3/1 Exodus 25:8

8 And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.

God has always planned to be in our midst, but it has to come about through a proper relationship to truly be all He means it to be. The tree of life was in the midst of the Garden. The tabernacle was in the midst of the tribes of Israel. Wherever two or three are gathered in Jesus' name (Matthew 18:20), He promised to be in their midst. But let us go one step further. Jesus promised that if we love Him and keep His word, He and the Father would make their home in us (John 14:23)!

Do you see a pattern from the macro to the micro? We see it in creation too. The heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). The earth is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:3). The church reveals His glory. (Ephesians 3:21) And you and I should be filled with His glory because of His presence in our midst. His presence in us can only be possible if we are made holy. His holiness will not tolerate evil in our heart. The tabernacle is a picture of how that problem can be overcome.

All the illustrations in the tabernacle of Moses are to help us understand that God wants to be with us and in us, but we must be holy. Every piece of furniture and every ritual teach that God will provide a way for that to be possible. It all points wonderfully to Jesus, to justice, to mercy and love. God wants us to understand His heart. The tabernacle is His illustration of what He had planned so that we could grasp the need for Jesus to be our atoning sacrifice. And the end result is God making us His dwelling place, His home, forever.

Consider: How gracious of God to take us by the hand and show us picture after picture, so that when Jesus came we would understand why He had to die for us. Look deeply into God's illustrations to understand what God has done for us.