The Gate of the Tabernacle:

Christ, The Way to God

27:16-17 and 38:14-19

    DIG: How was the gate a point of division? How did Christ destroy it?

    REFLECT: Are you inside the gate or outside? Do you care what’s on the other side? What difference does it make?

    Curtains fifteen cubits long were on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases, and curtains fifteen cubits long were on the other side of the entrance to the courtyard, with three posts and three bases (38:14-15). The three posts helped support the curtains on each side of the entrance. Those posts were about seven and a half feet apart.

    The beautiful colors of the gate stood out in stark contrast with the white linen that lined the courtyard. The curtain for the entrance to the courtyard was of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen – the work of an embroiderer (38:16). The finely twisted white linen of the gate was the same material used to make the courtyard, the outer veil to the Holy Place, the inner veil to the Most Holy Place, and the covering over the Sanctuary that was only seen from the inside. All of these foreshadowed the purity of Christ. The gate opened the way to the bronze altar and the bronze basin where sin was dealt with, as it were, at the foot of the cross. The outer veil opened the way for the priests to commune and have fellowship with ADONAI through the Lampstand and the bread of the Presence, which pointed to Christ as the Light of the world and the Bread of life. And the inner veil opened the way for the high priest to enter the Most Holy Place, which pictures our God at the throne of grace.

    In all of these, the finely twisted linen speaks to us of Christ’s righteousness. The color blue speaks of His deity. It reminds us of heaven and is the color of the sky. Jesus came down from heaven to dwell among us in order that He would become our Savior. The color scarlet reminds us of His shed blood. Now purple is a mixture of blue and scarlet and speaks of our Lord’s deity revealed in the flesh, for He is truly the God man. Purple is the symbol of royalty and He is surely King of kings and Lord of lords.520

    The curtains that made up the gate were twenty cubits, or about thirty feet long and, like the curtains of the courtyard, five cubits or about seven and one half feet high. Their hooks and bands were silver, and their acacia wood post tops were overlaid with a silver cap (27:16-17; 38:16-19). The way the curtains were attached makes it clear that none of them were intended to be parted or to slide. Entrance could only be accomplished by lifting the curtains at the bottom and passing under them. In fact, this was easily done.521

    The curtain to the Holy Place was hung on five posts (26:36-37), but the curtain at the gate was hung on four posts of acacia wood and four bronze bases (38:17a). The bronze speaks of the judgment of sin at the cross. The fact that there were four, and only four posts and bronze bases that held up the gate reminds us that there are four, and only four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that record the life of Christ on earth.

    The gate was the only entrance into the Tabernacle. Cain was the first who tried another way (see my commentary on Genesis Bj - Your Brother's Blood Cries Out to Me from the Ground). But his rebellion ended in his being banished from the presence of God. So the path of one evil man has since become the broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).522 Christ is the only way of salvation, the only way to the Father, and the only way to eternal life. Jesus said: I am the way, and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).

    At the time the Tabernacle was built, the gate was a barrier, and separated those on the inside from those on the outside. Only Jews were allowed into the courtyard, Gentiles could not enter in. Only the Levites could enter the Holy Place, and only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place. Therefore, the closer one came to ADONAI’s presence, the more restricted the Tabernacle became. When the Messiah came, He destroyed this point of division. For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:14).

    The gate of the Tabernacle was for sinners. If a Jew wanted to have his sin covered he had to enter through that gate and there, on the bronze altar, a sacrificial animal would die as his substitute. It wouldn’t have done him any good to merely think about the gate, read about the gate, or to intellectually believe that if he went through the gate his sins would be covered. He had to actually enter through the gate. The same is true for us today, there is only one way to ADONAI, through Jesus Christ. He Himself said: I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved (John 10:9).

    For those of you who are intellectually convinced that Jesus is who He says He is, but you don’t feel that He accepts you . . . how can you feel or be accepted, as long as you remain outside the gate? Jesus makes no promise to the one who does not enter, but only to the one who does. Enter in, and then, feeling or not, you may know that your are saved, because He says so. The bronze altar was inside the gate, not outside. How then, can you know that you are saved until you enter? Come, just as you are, in all your sinfulness, and with no feeling, believe in Christ.523 You don’t get to heaven because of what you feel; you get to spend eternity with God because of what you believe about Jesus Christ.


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