The Sanctuary and the children of Israel

Did you know that the way God led the Israelites out of Egypt to himself is found in the sanctuary?

What was the first thing that God instructed the children of Israel to do to prepare to leave bondage?

Ex 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.

John 1:29 Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world

Note: God instructed Israelites to offer a sacrifice. The first article in the sanctuary was a bronze alter of sacrifice (Exodus 27:1-8) where animals were sacrificed. It was located in the courtyard just outside the entrance of the sanctuary. The lamb represented Jesus who died for our sins.

After the sacrifice of the lamb, where did God lead the children of Israel to go through?

Ex 14:21,22 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

1 Corinthians 10:1,2 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea

Note: The children of Israel went through the red sea which was a symbol or type of baptism. In the sanctuary, the article of furniture found right after the bronze alter of sacrifice (Exodus 27:1-8) was the Laver. The laver (Exodus 30:17-21; 38:8) was a large wash basin of brass located between the entrance of the sanctuary and the altar of burnt offerings. There priests washed their hands and feet before entering the sanctuary or offering a sacrifice. The water represented baptism, cleansing from sin, and the new birth.

Immediately after crossing the red sea, how did God test the Israelites?

Ex 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

John 6:48-50 I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

Note: God tested them with bread. When we think of bread, in the sanctuary we are thinking of the table of shew bread (Exodus 25:23-30). Man was wholly dependent upon God for both temporal and spiritual food.

Why does God call the Israelites a royal priesthood?

Ex 19:5,6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.

Note: Jesus said “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). God’s people are to represent his light. In Ex 19, God is declaring that Israelites are the light of the world represented by the 7 branch candlesticks. The lamps in the earthly sanctuary were to burn continually (Lev. 24:2). So his people are ever to let the Spirit of God rule in his life, and thus shed its light abroad.

Why were the children of Israel asked to be ready?

Exodus 19:10,11 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

Note: They were to spend the next three days in preparation for God’s coming. They were to be praying searching their souls represented by the alter of incense. (Ex. 29: 38-40). The golden altar was an "altar of continual intercession," representing the prayers of God's people coming up before Him continually.

Then God detail out the Law of self sacrificing love in Exodus 20:3-17:

The law of God is symbolic of the Ark of the Covenant in the most Holy place. God Himself covered the broken law with a mercy-seat; and God, took His position upon that seat, so that every sinner who comes confessing his sins, may receive mercy and pardon. That mercy-seat, with the cloud of glory, the visible representation of God's presence, and its covering cherubim, is a figure, or "shadow," of the throne of the great God, who proclaims His name as "merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth." (Ex. 34:5-7) Sin and rebellion drives us out of the presence of God, but God would have us come back and this process is seen in the sanctuary.

"Thy way, Oh God, is in the sanctuary." Psalms 77:13

See also : Gospel in the Old Testament