Sunday, September 8, 2013

021. Bronze Altar & Laver: The Tabernacle - Part VIII

After entering by the gate into the courtyard (not into the structure of the Tabernacle yet), the first piece of furniture one encounters is the bronze altar of burnt offerings: "And thou shalt make an altar of shittim (acacia) wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass." Exodus 27:1-2. The altar was used for all the types of offerings: burnt, grain, peace, sin, and trespass.
Altars are for making sacrifice, that is their only purpose. The Hebrew word for altar, mizbeach, means "slaughter place". The law declared that without the shedding of blood, there was no remission of sin. Burning the offerings on the altar had the effect of lifting them to the sky, heavenward. There are laws instituted before the foundations of the earth that must be met before mercy can be extended. Sin must be punished, either by the offender or by a suitable substitute. Five types of animals were Israel's acceptable substitutes: lamb, goat, bull, heifer, and turtle dove. Christ is our acceptable sacrifice.

When someone has entered the gate, leaving behind the world, sin, and their old life, they are in the process of repenting. Repentance is not salvation, but a step on the way. The altar of sacrifice is therefore not the end of the process, but represents an end of the old life, one that is renewed in Christ, and the beginning of a new life.

The four horns represented power and authority and pointed to the four corners of the earth. Animal sacrifices brought to the altar were tied to the horns because of their resistance or unwillingness to be made a sacrifice (they would likely run away from such a sight of fire and blood): "God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar." Psalms 118:27.

Rituals surrounded the byproducts of sacrifices made on the altar: ash and blood. The ashes were not just thrown away: "And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place." (Leviticus 6:10-11). The presence of ashes indicated proof that the sacrifice was accepted, so with solemn rites, including the changing of clothing/garments, the ashes were taken to a clean place to be used at a later time in the cleansing of the ritually unclean (see Numbers 19). The analogue in Christ is that His offering was accepted by the Father, His mortal tabernacle was taken from the cross and deposited in a new tomb in which man had never lain (a clean place), from which He later arose to cleanse the sinner (the ritually unclean). Those who attend the temple will see parallels here.

The blood was never used, but was poured out at the bottom of the altar. As blood represents life, the presence of blood represented further evidence that life was poured out in the sacrifice. Christ's blood was spilt for our sins, His sacrifice was accepted by the Father.

The next item of furniture was the bronze laver: "Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord: So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations." Exodus 30:18-21.
There is not much in the scriptures explaining the bronze laver, or brazen sea. We have no statement of its shape or size, nor is it ever mentioned when the camp of Israel packed up the Tabernacle and moved. The laver was made from the bronze mirrors of the women of Israel, which they gave as a freewill offering: "And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." Exodus 38:8. This would have been a sacrifice for these women, giving up something of worldly value to help create something of eternal importance. Perhaps this helped them focus on the work of their inner selves, their hearts, rather than spending time focusing on their outward appearances and beauty, to see themselves more as the Lord would see them, and not as they would see themselves or as others would see them. The Lord looks on the heart: "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves..." (1 Peter 3:3-5).

The laver stood between the altar and the Tabernacle. It was used for washing by only the priests who officiated. While the altar represented sacrifice for the remission of sins, the laver represented washing away of uncleanliness and purification, in other words, sanctification. The laver cleansed the priest from the defilements of life, leading to a life that was continually sanctified. The above verses from Exodus tell us that the priests had to be clean when they represented the Lord. Even one impure act could defile them and they had to return to the laver to cleanse themselves. We must be clean and pure as we seek to serve the Lord.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

020. Pillar of Cloud & Fire: The Tabernacle - Part VII

Doctrine & Covenants 11:12-13
12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;

The children of Israel were lead from their bondage in Egypt to the promised land by a pillar of cloud and fire. “For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Exodus 40:38). And from Numbers chapter 9 (parts of verses 15-23) it says “So it was always: the cloud covered it (the tabernacle) by day, and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. At the command of the Lord the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the Lord they would camp…Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey…they kept the charge of the Lord.” Over the 40 years that they journeyed in the wilderness, the children of Israel were strictly schooled as a people by the Lord…so that they would learn to fully leave behind and abandon any tradition, belief, or practice that was not in harmony with the Lord’s. They had to learn to depend on Him and to trust in Him, and not in other gods, idols, their own flesh, or false beliefs, and to be obedient to His every command.

The cloud and fire were described as pillars, and not as a shapeless hovering cloud, and thus was a symbol of strength, stability, and constancy with the Lord Jehovah in the midst of the people, leading all the way. To the people, the pillars of fire and cloud were symbolic of His presence. When the cloud descended on the tent of Moses, it meant that the Lord had come to speak with Moses. When it rested upon the tabernacle, it indicated His presence was within the Holy of Holies. The Lord, through the pillar of cloud gave them a covering from the heat of the day and through the pillar of fire a light at night. In fact, the only source of light to them during their journeys in the wilderness was the pillar of fire.

The pillar was also their guide, when it moved, they moved. The children of Israel often had to move at a moment’s notice, sometimes during the day and sometimes at night. The children of Israel had to trust that the pillar was leading them to the promised land, at the right time and in the right way. They were not following a map or their own course. Early on in their journey, the pillar had led them in a course that was not straightforward. They found themselves in a place with mountains on either side and the Red Sea stretching itself right before their path…there was no way out, as the armies of the Pharaoh were behind them. Those armies saw the plight of the children of Israel and became emboldened in their pursuit as they saw them now as easy prey. The children of Israel feared and began to murmur against Moses. It appeared as though God had driven the children of Israel into a trap that would ensure their complete destruction. However, in actuality, He was showing His devotion and power to them, and setting the stage for the destruction of their enemies. At the last moment, when all seemed lost, the pillar changed direction, moved to the rear of their camp, and became a pillar of darkness to the Egyptians, destroying them in the sea. The pillar thus became a protection to the children of Israel. They could not have survived in the wilderness without the guidance and protection of the Lord.

Today, as we make our journey through the wilderness of life back to our heavenly promised land, what is our fire, our guide, our light, our pillar? Certainly it is the Lord, but He is not here with us physically. His presence is made manifest in our lives mostly through the power of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit. For Christ said: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26). It is through the Holy Ghost that we receive the baptism of fire and are purified. Through its promptings, we can be warned and protected from danger and temptation. We can be guided by the Holy Ghost as we receive inspiration and revelation to direct and shape our lives.

However, our journey through life may be complicated and overwhelmed with challenges and defeats, seemingly beyond our ability to resolve. We may feel as though we are following the commandments, heeding the warnings of prophets, and doing our best to live righteously, and yet occasionally find ourselves in circumstances which are setting the stage for our destruction, just like the children of Israel…this could be loss, illness, death, sin, actions of others that affect our lives, disappointments, discouragements, regrets, etc. The only way to safely make it through these trials and tribulations is to trust in the wisdom and power of God and follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost. In Doctrine and Covenants 45:57-59 it says “For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived – verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day. And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation. For the Lord shall be in their midst, and His glory shall be upon them, and He will be their King and their Lawgiver.

There is much to be learned from these verses. First, we need to receive the truth. But receiving the truth is not enough. The Apostle James wrote “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22). Doctrine & Covenants 11:12 tells us to “trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good”. It is not enough to believe in the restoration of the gospel, we must live that gospel; it is not enough to accept a calling, we must magnify it to the best of our ability; it is not enough to go through the temple and participate in the ordinances therein, we must hold onto those covenants and seek to live them in their fullness. Action is required; we must do the things that are necessary in order to retain the Spirit. We must keep the commandments, repent continually, pray for guidance, and partake of the cleansing and renewing ordinance of the sacrament. These are the first principles and ordinances of the gospel, faith, repentance, and baptism, all leading to qualifying ourselves to be able to take or receive the Holy Spirit as our guide. Then, we will merit the blessings in the divine promise to “always have His spirit to be with us,” which is the Holy Ghost. If we always have His spirit to be with us, we will be lead in our lives to places of safety, to avoid deception, to obtain peace and joy, and to work toward the fulfillment of our Father’s will in our lives. We will be taught, lead to truth, and have a closer relationship with our Savior and the Father.

Elder Scott taught: “We see such a limited part of the eternal plan He has fashioned for each one of us. Trust Him, even when in [the] eternal perspective it temporarily hurts very much. Have patience when you are asked to wait when you want immediate action. He may ask you to do things which are powerfully against your will. Exercise faith and say, “Let Thy will be done”. Such experiences, honorably met, prepare you and condition you for yet greater blessings. As your Father, His purpose is your eternal happiness, your continuing development, your increasing capacity. His desire is to share with you all that He has. The path you are to walk through life may be very different from others. You may not always know why He does what He does, but you can know that He is perfectly just and perfectly merciful. He would have you suffer no consequence, no challenge, endure no burden that is superfluous to your good.” (Oct 1991 Gen Conf).

Part of taking the Holy Spirit as our guide involves asking for guidance. “Ask, and ye shall receive, knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (D&C 4:7). This can be difficult at times because there are many voices in this world that compete with the true Spirit, seeking to deceive and guide us away from truth and light. All of these are inspired by Satan who will try to darken our minds and hearts, provide us with counterfeit revelations, lead us to believe in lies or to doubt the knowledge we have obtained, and encourage us to despair in our failings and shortcomings. However, the Lord will not often give us guidance without our asking for it. And although He commands us to ask, He has also said “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me” (D&C 9:7). Therefore, we must ask, but we must also do our part. Just like we cannot receive a desired result from a physical law without obeying it, it is the same with spiritual laws. Blessings that flow from spiritual laws are based on obedience to certain commandments and principles…“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven, before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated – And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” This is a manifestation of a loving Father in Heaven who seeks to bless all of His children when they obey His laws. Of course the Lord has the power to bless us at any time, but in order for us to count on His help, we must consistently obey His commandments. Sometimes, our asking is not in accordance with divine will and in His divine wisdom our Heavenly Father withholds from giving us what we desire as it might prevent us from growing or learning or reaching the promised land, eternal life. As James recorded “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss”. It can be hard to know what is within His divine will for us, but we must have faith that He will help us. His will, as hard as it may be and whether we understand it fully or not, is the best choice we can make in this life.

Elder Scott offered some counsel in how to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost. He said “When I am faced with a difficult matter, this is how I try to understand what to do. I fast. I pray to find and understand scriptures that will be helpful. That process is cyclical. I start reading a passage of scripture; I ponder what the verse means and pray for inspiration. I then ponder and pray to know if I have captured all the Lord wants me to do. Often more impressions come with increased understanding of doctrine. I have found that pattern to be a good way to learn from the scriptures.
There are some practical principles that enhance revelation. First, yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost. Those emotions must be eliminated, or our chance for receiving revelation is slight. Another principle is to be cautious with humor. Loud, inappropriate laughter will offend the Spirit. A good sense of humor helps revelation; loud laughter does not. A sense of humor is an escape valve for the pressures of life. Another enemy to revelation comes from exaggeration or loudness in what is stated. Careful, quiet speech will favor the receipt of revelation. On the other hand, spiritual communication can be enhanced by good health practices. Exercise, reasonable amounts of sleep, and good eating habits increase our capacity to receive and understand revelation…It is important that our daily activities do not distract us from listening to the Spirit.” (April 2012 Gen Conf).

He (Elder Scott) goes on to say “Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously. It may seem paradoxical, but that is why recognizing answers to prayer can sometimes be very difficult. Sometimes we unwisely try to face life by depending on our own experience and capacity. It is much wiser for us to seek through prayer and divine inspiration to know what to do. Our obedience assures that when required, we can qualify for divine power to accomplish an inspired objective”.

As we take the Holy Spirit as our guide, it will enlighten our minds and fill our souls with joy as stated in Doctrine & Covenants 11:13. We can be assured that we are on the path that leads to eternal life. I take comfort from these words of the Lord to Oliver Cowdery through the Prophet Joseph Smith (Doctrine & Covenants 6:14-16).
14 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.
15 Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth;
16 Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.

The language suggests that Oliver perhaps had some doubts about the answers to prayer he thought he was getting. The Lord here reassured him that he had received answers as he sought for them, that they were imparted by the Holy Spirit. That his mind was enlightened. There have been moments where I have that my prayers have gone unanswered, but when I’ve looked back in retrospect I often see evidence that my prayers were heard. Sometimes, in looking back, I have been even more grateful when I realize that my prayers were not answered, for my will and limited vision had been foolishness. Our Heavenly Father does know us individually, and he knows our hearts, both the good and the not-so-good. However, He loves us unconditionally and wants us to return to Him. He and His beloved Son are trying to save us. They are trying to redeem and make us like them. Everything they do for us is designed to bring us back into their presence, but it is our choice. The Holy Ghost will testify and lead us closer to Christ. It is a manifestation of Christ’s presence, who is our only true guide and pillar of strength in this life. We are not to rely on the arm of flesh, but on Christ’s arm. Following His will does not rob us of our agency, we are still choosing. As Christ is one with the Father when we become more at-one with Christ, through His merits and mercy, we become more at-one with the Father, qualifying ourselves to inherit exaltation.

I am grateful that we can have access to the gift of the Holy Ghost and take it as our guide. I know that it can be a constant companion as we are worthy of its presence. And just like for the children of Israel, it can always be there, guiding us both day and night, protecting us, and providing light in an ever-darkening world. We must have faith to follow its promptings, to trust that it is directing us to do the will of the Lord, even in times of great trial and difficulty. If we do so, we will be greatly blessed and have peace and joy in our souls.

Monday, September 2, 2013

019. Court & Gate: The Tabernacle - Part VI

There was one gate into the courtyard of the Tabernacle (Chapter 8, 'Made According to Pattern', by C.W. Slemming). There is but one way to God, and that is through Christ, not many ways. John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." The process is begun when one enters in by the gate. 3 Nephi 14:13 "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat." The "way" is through or by rebirth of the individual unto God through the power and redemption of Christ. 2 Nephi 31:17 "Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost." Although the gate was most always shut to protect the inside of the Tabernacle from animals and other intruders, the gate was not restrictive. The opening of the gate was wide enough and made of cloth so that anyone in any condition could make their way through it. They only had to reach out their hand and move aside the curtain that formed the gate. Although the gate was shut, it was open to all who made the effort to find it by walking about the walls of the Tabernacle and then to open it themselves. This is faith. We too must seek out the gate, the way and then we must reach out our hand and push back the screen that conceals the entrance to the path before we can begin. But this is within everyone's reach who has the desire to do so. This is the first step, the step of decision, of exercising our agency to follow Christ. John 10:9 "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved." Seek out Christ, the gate; He is the only Way of salvation.
The Tabernacle Gate - Christ is the Way
The gate was formed by a large drapery of fine linen and yarn of blue, purple, and scarlet. The gate formed a line of demarcation between the world and God's abode. We too must guard a line of demarcation between ourselves as well as His church and the world. That line is set by God, not man. Once we step through the gate, we should leave the world behind and focus on our walk along the path of Life. Although only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies and only the priests could enter the Holy Place, everyone in the camp of Israel could enter into the courtyard through the gate. The courtyard was the place of sacrifice and all needed access to what it offered the children of Israel, both old, young, rich, and poor alike.
"Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents." ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Sunday, September 1, 2013

018. Curtains & Coverings: The Tabernacle - Part V

This post will describe the curtains and coverings of the Tabernacle; in other words, its roof and walls (Chapter 7, 'Made According to Pattern', by C.W. Slemming). Each of these will teach us about Christ's role in the plan of our Father in Heaven and His relationship to us. Exodus 26:1, 7, and 14 present the idea (see 1-14 for all detail):
1. Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. 7. And thou shalt make curtains of goats’ hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 14. And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers’ skins.

Four layers of the tabernacle (goats hair curtains were likely black instead of white).
There were two sets of coverings and two sets of curtains.

First covering, the badger skins. The badger skins used in the roofing of the tabernacle were likely not from a badger as we know them today, but some other animal such as a dolphin or sea cow. This formed the outer skin or roof of the tabernacle that would be visible. It would suffer abuse of hot sun, rain, hail, and other forces of nature continually forcing themselves upon the tabernacle, yet it protected the contents from exposure to any of these forces. It was therefore worn and ragged, probably not pleasant looking, but more utilitarian. Likewise, Christ, the protector and covering of those who trust in Him, He stretches himself from one end of the universe to the other in an effort of save His children. "He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2, Mosiah 14:2).

Second covering, ram skin dyed red. These were placed under the badger skins as an additional layer. The ram is the animal of substitution or proxy, taking the place of another, as in the story of Abraham and Isaac and in the offerings made under the Mosaic Law. It is also the animal used in the consecration of the priesthood (see Exodus 29 and Leviticus 8). Christ is symbolized in the ram as he was consecrated from the foundations of the earth to be our great High Priest and foreordained to suffer and die for our sins. The red of the rams skins represented His blood. It is thought that Christ may have been born in early April, and under the Greek zodiacal system, His sign would have been Aires, the ram, which spans the 1st 30 degrees of celestial longitude. We are not told what type of skins were used to substitute for the fig leaves worn by Adam and Eve after they were driven from the Garden of Eden, but perhaps they were ram skins.

First curtain, goat hair. Curtains of stitched goat hair formed the walls of the (tent) Tabernacle. They were likely black as most all goats in the Middle East had black hair. Many depict these walls as white, representing purity. Black is more likely because it is the color of sin and death, and the absence of light. Goats were the sacrificial animal used in the sin offerings (Leviticus 9:3). Two goats were sacrificed on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:5-28). Sheep and goats represented saved and unsaved people (Matthew 25:32). Christ, although perfect, came in the likeness of (sinful) man (Romans 8:3). There were 11 such curtains. 11 is the number of disorganization (11 apostles after Judah's betrayal, 9/11, 11 stars in Joseph's dream). Christ disorganized the work of satan, the god of this world, and brought the possibility of salvation to all who would follow Him. In the structure of the tabernacle, all but one (1/11th) of these curtains was exposed to sight, the others (10/11ths) were hidden underneath the two layers of covering/roofing materials. So to is only 1/11th of Christ's mortal life visible to us; the short time around his birth and as a boy in the temple, and then between the his 30th and 33rd years. At age 30, John revealed Christ saying "Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Truly, He is a pure and perfect offering for our sins.

Second curtain, fine cloth linen. This layer constituted what was seen from the interior of the Tabernacle's Holy Place, forming its walls and ceiling. They were made from finely twisted linens of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and had the designs of cherubim woven into them. These same colors are included in other fabric used in the Tabernacle: the gate, the door, the veil, and the High Priest's ephod. The colors are always listed in the same order, with the blended or harmonizing color of purple in the middle. Blue represents heaven, divinity, and grace. The sky is always blue, although we do not always see it that way because of clouds, pollution, or other obstructions, but Christ is always there, eternal, unchangeable. Blue represents Christ as the Son of God or Heaven. Skipping purple for a moment and focusing on scarlet. The name Adam comes from a root word meaning "red earth". Adam was made from the dust of the earth. We go from the blue heavens to the red earth. Christ was also born as a man on the earth, as a human, although with divine characteristics, thus scarlet can represent Christ as the Son among men or the Son of Man. Purple is made by mixing blue and scarlet. If we have both the divine and human in our Savior Christ, we have a Mediator. The colors were woven into fine linen, to create tapestries of cherubim. Cherubim serve as protection. They serve at the throne of God and protect both the gate to the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life. They sit above the mercy seat, guarding the sprinkled blood. Inside the Tabernacle they become the ceilings and the walls. One looking up would see that they protected the sanctuary of the Tabernacle. There were 10 such curtains, sewn together (at their ends) in pairs of five. The number 10 is a divisible number, like the 10 commandments can be divided into five requiring our duty towards God and five our duty towards man or the 10 virgins with five being wise and five foolish. Christ is a divider of people: 1) He divides those who believe in Him from those who do not and 2) He divides us from the world and our old way of life and unites us unto Him. Holding the linen curtains together were 50 golden clasps. Those on the goat hair curtains were made of bronze, showing progression, as the metal increases in value as we move from outside in. These 50 clasps are along the ceiling of the Tabernacle and forms the border separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. Fifty is the number of Pentecost. The Day of Pentecost came 50 days after Christ's crucifixion, the day after the seventh Sabbath. On this day, the Holy Ghost descended upon each disciple of Christ, who was strengthened and empowered by its presence. Entering into the Tabernacle's Holy Place contained much symbolism of the Holy Ghost, which will be covered in later posts.

So, in summary, the skin of the badger represented Christ's covering and protection for those who follow Him, the red dyed ram skin covering represented His atoning sacrifice for us where He is our substitute, and the goat hair covering represented Christ's offering for sin. Lastly, the cloth linen curtains represented Christ Himself, as the Mediator of the covenant between God and His People. The imagery of the Tabernacle is truly something we should contemplate to see the great love and order of our Father in Heaven.