Pyramids - 3/12/23

Pyramids  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  37:05
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We’re on the home stretch
Today We’re looking at the Tabernacle
Next week I’m back at Battle Assembly and Richard will be Giving a Message
When I come back we have two more sermons, and then it’s Easter.
(Ask whether or not people like going through the bible like this? Say after we’re finished with exodus, my plan is to have a couple of weeks where we step back and decompress, and then go back and go through another book.)
We’re picking up in our Pyramids series
Base layer: God has chosen a group of people out of Egypt, and has displayed his authority. He’s taken them out into the desert, and he is training them to be his Followers
Moral layer: “So that you will know that he is God. Obedience. Faith. Relying on God
Fingerprints layer: The passover, a lamb was slain to release the people. The idea of covenants. The israelites had to be obedient and pass through the red sea, pointing us to Baptism. They have received the Law of Moses, and we’ve seen how that points us forward to the law of Christ.
Tip of the Pyramid question: How does a perfect God interact with Imperfect people.
God has decided to interact with his people, and the big question that we have to ask is what does that look like.
Looking at the text a little differently
Going to read it out of order
Going to read from the NLT
The Courtyard
(Walk around the building and describe the size of the courtyard. The outer courtyard would be about the size of the front part of the church (on the outside)) There would be posts roughly every 7.5 to 8 feet.
Exodus 27:9 NLT
9 “Then make the courtyard for the Tabernacle, enclosed with curtains made of finely woven linen. On the south side, make the curtains 150 feet long.
Exodus 27:10 NLT
10 They will be held up by twenty posts set securely in twenty bronze bases. Hang the curtains with silver hooks and rings.
(Describe the front of the courtyard curtains, relate it to two or three big cattle gates.)
Exodus 27:16 NLT
16 “For the entrance to the courtyard, make a curtain that is 30 feet long. Make it from finely woven linen, and decorate it with beautiful embroidery in blue, purple, and scarlet thread. Support it with four posts, each securely set in its own base.
Describe the Altar.
Exodus 27:1–2 NLT
1 “Using acacia wood, construct a square altar 7½ feet wide, 7½ feet long, and 4½ feet high. 2 Make horns for each of its four corners so that the horns and altar are all one piece. Overlay the altar with bronze.
This is where the sacrifices would take place.
The horns on the altar were very significant. They represented power. The horns are the part of the bull that you don’t want to mess with.
They would have served as a reminder to the priests of God’s power and authority to forgive sins
The wash basin
Exodus 30:18–19 NLT
18 “Make a bronze washbasin with a bronze stand. Place it between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water. 19 Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet there.
Any time the priests would come before God, they were given extremely specific instructions. One of which was to wash themselves before they approached the altar or the tabernacle
it was a symbol of removing their sins before they approached God
God can not be in the pressence of sin. through the washing they would be temporarily declared clean in order to approach God
This is feeding into that question: how does a perfect god interact with imperfect people? The imperfect people need to be made clean before they can approach a perfect God.
The Garments
The preists were set apart in order to approach God
Exodus 28:1–2 NLT
1 “Call for your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Set them apart from the rest of the people of Israel so they may minister to me and be my priests. 2 Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful.
Exodus 28:37–38 NLT
37 Attach the medallion with a blue cord to the front of Aaron’s turban, where it must remain. 38 Aaron must wear it on his forehead so he may take on himself any guilt of the people of Israel when they consecrate their sacred offerings. He must always wear it on his forehead so the Lord will accept the people.
Not only were they required to wear special clothes in the pressence of God
But also they were required to wear an emblem on their heads
It was seen as taking on the sins of the entire community so that they could enter the pressence of God
The Tabernacle
Inside of the courtyard, after you walked past the altar and the wash basin you would see the tabernacle. The Tent
Exodus 26:1 NLT
1 “Make the Tabernacle from ten curtains of finely woven linen. Decorate the curtains with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim.
Exodus 26:3 NLT
3 Join five of these curtains together to make one long curtain, then join the other five into a second long curtain.
Exodus 26:7 NLT
7 “Make eleven curtains of goat-hair cloth to serve as a tent covering for the Tabernacle.
Exodus 26:14 NLT
14 Complete the tent covering with a protective layer of tanned ram skins and a layer of fine goatskin leather.
The covering would be made of three separate layers of cloth: Linen on the bottom, that was made of two sets of five curtains.
You would have five smaller curtains joined permanently and five more smaller curtains joined permanently. and those two big curtains would be joined to make one Big curtain over the top of the frame of the tabernacle
The frame of the Tabernacle ended up being 15 H x 45 Long, 15 feet wide. It was made of ladder frames that all connected together with a pole in the middle so that each part of the frame could be taken down and put back together.
Exodus 26:15–18 NLT
15 “For the framework of the Tabernacle, construct frames of acacia wood. 16 Each frame must be 15 feet high and 27 inches wide, 17 with two pegs under each frame. Make all the frames identical. 18 Make twenty of these frames to support the curtains on the south side of the Tabernacle.
If you were a preist, after you had gone through the ritual cleansing, and after there was a prescribed sacrifice to attone for your own sin and guilt, then and only then could you even go into the tabernacle.
You would step inside and see a table on your right, and a menorah on the left. (exactly what you think of when you think of hannukah), and an insenece altar right in front of you. and then there’s a curtain.
Exodus 26:31–32 NLT
31 “For the inside of the Tabernacle, make a special curtain of finely woven linen. Decorate it with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim. 32 Hang this curtain on gold hooks attached to four posts of acacia wood. Overlay the posts with gold, and set them in four silver bases.
Exodus 26:33 NLT
33 Hang the inner curtain from clasps, and put the Ark of the Covenant in the room behind it. This curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.
(Tape off the Holy of Holies. 15 by 15, 225 square feet.
This is the location of ark, this big wooden chest that held the tablets of the law inside of it. It had a Lid that was gold plated, with two cherubs on top. A cherub is like what the movies portray angels as, with the robes and the wings, and the harp, sitting on a cloud. These two cherubim were made of Gold, on top of the lid to the ark, with both of their wings pointed forward toward each other.
And this was the spot where God resided.
Tip of the Pyramid question: How does a perfect God interact with Imperfect people
There has to be sacrifice for it to happen. Each and every one of us owes a debt to God. A moral debt that needs to be paid. In exodus that was done by goats and lambs and bulls. An offering had to be made to offset our sins.
I’ll be honest, that concept makes a lot of people uncomfortable. You might be hearing that and but why? Why does there have to be a sacrifice for my sins, why does there have to be a payment to be made? You might say I don’t like that system.
And this is one of those times where I simply can’t give you an answer “why.” This is one of those instances where I’m just telling you the way things are.
In order for us to interact with God, there needs to be some sort of sacrifice to pay for our sins. There needs to be a cleansing. There needs to be an offset of our sins somehow. Again, I don’t know the why, I just know that God is describing that that is what has to happen.
All so that we can meet with God
The incarnation...
This is the place I will meet with them.
Exodus 25:22 NLT
22 I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant. From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel.
Being absolutely clear about what the Bible is describing, this is the literal physical dwelling place of God. The bible is not describing a metaphorical dwelling place. It’s not describing a place where you could really feel God’s presence. It’s not describing a symbolic location for God. We might have the tendency to look back on this text and explain it away, and to say, this was a “symbolic” or “metaphorical” location of God. But the text as it is written, the was it’s described, the way It’s talked about, this is the actual physical location of God.
As in, if you went outside of the camp to pray to God, if you stepped outside of this 225 square feet, if you left this 45 foot long tent, if you left this courtyard, and you went to pray to God, he wouldn’t be there. He’s not out in the desert right now. He’s in the tent.
(Show of hands, who has a hard time thinking about God this way?) I’ll be vulnerable: it’s hard for me to wrap my head around that idea. God is eternal, he exists outside of space and time, he’s the God who was and is and is to come. I have a hard time thinking about God being limited to 225 Square feet.
In my brain, “God can’t be limited to 225 square feet”
until he does
God can’t fit inside of one man, until he does.
By the way in John 1:14 “The word became flesh and “dwelt” among us. Do you know what that word “dwelt” literally means, in the greek. Tabernacled.
John 1:14 ESV
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
I don’t get to tell God he “Can’t” fit inside a tent.
I don’t get to tell God that he can’t make me clean.
I don’t get to tell God he “can’t” take my sins away, that he can’t pay for them with the blood of His son.
I don’t get to tell him that.
If you’re in a point in your life, where you feel like God can’t forgive you. maybe there’s something you’ve done, maybe there’s some life you used to live, maybe there’s just some struggle you can’t get over.
If you’ve made up your mind that you’re not good enough, that you’re not righteous enough, you’re not holy enough.
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that you’re not. You’re not good enough.
I had someone the other day tell me to “live my authentic self”
Why would I ever want to do that? My authentic self is awful.
But here’s the good news.
God can pay for your sins. God can make you clean. God can make you right with him. In fact he’s promised us that he will. He’s promised us that we will be his dwelling place. We are the location God’s spirit.
Acts 2:38 NIV
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The fullness of God inside of you. You are the 225 square feet where the spirit of God resides.
You don’t get to tell God what he can and can’t do.
If he says you’re redeemable, he means it.
If he tells you that you’re loved, he means it.
If he tells you that you are valuable, that you are forgiven, that you are made in his image. That he knows every hair on your head.
You don’t get to tell him he can’t do that, any more than you can say he can’t fit inside a 225 sq foot tent.
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