Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3

Types of Christ in the Tabernacle

Hebrews 9


·         The new covenant mentioned in ch. 8 demands a new sanctuary!

·         The old covenant was tied to a priesthood, sacrifices and a sanctuary/tabernacle

·         So also, the new covenant is tied to a new tabernacle, a new priesthood and new sacrifice which is much better!

·         The OT was all about temporary things. (see v. 8- not yet)

·         So the tabernacle in heaven is referred to as "the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man" (8:2) and the "greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands" (Heb. 9:11).

·         All of this was a symbol of the real- something bigger and better! See Hebrews 10:1

·         The tabernacle was a miniature and picture of what’s happening in Heaven! (8:2, 9:11)

·         Imagine being a Jew and reading this! No wonder the author remained anonymous!

·         There is a Temple in Heaven: Revelation 11:19 says, "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament."

·         Our Lord's work on the cross is finished, and now He is "ministering" in the true tabernacle in heaven (8:2).


I.                    The Old Covenant’s tabernacle and its furnishings- v. 1-5

a.      Worldly- earthly, physical, material compared to the heavenly tabernacle

b.      The materials might be fine and costly; still they were material, and as such were liable to wax old and vanish away (even the Temple in its splendor! Sheba visiting, etc.)

c.       The tabernacle was a tentlike structure in which God dwelt among the Israelites from their encampaent at Mt. Sinai, through the wilderness wanderings and entering into the Promised Land, until the building of Solomon’s Temple.

d.      Solomon said, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”

e.      Fully described in Exodus 25ff, the Bible tells us it was 45 feet long, 15 feet wide and 15 feet high

f.        The first part was the Outer Court. This was as far as the average Israelite could even go

                                                              i.      As they would enter they would come to the altar of burnt offerings where the animals were slain and a laver where the priest washed their hands and feet.

g.      The Tabernacle itself contained two sections: the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place

h.      The Holy Place contained 3 items of furniture

                                                              i.      Golden candlesticks/lampstand- This candlestick (lampstand) was very important because there were no windows in the tabernacle.

1.      The golden candlestick was a picture and type of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus said in John 8:12 and 9:5, "I am the light of the world."

2.      It’s also a picture of the Church which Christ indwells! Philippians 2:15

3.      They had to always be burning with the oil contained in them- picturing the Holy Spirit

                                                            ii.      Table of shewbread- twelve cakes of bread representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The priests ate the shewbread, picturing believers who feast on Christ, the Bread of life. John 6:25, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." He is our portion!

i.        Then separated by a veil, was the next section- the Most Holy Place/Holiest of All

                                                              i.      Golden censer- for burning incense

                                                            ii.      The Ark of the Coveant

j.        The Ark was made of wood. Inside the ark were the golden pot that had manna (Exodus 16:33), Aaron’s rod that budded (Numbers 17:6-11), and the tablets of the covenant (Exodus 25:16).

k.       The ark of the covenant was covered with a golden lid -- "overlaid round about with gold" (9:4).  This lid was called "the mercy seat" (9:5).

l.        At the two ends of the mercy seat were the two cherubims of glory (9:5). They too were made of gold.   These two cherubims stretched forth their wings -- "shadowing the mercy seat" (9:5).

m.    On the Day of Atonement the blood of sacrifice was sprinkled upon it for the forgiveness of Israel’s sin (Exodus 25:17-22).

n.      As God looked down into the ark, He saw the symbols of Israel’s sin, rebellion, and failure. But when the blood of sacrifice was applied to the mercy seat, God saw that blood covering over the sin of Israel, and He looked at the blood instead of the sin of Israel.

o.      The mercy seat was the throne of God where His presence would dwell!

p.      In the sanctuary you have not only the ark of the covenant, the tables of the law, the mercy-seat, and the cherubim shadowing it, but the visible symbol of the Divine presence. God was there. And thus are we shown that all things are of Him, and by Him, and for Him. The tables of the law declared His will; the mercy-seat was His throne; the cherubim were His servants; the holiest of all was His “resting-place” (2 Chronicles 6:41)

q.      The Ark of the Covenant disappeared off of the pages of history by the time of the Babylonian Captivity. Nothing in the Bible is said about the Ark in the Old Testament after the return from Babylon. So there was no ark in the Second Temple!

r.       During the Tribulation the Temple will be rebuilt again- with or without the ark!

s.       This is the first mention of the Ark in some time, and then also in Revelation, the Ark is seen by John in heaven.

II.                  The sacrifices and priestly service- v. 6-10

a.      The priests, as appointed, went daily into the holy place to perform priestly functions such as tending the lampstand and replacing the showbread.

b.      But the “holy of holies” was entered only once a year by the high priest alone, on the Day of Atonement.

c.       We have spent much time describing the significance of this and the contrast with Christ’s once for all sacrifice. He brought the blood directly to the Father!

d.      Note v. 8-10. The Holy Spirit was showing that there was imperfect access at this time, and anticipating something that would be perfect which was to come!

e.       The Holy Spirit in the OT repeats: “Not yet” until the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and offered up Himself!

f.        V. 8-10-Note the word conscience. The OT sacrifices- were temporary, outward ceremonial cleansing, not for the inward man 

g.      All that the O.C. could do was address external things. They were only ceremonially clean. The blood of these animals by themselves could not take away sin, it couldn’t fix your nature! Hebrews 10:4

h.      It was not perfect, and it was not permanent

i.        Luke 11:39- cleaning the outside of the cup alone! Ex. Abraham- justified by faith.

j.        Only through Christ’s blood are we made completely clean! I John 1:7

k.       How then were sins forgiven in the OT? We will examine that in the next several messages.

III.                The Types of Christ in the Tabernacle

a.      The tabernacle in the wilderness was a movable tent.  It is a picture and type of Christ

                                                              i.       God comes down among His people and the glory is domesticated in this temporary structure

                                                            ii.      With all of its furniture carefully delineated and described

                                                          iii.      What a dwelling place it was! But it still could not contain the glory of God. It did not contain God, but God filled it!

b.      See John 1:14. His name was Emmanuel- God with us!

c.       The tabernacle was a tent that dwelt among the other tents of the children of Israel. This is a beautiful principle of God’s desire to dwell among His people to lead them and guide them.

d.      He is with you in the wilderness!

e.      A symbol of God’s desire for restoration and reconciliation

f.        A symbol of God’s presence with His people

                                                              i.      Jesus came and “tabernacled” among men- the word was with God- and now so will we!

                                                            ii.      Emmanuel- Israelites could look at that tent and say God with us

                                                          iii.      Jesus before His ascension said I’ll send another Comforter

g.      Here we are tonight plodding through the wilderness pitching our tent here and there- the great privilege we have is that God knows what it’s like to be in a tent in the wilderness! He is right there with us! This is the presence of God.

h.      Rev. 21:3


·         Christ is not only the Tabernacle but Himself is the sacrifice for our sins, and He is our High Priest who is our access to God’s throne.

·         If Christ is the fulfilment of all this symbolism then may we read through the O.T. scriptures with even more intrigue so that they may show us Christ! We look at the pictures and say, We would see Jesus!