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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Day 22 - 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge - Exodus 37- 40 - The Great Adventure A Journey Through the Bible

Day 22 
Exodus 37 - 40  

Bible Time Period:  Egypt and Exodus 
You freed your people from slavery in Egypt so they could worship you. Free me from sin so I can serve and worship. 

In Your loving kindness to the children of Israel, You promised to tabernacle in their midst in a structure made by human hands, but for Your New Covenant children, Lord, You created a tabernacle for Your Spirit to dwell in the reborn lives of New Covenant believers who, through Christian baptism, form the corporate covenant of the Body of Christ.  Please send Your Holy Spirit, Lord to guide us on our final journey through the Book of Exodus as we study about the creation of the Old Covenant Sanctuary and significance of Old Covenant Law and Liturgy that was a tutor and guide to prepare the faithful to recognize the Advent of the Messiah and the inauguration of a new covenant. 
It is the New Covenant in Christ that has the promise of the eternal salvation “a gift of grace that was not available to the members of the Sinai Covenant but which lived as a hope in the heart of every Old Covenant believer. We pray in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.  (Agape Catholic Bible Study, Exodus Lesson18

The New Testament is hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is revealed in the New

“Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary…The priests, in performing their service, go into the outer tabernacle repeatedly, but the high priest along goes into the inner one once a year, not without blood that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people…This is a symbol of the present time, in which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper in conscience…But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be, passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to creation, he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”  (Hebrews 9:1 – 12)

The Tabernacle became the focus of worship for Israel.  It was where Yahweh made His home among His people in a special way in the Holy of Holies, enthroned between the cherubim on the Mercy-seat of the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 40:34-35).  Later, the Jerusalem Temple replaced the Tabernacle as the one place on earth where God dwelt in the midst of His covenant people (1 Kng 6:1-38; 7:13-8:11, 21).  In the Aramaic Targums this special presence of God called the shekinah, an expression that is not found in the books of the Old  Testament, but which defines the presence of the glory of God in a certain place. 

The Tabernacle was also a prophetic prefigurement of the redemptive work of the Redeemer-Messiah.  The earthly Tabernacle, a pattern of the heavenly Sanctuary, was designed to point to the future ministry of God the Son in God’s plan of salvation.  While it was true that in some unexplainable way the glory of the Presence of Yahweh dwelled in the man-made Tabernacle, God cannot fully dwell in a temple made with human hands (Acts 17:24).  It was the tabernacle of the Virgin Mary’s womb, fashioned by the hand of God, that would one day make it possible for the Son of God to dwell among men (Jn 1:14).  (Agape Catholic Bible Study, Exodus Lesson 18)

The Book of Exodus ends with the building of the Tabernacle, the portable temple that would be God's dwelling-place in the midst of his people. "Then the cloud covered the meeting tent, and the glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling.  Moses could not enter the meeting tent, because the cloud settled down upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling." (Exodus 40:34 - 35) 

In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the "glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling" was written "the power of the Lord overshadowed the Tabernacle." We see the same use of this word "overshadowed" in the New Testament when Mary hears these words, And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."  (Luke 1:35) 
Today's Reading 
Exodus 37 - 40 

A Summary of the Sinai Covenant 
The Sinai Covenant was unique for its time in salvation history in that it was a corporate covenant that bound the descendants of Israel to Yahweh through Law and Liturgy:  the Law taught Israel to identify sin and to live in holiness as Yahweh is holy (Ex 19:6), and Liturgy was the public act of worship through which God dispensed grace and mercy to His covenant people.

The Ten Commandments and the additional body of the Law in the Book of Covenant cannot be separated from the command to be a liturgical people who maintain the covenant through the Sabbath obligation and communion with God in the earthly Sanctuary that is a copy of the heavenly reality.

The Sabbath obligation and worship in the Sanctuary taught the people the meaning of sacrifice, how we reject sin, how to make expiation for sin through prescribed animal sacrifice, how to live in holiness as reflected in ritual purity, and how to obtain mercy and forgiveness in order to reestablish fellowship with God and to be recipients of God’s divine grace.

The Sabbath obligation and the Tabernacle were the sacred signs of the Sinai Covenant in time and in space.  The Tabernacle was the visible sign and the Sabbath obligation was the invisible sign of the covenant.  The Sabbath could be experienced and it could be lived but it could not be seen, just as the invisible God could not be seen and His interaction with Israel had to be experienced through faith.

The same is true of the New Covenant.  Both the Old and the New Covenants are all about God’s gift of grace to His covenant people and the people’s faith in God’s promises.  The visible sign of the New Covenant is Jesus Christ who lived and walked the earth as a flesh and blood man and is the only begotten Son of God.  The invisible sign is the presence of God in the liturgy of worship in the sacrifice of the Mass. (Agape Catholic Bible Study, Exodus Lesson 18) 

Discussion Boards Day 22

Agape Catholic Bible Study Commentary Exodus 37:17 - 40:38
Part of the above 10-minute study was taken from the Great Adventure Bible Study for Catholics. 

For items devotional items related to the Catholic Church 

Back to Index 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge

The erection of the Tabernacle and the Sacred vessels, as in Exodus 40: 17-19 - from the 1782 Figures de la Bible

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