I wrote this email to a friend of mine a few weeks ago as I was reading in Exodus. I was taken with the preparations for the tabernacle and instead of breezing by the details (like I have done in the past), I soaked them in and wondered why God had given such detail that we must read about it now. In light of today being Good Friday, I thought I’d share what my heart learned then and is still marinating in now.
* * *
As I was reading Exodus, I read the building of the Tabernacle different than I had before. Previously when I had read about it, I just thought that the passage went into a little too much detail (do I really need to know how many loops were necessary for the
curtain?!). And yes, I knew it was the earthly ‘residence’ of God. But, I guess it was a heart vs. head knowing. I knew God dwelled there but I didn’t KNOW what that really required/meant.
So when I was reading this time, I drank in the richness of the Tabernacle. I soaked in the beauty of what was created: the labor, the luxurious metals and cloths, the elaborate decorations and carvings. It’s like my heart was yearning for its beauty. And then it hit me: I need to know this detail to grasp how insufficient this sinful world is for God. He had to give specific instructions to make the Tabernacle as holy and perfect as possible so it was WORTHY of His presence.
And then I thought about the crucifixion and how the curtain in the Temple was ripped top to bottom. The Holy of Holies was exposed
to people initiated by God to us. All the beauty, elaborate decorations, and sacredness of the Tabernacle was personified in the
death of Christ. I know Jesus mediates between us and God; I know through Him is salvation but I guess I had missed this subtle yet important purpose He fulfilled. When you read about it in Exodus, you see that it took much preparation to create something good enough for God to dwell in. That Christ stepped in to fulfill that purpose, to remove the barrier, I guess I’m just realizing what that REALLY means.
And then on top of it, to think that now our bodies are the temple. I can assure you my heart and my body does not reflect the beauty and preparation that the Tabernacle did in the desert. I’m thankful there is grace in that but also know I will forever be redecorating with
more Christ-like beauty.
So, in light of these thoughts, I just am in more awe than before. I find myself with wordless prayers as my heart tries to understand what God sacrificed just to let me love Him often on my own terms. This perspective makes past decisions and current frustrations seem superfluous and petty. It’s like I’m just realizing for the first time the depth of the price He paid. I know it sounds kind of silly..how could I NOT realize this earlier?! Maybe it’s more that I understood most of the parts but now as the parts are becoming more of a whole I realize I didn’t actually appreciate it.