Let them construct a Sanctuary for me so that I can live among them. You are to construct it following the plans I’ve given you, the design for The Dwelling and the design for all its furnishings. Exodus 25:8-9 (TM)
When most casual readers get to this part of of Exodus, it’s easy to lose interest. What’s with all this Sanctuary stuff and all the instructions for making furniture? What does that have to do with anything?
God is an artist. He expresses Himself in metaphors. For worship, He gives the nation of Israel three word pictures that foreshadow the climactic moment of history (his-story, if you prefer):
- A chest (better known as "the ark of the covenant", ala Indiana Jones!) which contained the Word, just as the world would discover that Jesus is the living Word.
- A table for the bread of Presence (manna), just as Jesus would be the table on which would be set the bread (his body) and the wine (his blood) through which we are allowed to be in God’s presence.
- A lampstand, just as Jesus is the Light of the World and sets us as a lampstand to light the way for others to see Him.