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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 27’

The ancient religious artifacts of the Old Testament are actually object lessons for us, today.

The Tabernacle with its three sections is symbolic of the human body, soul, and spirit. The Ark of the Covenant symbolical of the believer’s “heart” — covered with Christ, sheltered under angelic protection, the place where we hear God’s voice.

The items inside the Ark of the Covenant are symbolical, too. A copy of the ten commandments was put there representing the law of God written in our hearts.

There was a second item inside the Ark of the Covenant – Aaron’s rod.

There’s a little history behind this artifact. Moses’ and Aaron’s authority was challenged so all the tribal leaders were commanded to put their walking sticks in God’s tent. God promised to reveal his choice. The very next day Aaron’s rod had not only grown leaves and flowers but yielded ripe almonds.

With the placement of Aaron’s rod inside the Ark of the Covenant Israel was reminded of God’s choice for High Priest and we are reminded of his chosen priesthood is inside of us. Like the ancient priests

  • We are not just tolerated but chosen;
  • God is our inheritance
  • God’s kingdom is our home
  • worship is our job.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” — 1st Peter 2:9

We do this, not by all becoming a pastor (though some may serve that way), but by serving Jesus in everything we do.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men — Colossians 3:23

— fritz

1 – Hebrews 9:4, Exodus 25:10-20, Numbers 17:10

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Ancient religious artifacts of the Old Testament are actually object lessons for us, today.

The Tabernacle is symbolical of the human body, soul, and spirit. The Ark of the Covenant symbolical of the believer’s “heart” — covered with Christ, sheltered under angelic protection, the place where we hear God’s voice.

The items inside the Ark of the Covenant are symbolical, too. A copy of the Law was put there representing the God’s law written in our hearts,  Aaron’s rod was placed inside symbolical of us being personally chosen by God for his service.

There was something else there, too — a jar of Manna.

The Israelites quickly ran out of food on their trek to the Promised Land so God sent what they called, “Manna”, meaning “What is it?”.   An important fact about Manna was its shelf life — one day.   Whatever wasn’t eaten that day went rancid with two exceptions — the manna gathered on Friday remained good through the Sabbath and the manna Moses put inside the Ark of the Covenant never went bad.

Jesus said his body was the true “Manna” from heaven. He said his followers would eat his flesh and drink his blood — well, that caused quite a stir!   They had a hard time with metaphors. That manna inside the Ark could represent Jesus in our hearts (we are all free to draw our own conclusions) but I think it primarily symbolizes God’s sustaining power through difficulties.

Anyone can make it through the easy stuff — but what about when life gets hard and lonely? Christ’s followers have some unique internal resources to sustain through trial and that sustaining presence of Jesus never goes rancid.

“Peace I leave with you,” Jesus said, “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

When the natural resources of those around us play out and we continue to press into God’s grace with peace, that’s when opportunities arise to point to Jesus.

Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you — 1st Peter 3:15

— fritz

1 – Hebrews 9:4, Exodus 25:10-20, Numbers 17:10

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The Bible goes into great detail on the ancient religious artifacts of the early Israelites. Why? The Apostle Paul says these were written,

“…for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come (1st Corinthian 10:11)

Earlier posts have noted the Tabernacle is actually a symbolical representation of the present day follower of Christ and the Ark of the Covenant symbolical of the believer’s heart; not the blood pump but the core being.

There’s more to notice. What was placed inside that Ark represents what God puts into us when he comes to live.

God predicted a future new covenant — different from the old in one primary way, God’s law would be in the heart!

“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people … they shall all know me” (Jeremiah 31:33)

The Commandments Moses received on God’s mountain, placed inside the Ark of the Covenant symbolises that coming change.

No longer do God’s renewed people require coercion, threats, and guilt to behave — they willingly follow and delight to obey. Holiness now starts on the inside and works its way out. God gives us the desire and ability to counteract our natural pull toward selfishness.

People can change! In Christ we get a renewed, clean, forgiven conscience and told to follow it.

When Christ touches a human heart it changes from a stubborn foe to a helpful friend!

— fritz
1 – Hebrews 9:4, Exodus 25:10-20, Numbers 17:10

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Ancient religious relics so long ago — why do we need to know how they were made, where they were placed, how they were used? Because they weren’t just for an ancient people but for today. They were recorded, Paul says,

“…for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come (1st Corinthian 10:11)

The Old Testament Tabernacle, relates to the body of a believer in Christ.1 The Ark of the Covenant, the believer’s heart — not the blood pump but the core of being!

Notice the Ark’s composition — Wood overlayed with pure gold.2
Wood speaks of humanity, gold speaks of deity.

When we give ourselves to Christ he come into our very being and covers us with himself. We are said to have “put on Christ”.3 Our frail humanity is overlayed with Christ.

Over our renewed self God places his angels to cover us with wings of protection.4 It is there, at the core of our being covered by Christ, God himself speaks5.

How do we know these things? When Christ died the temple veil preventing access to the Holy-of-Hollies was torn open — God did it (from above, top to bottom)6 He invites us to enter and fellowship with him, to see what he has done.

The invitation stands

[N]either knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:27b-28

— fritz

1 – See Ancient Object Lessons – Part One (February 11, 2012)
2 – Exodus 25:10-11
3 – Galatians 3:27
4 – Exodus 25:18-20, Psalm 91:4
5 – Exodus 25:22, Romans 8:16
6 – Matthew 27:51

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