Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Metals of the Tabernacle of Moses Are a Parable of Jesus Christ

The metals used in the tabernacle speak of Christ in a very particular manner. These metals were gold, silver and brass. “And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,” (Ex 25:3). Each type, in turn, addresses a particular aspect of the person of Jesus.

Gold: Exodus 25:11, 17
“And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. ... 17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.”
The Gold of the Tabernacle is a parable of Jesus. Gold, in this instance for its purity and indestructibility, is representative of the deity of Christ. Throughout the Bible, gold is used in worship of Yahweh and pagan gods, as well. One often finds idols made from gold. The Ark of the Covenant being described, here, is no idol; but it is the throne of Yahweh God in the earth, and, as such, is representative of His royal deity. When the Magi visited the Christ child, the first item out of their treasures, as a gift to baby Jesus, was gold. Just as the gold of the Tabernacle speaks of the deity of Yahweh (and by extension, Jesus), so does the golden gift of the Wise-Men reference the Deity that entered our world at Bethlehem.

Silver: Exodus 26:19
“And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons.”
The Silver of the tabernacle is a parable of Jesus, in that it represents Him as the God-man who has come to redeem fallen creation back to God. This is shown in a particular way in that the silver was required from the Israelites as ransom money: “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12 “When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs). The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. 14 Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering to the Lord. 15 The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves. 16 And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves” (Ex 30:11-16, NKJV). In that silver is the metal associated with redemption, and since Hebrews tells us that the Tabernacle and its services are a parable of Christ, we then consider how that through the person of the Incarnation (the God-man), mankind is redeemed by the blood covenant which involves both the blood of God and man. Since His coming into our world involved a condescension for the God of Heaven, this mode of the Godhead (i.e. the Son) is properly represented by silver. The condescension is demonstrated by the descending value of the silver from the gold. How well the Apostle Paul writes about this very thing: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil 2:5-8). Note: The Greek word ἐκένωσεν (ekenōsen: translated by the KJV as “made himself of no reputation,”) in this text, does not mean He stopped being God, only that He laid aside His prerogatives as God in order to experience the things needful to facilitate redemption. The New Living Translation gives a very clear rendering in English: “Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,”

Brass: Exodus 26:37; 30:17 and 27:2
“And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them” —Exodus 26:37.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein” —Exodus 30:17.
And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass” —Exodus 27:1-2.
The brass of the Tabernacle is a parable of Jesus. In the texts above, we see the brass that forms sockets into which the five pillars rest at the door of the tent (Ex 26:37);  we see the brass which makes the Laver for the water, for the washing of the priests (Ex 30:17); we, also, see the brass of the Altar of Burnt Offering, also called the Altar of Holocaust (Ex 27:1-2). From the brass that is less than silver (which, in its turn, is less than gold), we are permitted to see a parable of Jesus the Man.
So much of the time, I fear, we are promoting  the deity of Christ at the expense of His humanity. Here, in the brass (the basest of the metals used in the Tabernacle) we do truly see the humanity of Jesus:  
  • The brass as the foundation of the “door,” to the tent proper, presages the Jesus declaration: “I am the Door;”
  •  “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (NKJV).
  •  If we are to attain to God, it must be accomplished by going through the MAN Christ Jesus. 
  • In the brass of the Laver (made from the mirrors of the Israelite women, and was the place of washing for the priests), we see Jesus the man who became the righteousness of God for all men.  The laver was the place of self-inspection (e.g. the priest washed there). Since the laver was made from the mirrors, self-examination is implied. Worshippers of Yahweh can only do self-examination by comparing themselves to Jesus the Man—not Jesus the God. So, here is the man—represented by the brass—who would be tempted in all points as we, yet without sin. It is to the image of the human Christ that His worshippers may compare themselves and judge their own righteousness.
  • Finally, we come the the outer most item of the Tabernacle floor plan: the Altar of Holocaust. This altar is also called the “Brazen Altar,” because of the brass used in its making. Here, is where the sacrifice is offered and burned. This presages the work of Christ as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. God could not do this. The Sacrifice for the human family must be flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone. The services and activity of this brass altar spoke of a Kinsman Redeemer—one from our own kindred.

In the brass (viewed above) is foretold the office of the Son of Man. This work could only be performed by one of our own. Paul would write about it to Timothy this way: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Tim 2:5).

Apostolically Speaking
☩ David Ignatius

Read other essays by the Bishop on the Tabernacle of Moses:

Godhead Theology of the Tabernacle of Moses (Introduction)

The Color Scheme Of The Tabernacle of Moses Is A Parable of Jesus Christ:

The Furniture Of The Tabernacle of Moses Is A Parable of Jesus Christ:

The Ark of the Covenant and its Contents are a Parable of Jesus Christ:

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Excerpted from the author's book entitled "Godhead Theology." Published by Seven Millennium Publications. Order your personal copy today:

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