One of the key themes of
the Bible is God’s desire to live with the people He created. We see this first
in God's creating the garden of Eden, placing Adam and Eve into this paradise,
and then presumably coming down regularly to be with them.
But when Adam and Eve
rebelled against Creator God, one consequence of their sin was expulsion from
the garden. No longer would God live with them as He had before.
Generations later, God
instructed His people to do something curious: build a tent. Why? This tent,
the tabernacle, would not be a place for treasures or food; no animals or
people would live in it. This would be God’s tent, where He would dwell among
His people, pointing back to Eden.
Whenever the Israelites
traveled, they broke down this tent and carried it with them. Then, when they
arrived at their destination, they set up the tent once more—strategically and
meaningfully placed in the center of the camp. God was not just with His people, He was at the center of
His people. That was the place He deserved.
Note one feature of the
tabernacle that would later give way to the permanent temple built in
Jerusalem: the veil, or curtain. The innermost chamber of the tabernacle was
called the holy of holies, or most holy place. This is where God’s presence
would be manifested above the ark of the covenant and mercy seat. This sacred
area was separated from the next outer chamber—the holy place—by a heavy
We later learn in
Leviticus that only the high priest could enter into the holy of holies once a
year—on the Day of Atonement. This curtain, then, was a picture of the ongoing
separation between humanity and God because of sin. God wanted to dwell with
people, but sin was preventing that from happening in full.
When Jesus came and paid
the sin penalty for people, that curtain tore from top to bottom, symbolizing
that entry into the holy of holies had been made through Jesus. But sin
continues to corrupt the world, which is why one day Jesus will return, put an
end to sin and death, and renew creation.
This is how the story of
Scripture ends in Revelation—with Christ establishing His kingdom in a new
heavens and earth and dwelling with His people forever. What God intended from
the beginning will mark the beginning of eternity.
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story
points to Jesus.
God told the Israelites to build a
tabernacle where He would dwell with them. God wants to be with His people. As
part of His plan to save sinners, God sent Jesus to dwell on earth with people.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will
encounter each week of this unit.
What is worship? Worship is celebrating
the greatness of God.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child
will encounter each week of this unit.
Come, let’s worship and bow down; let’s
kneel before the LORD our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of
his pasture, the sheep under his care. — Psalm 95:6-7