Introduction: This text has a practical application because it is about worship. Something we are all engaged in.
The established norm is not the ultimate reality. Galileo was a man who pushed through the established norm with conflicting, yet truthful observations of reality.
The verses in our text read something like a parable. This real life situation teaches a spiritual truth. The more we learn about the Tabernacle, the more we understand Jesus.
The Eastern gate is significant. Why? Scripture uses many illustrations of the "East." Adam and Eve were cast out East of the Garden of Eden. Cain was driven East. David was driven East. When the glory of the Lord departed the temple in the Old Testament, He departed by way of the Eastern gate. Judah camped by the Eastern gate.
I. Verses 1-7
A significant theme of the Tabernacle is God communicating to us, "I am with you." But God also says, through the illustration of the Tabernacle, "I am inaccessible."
The alter represented death, (a sacrifice).
The laver represented cleanliness, (removal of sin).
The lamp burned continuously, (God is the light of the world).
The table of show bread, (provision of sustenance for God's people).
The incense represented the prayers of God's people, (God hears).
The curtain blocked entrance into the Most Holy Place, (the inapproachability of God).
The Ark of the Covenant contained the Law, golden vessel of manna, and Aaron's budding rod. These items may represent means of grace in the church, law=word, manna=sacraments, buddding rod=discipleship.
II. Verses 8-10
Physical barriers were representative of the spiritual barriers that existed between God and his people. The real barrier is an unloving heart and a guilt ridden conscience so seared because of evil it cannot approach it's Holy Maker.
Because Jesus never sinned he has a pure conscience. He teaches us to worship. That is why Christ is the only way to God.
What would it take to be right with God? The Hebrews were tempted to think more sacrifices would do it. More bread on the table of show bread, more priests, etc. But what would it take for us to be right with God? Only the blood of Jesus can atone for sin. Anything else is an adding to the perfect sacrifice that has already been made by the perfect priest.