In Christ and the Desert Tabernacle J. V. Fesko demonstrates how—far from being boring or uninteresting—the Old Testament Tabernacle and later the temple in Solomon’s day—are a shadowy picture of Christ and the church. Fesko draws connections between Jesus and the sacrificial animals, as Jesus is identified as the one and only true sacrifice who takes away our sins (Heb. 8–10; 1 John 2:2). Fesko goes on to display how the Old Testament Tabernacle is an entire world of references, allusions, foreshadowing Christ and the church.
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“When we consider, however, that twelve thousand murex snails were required to yield 1.4 grams of purple dye, all of a sudden the great value of these materials becomes evident.” (Page 14)
“Christ was the ultimate manifestation of God’s presence in the midst of his people. The apostle John tells us: ‘And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us’ (John 1:14, my translation). Because Christ has come, God no longer dwells in a tabernacle made with human hands but in the temple of his people: ‘In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit’ (Eph. 2:22). We, the church, both individually and corporately, are the final temple, the final dwelling place of God. Just as God placed the copy of the law within the ark within the tabernacle, so too he writes the law upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33–34). God places his law within our hearts, his dwelling place.” (Pages 26–27)
“It is interesting that the instructions for the construction of the tabernacle begin, not with the actual tabernacle itself but the Ark of the Covenant. This is most likely so because the ark represented the supreme symbol of God’s presence in Israel’s midst after the exodus.” (Page 21)
“Quite literally, the Ark of the Covenant, especially the mercy seat, was the throne of God on earth—heaven come down.” (Page 23)
“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf’ (Heb. 9:24). So, then, when we look at the temple, we should realize that we are not only looking at a shadowy image of Christ and the church but we are, in a manner of speaking, looking at a piece of heaven on earth.” (Page 15)