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Completion of the Tabernacle

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So Moses finished the work. Ex. 40:33b

The tabernacle was completed and something unimaginable happened: the cloud of His glory (shekinah) covered and filled it. That image of God’s presence gave direction to His people (Num. 9:15-23) as Moses followed the cloud and the people followed Moses.

Let’s fast forward to the New Testament where we find Jesus talking to the religious leaders:

“If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.” John 5:46 NLT

Moses was the ultimate authority for the Jewish people and a forerunner of Messiah Jesus. Among many examples of his Christ-likeness we know he experienced God several times in a cloud. From Mt. Sinai to the Tabernacle and even after his death, God supernaturally allowed Moses to appear with Jesus within the Transfiguration cloud (Luke 9:28-36). What is it about clouds?

Their appearance is radiant and overshadows whatever is below them; God’s glory is similar. It overshadowed Mt. Sinai, the tabernacle, the temple, the mountain of transfiguration, and most important, Jesus will return on That Day to be reunited with the saints, dead or alive, and meet with Him once more in the clouds (1 Thes. 4:17).

As wonderful as the Tabernacle of Moses was, what we have in Christ is far better for He tabernacles in us.

… even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:17 ESV

As Moses was the image of Christ, so the cloud of glory is the image of the Holy Spirit though He does much more than hover; He fills us (Eph. 5:18):

I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. John 17:22 NLT

This teaching of the Tabernacle seems to picture our life in Christ. As you enter (Entrance Gate), repent (Brazen Altar), and are washed (Laver), you are ready to encounter Jesus Christ. With His light (Lampstand) and spiritual nourishment (Table of Showbread) your heart begins to pray (Altar of Incense) and you freely enter into His grace and mercy (Ark of the Covenant) as you allow His Spirit to lead you with His indwelling presence.

The glory of God in the Old Testament was magnificent but Paul tells us what we have is even better.

Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way.
2 Corinthians 3:8-10 NLT

Moses’ work was finished and so was Jesus’ at the cross. “It is finished.” Live in the power of the Spirit every day for the work is done.

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