubit (18 inches) the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half (27 inches) the height thereof. 24And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 25And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table. 28And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me alway.
The purpose of the table is given for it is to hold bread at all times and is called the Table of Showbread.
As was the Ark it too was made of shittim wood, overlaid with pure gold.
It was placed directly opposite the Golden Candlestick in the Holy Place, the larger compartment part of the Tabernacle, where priests in addition to the High Priest could enter.
Upon this Table of Showbread were placed 12 loaves of bread, of which the priests of the Tribe of Levi were to partake.
This table is a beautiful type of Christ and His ministry to the Church as the Bread of Life.
This is the first use of the world "table" in the Bible.
The first use of a word is always significant.
In Genesis we see the first sin resulting in man's ruin.
In Exodus we are give a picture of fallen man redeemed by the grace of God.
We see God's grace coming to fallen man to re-establish the severed lines of communion.
God provides the Table for His Priests in His Sanctuary.
All of this brings forth the truth that God has prepared a Table in Christ for His redeemed people, represented by PRIESTS of His Sanctuary under the Mosaic Covenant.
The Priests ate the 12 loaves of bread off the Table, in the Holy Place under the Old Covenant, we partake of THE BREAD OF LIFE, CHRIST, under the New Covenant.
John 6:51, I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
In the construction of the Table in the Old Testament we find it was again like all the other pieces of furniture given by revelation.
It was constructed by the Divine pattern.
After its construction it was set on the NORTH side (the right side as you enter the Holy Place), opposite the Golden Candlestick.
The light of the Golden Candlestick revealed and illumined the Bread and the Table.
The Table is given several names in Scripture. It was called:
· The Table of Showbread (Numbers 4:7)
· The Table of Shittim Wood (Exodus 25:33, 37:10)
· The Pure Table (Leviticus 24:6 - we must be clean by the blood to partake)
· The Table (Exodus 39:36; 40:4,22)
· The Table of God (1 Kings 7:48) - in Solomon's Temple
The Table of Showbread is typical and significant of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as the Bread of Life to His people.
It points to the Table of the Lord or the Communion of the New Testament Church, the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:15-21; 11:23-24) and Matthew 26:26-28.
This Table is what David had in mind when he declared:
Psalm 23:5, Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Its basic foundation was of shittim wood which speaks of the sinless, incorruptible and perfect humanity of Christ.
As already noted, the shittim or acacia wood is translated "incorruptible wood".
Christ Jesus is the ROOT OUT OF DRY GROUND, the Man whose name is the BRANCH.
Christ's incorruptible nature is seen in the barrenness of this world system and is portrayed for us in the Gospels and in the Old Testament.
Zechariah 6:12-13, And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the
LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he
shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
13Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory,
and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his
throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Isaiah 11:1-4, And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.