Spiritual Meaning inside the Tabernacle

The tabernacle was the center of spiritual life for the Israelites during their time in the wilderness. At first glance, it may seem like just a tent for worship. But a deeper look reveals profound spiritual symbolism in every detail of its design and contents.

As we explore the tabernacle’s layers of meaning, we uncover secrets about God’s nature, his relationship with humanity, and his ultimate plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Overview of the Tabernacle’s design and contents

The tabernacle was a sacred tent, considered the earthly dwelling place of God among his people. The design came directly from God himself (Exodus 25:9). It had an outer courtyard and two inner sacred rooms – the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.

The courtyard contained the bronze altar for burnt offerings and the bronze basin for ceremonial washing. Inside the Holy Place stood the gold lampstand, the table for the bread of the Presence, and the altar of incense.

The innermost sanctuary was the Most Holy Place, which housed the very presence of God manifest over the gold-plated Ark of the Covenant. No one could enter here except the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement.

Contents reflect God’s ideals

The contents and layout reveal God’s ideals. The bronze furnishings outside show judgement and sacrifice needed before drawing near to God. The gold vessels inside represent divine life, light, and God’s loving provision.

Progressing inward shows increasing holiness, access limited according to one’s spiritual position. The entire tabernacle is a physical picture of spiritual realities about approaching the presence of God.

Symbolic meaning behind the Tabernacle’s three sections

The tabernacle’s three sections present a spiritual progression. The outer court represents the world and conviction of sin. The Holy Place depicts the spiritual life of priests having access to God’s provisions. The Most Holy Place signifies heavenly realities and intimacy with God above.

Outer court and altar

Entering the tabernacle’s outer gate brings an awareness of sin and judgement, pictured by the bronze furnishings. The first stop is the bronze altar, representing the cross of Christ – the only place sin can be atoned for.

Just as animal sacrifices were fully consumed there, we surrender wholly to God to receive forgiveness and cleansing from sin at the cross. This prepares us to move closer to God’s presence within.

The Holy Place

Those who receive forgiveness can progress further as priests of God, depicted in the Holy Place. The lampstand illumines His Spirit and word. The bread of the Presence nourishes us and the altar of incense depicts worship and prayers ascending to God continually.

These provisions transform believers into a royal priesthood who can partake of God’s blessings (1 Peter 2:9). Maintaining faithful access allows even deeper intimacy.

Most Holy Place

Behind the final veil was the awe-inspiring manifest presence of God above the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. This depicts heavenly mysteries and deep intimacy with God for those who follow the veil’s path.

Only Christ the heavenly high priest can bring us there as He intercedes for us beyond the veil (Hebrews 6:19-20). One day the veil will split, and we can ascend into God’s glory forever!

The spiritual significance of key Tabernacle furniture

Key artifacts in the tabernacle symbolize spiritual concepts about relating to God. As the central shrine of Jewish worship, the tabernacle’s layout and ritual provided a template representing greater unseen spiritual realities.

The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant represents the literal throne of God on earth. Visible above the gold-plated Ark was the shekinah glory cloud, God’s manifested presence. It epitomizes the peak of divine communion possible with God.

It also held stone tablets containing the 10 commandments as well as Aaron’s rod that budded, picturing God’s sovereign word and rule.

The altar of Incense

The fragrant incense diffused from this golden altar depicts the sweet-smelling prayers of God’s people ascending to Him on heaven’s throne. Corporately and individually, we offer up the sacrifice of continual worship and heartfelt prayer.

This underlines how God cherishes deep communion as our prayers intertwine in His presence (Revelation 8:3-4).

The lampstand

The gold lampstand with seven branches depicts God’s perfect Spirit and word illuminating all who enter. He desires to enlighten every priest who fellowships with Him there through understanding His Spirit and truth (John 4:24).

Just as natural light radiated in the Holy Place via the lampstand day and night, God unceasingly shines spiritual light for those who draw near into His blessings in the tabernacle.

Deeper meaning of the sacrificial system related to the Tabernacle

The tabernacle’s sacrificial system symbolizes how sin excludes us from God’s presence. It also illustrates Christ’s sacrifice that allows us to access God’s presence continually by grace.

Purpose of sacrifices

The sacrificial system centered around the bronze altar emphasizes several key spiritual themes. First, the wages of sin is death, requiring blood atonement (Romans 6:23). Second, substitutionary sacrifice is needed to bear judgement in the sinner’s place.

Third, only spotless animals represent acceptable offerings. And fourth, full, sincere surrender is shown by burnt offerings consumed wholly on the altar.

Fulfillment in Christ

All these sacrifices ultimately point to salvation through Christ’s FINAL atoning work on the cross. Jesus’ spotless spiritual sacrifice eternally sanctifies those who fully surrender their lives to Him.

Now through faith in Christ, ordinary believers can continually approach God’s throne with confidence as members of a holy priesthood (Hebrews 4:16).

How the tabernacle’s layers reveal God’s divine plan

Finally, the tabernacle illustrates a beautiful progression into deeper intimacy with God through His prescribed path. As we journey from the gate to the Most Holy Place, we discover His ideals about sin, salvation, spiritual growth and worship.

God’s presence in stages

Progressing inward through the tabernacle shows there are stages in approaching God’s presence. His holiness requiresPassing through the gate brings conviction of sins keeping us from Him. Then after receiving forgiveness through sacrifice on the altar, we become newly baptized priests with access to God’s provision in the Holy Place as redeemed saints.

And for those who faithfully follow God’s patterns and seek deeper communion, He reveals heavenly secrets and intimacy with Him in the Most Holy Place beyond the veil.

As an earthly replica of God’s heavenly dwelling, the detailed tabernacle blueprint reflects divine truths. Through its structured layout, artifacts and sacrificial system, it models deeper worship, holiness, prayer and intimacy with God.

If we follow the Spirit’s illumination while studying it, we discover amazing secrets about growing closer to our Creator as beloved, forgiven, and sanctified saints.