The Covering of the Tabernacle

Exodus 36:1-13


There were four layers of material that covered the tabernacle. The two inner layers were called “curtains.” The two outer layers were called “coverings.” Our study of these coverings will show that they eloquently speak of the glorious person and the victorious work of the Lord Jesus. Like the four Gospels, each covering is complete in itself, but when considered together, they give a full-orbed picture of the Lord.


The Inner Curtain

Let us consider the inner curtain: This set of curtains actually comprised the roof of the tabernacle. Only the priests who ministered in the Holy Place and in the Holy of Holies saw this indescribably beautiful curtain. Being made of fine twined linen, it spoke of the purity of Christ, and also typified His inner glory (note Luke’s presentation of Christ).

In the days of His flesh, most of the people only saw the badger skin (see Isaiah 53). His disciples, on occasion, were able to pierce through the outer coverings and see His divine glory. John 1:14 says, “We beheld His glory.” When Peter wrote his first letter 30 years after the ascension, he vividly recalls his experience on the mount of Transfiguration. “Beloved, we too can see Him in His majestic fullness and unsurpassed glory if we take advantage of our priesthood.”


The Tabernacle in the Wilderness


Jehovah of old walked in Eden and held communion with Adam. He visited the patriarchs, the fathers of the nation, but He never had a home on earth until the Tabernacle was erected in the midst of His redeemed people.

    - The Human Intention, Exodus 15:2 - “I will prepare Him an habitation” said the people.

    - The Divine Request, Exodus 25:8 - “Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them,” said Jehovah.


The Tabernacle

Three questions might be asked regarding this Tabernacle: (1) What is a Tabernacle? (2) Why was the Tabernacle built? And (3) How was the Tabernacle constructed? 

    1. The Tabernacle was the Place of the Divine Presence. When the tabernacle was finished, the glory of Jehovah so filled the sacred enclosure that Moses, the mediator, could not enter (Exodus 40:35).

    2. The Tabernacle was to meet a Divine Purpose. Moses didn’t build a tabernacle and then invite God to come into it. Instead, it was God who conceived the plan and instructed Moses on how it was to be built, for He desired to dwell among His redeemed and chosen people.

    3. The Tabernacle was constructed according to a Divine Pattern. “Look that thou make them after the pattern which was showed thee on the mount,” (See Exodus 25:40). It was because these things had a spiritual meaning that they were to be made according to a heavenly pattern.

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