“They are to make me a sanctuary, so that I may live among them. You are to make it according to the pattern I show you — the design of the tabernacle and the design of its furnishings. This is how you are to make it.”-Exodus 25:8-9
When the Lord was instructing Moses during Moses’ 40 day sojourn to the top of Mount Sinai, God told him to make the tabernacle “according to the pattern I show you”.
Now exactly what kind of “pattern” are we talking about here?
Did the Lord pull a papyrus scroll blueprint out of His pocket and start pointing out the finer details and design of the earthly tent he wanted him to construct?
The answer is no.
What really happened, and this is mind-blowing, is that the Lord was giving Moses a tour of God’s heavenly dwelling place!!!
Forget about Disney Land or any other exciting amusement park attraction you have ever experienced or could ever hope to experience in your lifetime.
Space Mountain, the Pirates of the Caribbean, and even the Haunted Mansion would be about as exciting as watching paint dry on a wall compared to the tour God gave Moses.
Heck, I would even say a tour into outer space complete with green aliens would pale in comparison to what Moses experienced.
Do you remember the Hebrew word for “tabernacle” or “dwelling place”?
That word is MISHKAN.
The tabernacle built on earth to the finest detail was to be patterned after God’s spiritual tabernacle in the heavens.
As in heaven, so on earth.
The Tabernacle (and later the sacrificial system) points to a Biblical principle that can easily get flip-flopped in our minds.
And that principle is this: By nature, the physical is inferior to the spiritual
What exists or is possible in the heavens or the spirit world is far above or superior to what exists and is possible in the physical world.
The Tabernacle and all its rituals were real and they were God-ordained.
But compared to the real, original tabernacle that Moses beheld in the heavens, the earthly tabernacle was of course just an inferior copy.
When comparing earthly things to heavenly things, the Bible will often use the word “shadows”.
I’m sure we’ve all heard that often quoted phrase “it was a SHADOW of things to come” used in reference to the Tabernacle, the prophecies, and the Mosaic Law.
This just means that COMPARED to the spiritual original, a physical copy pales in comparison.
The greatest artist who ever lived could create an awe-inspiring painting of Mount Everest that beautifully captures the grandeur and towering majesty of this tremendous mountain.
But, despite the artist’s best efforts, the painting would never be as breathtaking as the original.
This doesn’t mean that the painting “has been done away with”, no longer holds any relevance for our lives, nor does it mean that it should be thrown in the trash.
While still living on this physical plane, there is nothing more important and nothing that will more provide a life of abundance and fulfillment than obeying God’s Torah, His Teachings as He has given them to us in His Word.
Heck, the very fact that these teachings are a reflection of God’s Mind and the truth as it exists in the heavens should be more than enough motivational fuel to spur us on to obedience.
Another reason the physical world is inferior compared to the spiritual world is that the physical world is forced to operate under the constraints of space, time, and the laws of physics.
The spiritual world knows no such limitations.
If you ever experienced a full-blown miracle, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
To conclude, just understand that EVERY element and detail of the tabernacle from its rooms, materials, design, furniture all the way up to the detailed priestly rituals are all patterned after the originals in Heaven.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“But what they are serving is only a copy
and a shadow of the heavenly original;
for when Moses was about to erect the Tabernacle,
God warned him,
‘see to it that you make everything
according to the pattern
you were shown on the mountain’”.