After their Exodus from Egypt the people of Israel were on their way to Canaan. Passing through the Sinai Desert they stopped and set up camp near Mount Sinai. The prophet Moses climbed the holy mountain to pray on behalf of the people. On one occasion God said to the prophet (Exodus 25:8):
“Have them [the people of Israel] build a sanctuary for Me, so that I may dwell among them.”* (*Amplified Bible)
These days we provide a sanctuary for animal species on the brink of distinction. But on Mount Sinai God requested a different sanctuary – not to be protected from distinction, but to move into our living space and be near us. Whenever somebody moves in, this will have an impact on us. We make room for this person. However what happens when God moves in? To answer this question let’s study the tabernacle as described in the Old Testament. Following is an inconclusive list of sanctuary items with symbolic meaning:
- The Ark of the Covenant: The ark contained the Law of Moses; Jesus said about Himself that He is the fulfillment God’s law.
- The Mercy Seat: An embodiment of God’s mercy, Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
- The Table for Bread and the Golden Lamp Stand: Jesus publicly said He is the Bread of Life and the Light of the World.
- The Yitzhar – Pure Oil: The olive oil was used for temple sacrifice and the holy anointing oil. The Messiah is the Anointed One who incidentally submitted to the Father’s will in an olive grove, the Garden of Gethsemane.
- The Bronze Altar: Jesus sacrificed His life for us and was the first to rise from the dead.
- The Tabernacle Curtains and Veils: The veil decoration pictures Eden’s Garden Entrance guarded by the Cherubim. Adam and Eve were not allowed to move past the Cherubim after they had sinned; but when the Messiah’s mission on the cross was completed these curtains ripped apart thus indicating we can find our way back to the Garden, back to God’s presence.
Each human being carries a precious sanctuary – the sanctuary of the heart – and this is where the Lord wants to move in. Are we ready for a change of heart? If we accept the Lord’s sacrifice our heart will become move-in ready; and the Spirit of God who moves into our heart will make everything new.