In the Old Testament, TaNaK, the Tabernacle was the earthly dwelling of God, resting in the midst of the camps of Israel. The tribes of Israel carried this tent structure with them through the desert as they journeyed. God’s presence rested bodily in the deepest recesses of the structure, the Most Holy Place. The presence of God rested over the ark of the covenant,
“21 The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.”
The High Priest was only permitted to enter this Most Holy Place once a year and then only with sprinkling the blood from the sacrifice of atonement.
The rest of the tabernacle was identified by its furniture which the priests used daily in their service, for the people of Israel, before the Lord.
From a New Testament perspective, Jesus, the anointed, is the perfect High Priest. Having made the perfect sacrifice, Himself on the cross, the veil separating the Holy of Holies was torn, indicating that the way to God was no longer separating the presence of God from the priests as they serve at the furniture in the Tabernacle:
- 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
- 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
- 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
- 19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
As we begin to consider prayer and it’s relationship to the the stations and furniture of the Tabernacle we have to move from the priests of Israel, who served continually in the Tabernacle to those who are Christian, those who have accepted the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus the anointed and have been born of the Spirit of God. As we look at the scriptures there are several places where believers in Christ are named as priests. I offer a few examples:
- 9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
- 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
- 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.
If the priests of old continually entered the Tabernacle, how much more we:
- “6 Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship,”
- 1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
The Old Testament Tabernacle was a physical representation of the spiritual Tabernacle in the heavenlies. It was according to the patterns in the heavens which Moses was shown and which became the models for the earthly construction..
- “30 “Then you shall erect the tabernacle according to its plan which you have been shown in the mountain.”
- 9“ According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it.
This then lays the groundwork for our service before the Lord, our communion, our communication, our prayer, our life in God.