Anyone who has been part of a ministry with a temporary meeting place knows the work that goes into set-up and take-down. When it’s completed for yet another week or month, there’s a sense of fulfillment as Spirit of God moves in your midst. The set-up and take-down of the Tabernacle of Moses was undoubtedly similar, a rigorous and yet fulfilling assignment for the dwelling place of God.
This tent had only one entrance with a curtain hanging to the ground which faced east. Some versions call it a gate; read how Jesus described Himself:
… “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” John 10:7-9 NLT
As we look at the furnishings of the Tabernacle in this series, focusing on the lower and upper story, we find this one gate a picture of Jesus: a foreshadow. Worshippers coming to the Tabernacle were only allowed entrance through this one gate. That’s a truth found in the New Testament as well.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NLT
Jesus was clear; there are not ‘many ways to God’ but only one way, one entrance, and it’s through Him exclusively. That statement of truth is not politically correct but true nonetheless. When a repentant sinner came to the gate of the Tabernacle he entered in a spirit of humility, seeking forgiveness. That’s true of Christian faith as well. Through mercy we are drawn by the Father and through grace we are accepted in Christ.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44 ESV
Ahhh, the last day. Interestingly, the entrance gate was facing east. Why is that important? Another foreshadow of Christ. When He returns on the ‘last day’ He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:3-4) which faces the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
This week think about this one gate that leads to salvation and anticipate His return:
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Psalms 24:7-10 ESV
This is how the Eastern Gate looks today, the entrance is blocked but not much longer.