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was ten cubits and the breadth ten cubits, wherein, before the building of the Temple, the ark of the covenant was kept, which was a symbol of God's presence with the Jewish Church. None but the priests were allowed to enter the “Holy Place,” which they did every morning, to offer incense; and none but the high priests entered “ the Holy of Holies,” and that only once a year, on the great day of expiation. The tabernacle was situated within a large court, one hundred cubits long and fifty broad; in the court were the altar and the brazen laver, the typical nature of which things we shall endeavour to point out.
First then we have the authority of Scripture for saying the tabernacle was typical of the human nature of Christ, “in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The tabernacle was divided into two distinct parts, and yet constituted one house ; just the same as the body of Christ contained two natures, but was one person. In the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, a description of the tabernacle is given, after which the Apostle declares it to be “a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the
1 i. e. on one day.
service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience ; which stood only in meats, and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come, an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, “not of this building;” (ver. 9, 10, 11.) “neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” (ver. 9—14.) Here we have the express assurance of Scripture, declaring the tabernacle to be typical of Christ, which is sufficient for our purpose.
THE ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING was also typical of the Messiah, as is declared by the Apostle. Moses directed this altar to be set apart as “most holy,” which holiness is evidenced by our Saviour's question to the Pharisees : “ Ye fools, and blind, for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift ' ?" In the following quotation the Apostle refers expressly to Christ. “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle 2.” For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burnt without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate ?.” Jesus suffered in the body; hence his body was “the gift,” which He offered upon the altar, whence the Apostle declared that " through the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself without spot to God.” St. Paul's query to the Corinthians is very marked, “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things, live of the things of the temple ? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar 5 ?" Here the Apostle shows, that if Moses 6 allowed the priest to eat of the things of the altar, so likewise should Christian priests be allowed to derive their spiritual maintenance from it.
' Matt. xxiii. 19. ? Heb. xiii. 10. 3 Heb. v. 11, 12. 4 Heb. ix. 14.
51 Cor. ix. 13. • The remains of the Coptic language afford to us a great evidence of the truth of the Scriptures, by yielding an etymology of the name of Moses in exact agreement with that which the book of Exodus gives to us.
THE BRAZEN LAVER. The priests were obliged to wash themselves in the brazen laver, before they performed their appointed duties. Christians also must be washed and made clean, before they can perform any thing acceptable to God. As Jesus Christ gave that which alone could purify us, even his precious blood ', so the laver was a typical purification under the old dispensation. The Psalmist made an express allusion to this washing, when he said “I will wash mine hands in innocency, and so will I compass thine altar, O Lord ?." Isaiah also referred to it when he said, “ Wash
make you clean 5;" and our Saviour was represented by the prophet Zechariah as “a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness 4." This perhaps is the strongest corroboration of the brazen laver being typical of Christ. In Scripture the Messiah is often called a fountain 5; hence Christ described Himself as the fountain of living waters, to which we are invited to come and drink freely, without money and without price. These waters alone can wash away all uncleanness, and they realize in their efficacy the utmost extent of the symbolical meaning, which was attached to the brazen laver and other purifications of the law.
1 See 1 John i. 7.
2 Ps. xxvi. 6.
4 Zech. xiii. 7. Zech. xiii. 1. Rev. xxi. 6.
There are many things belonging to the tabernacle that are typical; but as our object is to dwell upon persons only, we must pass on to the High PRIEST, who in his office was a type of the Messiah, of his intercession, and of his eternal priesthood. The Apostle says, “ The priests that offer gifts according to the law, serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things ?." Aaron, the brother of Moses, and the grandson of Levi’, was the first, who was called under the law to the priestly office. Aaron was anointed with holy oil-Christ also was anointed priest, as well as prophet and king. “The glory” rested upon the person of the High Priest, as it did upon Christ, who continually manifested his glory. The High Priest entered into “the Holy of Holies” once every year—Christ entered into heaven once for all. The Apostle is very express upon this point. “Such an High Priest,” says he," became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore 3." In Scripture Christ is repeatedly called “a High
1 Heb. viii. 4, 5.
2 Numb, xxvi. 59.
3 Heb. vii. 26–28.