Understanding The Bible
W. W. Rugh,
Bible Institute of Philadelphia
40 Page Printed Devotional Guide
1st Edition 1912
A tent, made of eleven curtains of goats' hair each four cubits wide and thirty
cubits long, covered the Tabernacle. These eleven curtains were bound together
in two large curtains, five curtains in one, and six curtains in the other,
which were coupled together as one, by fifty clasps of brass.
A covering of rains' skins dyed red was placed over the goats' hair tent, and above and over all was the covering of badgers' skins, or sealskins.
For us, the typical meaning of these coverings is discovered in the key verse given in John 1:14, "and, the Word became flesh, and dwelt (or tabernacled) among us." Christ was God incarnate. He was God dwelling in a tabernacle of flesh. God manifest in the flesh, for "in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." John 2:19, 21; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 2:9.
The outer covering of dark brown dirty looking badgers' skins, which protected all of the Tabernacle from the defiling elements without, foreshadows the humiliation of Christ, of whom we read that "when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." Isaiah 53:2.
This does not speak of Christ's personal appearance, but of His great humiliation in leaving His place in glory with the Father, as One who was equal with the Father, Himself the Creator of the universe, and in taking upon Himself "the likeness of sinful flesh," becoming a worm of the dust. John 17:5; Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:5-8.
The humility of Christ, His absolute subjection to the mind and will of God, in being willing to take the lowest place on God's footstool, in order to save others, protected Him from everything that was defiling here on earth. John 6:38; Galatians 1:4.
The delight which Jesus found in doing His Father's will was the yoke which kept Him continually, as the meek and lowly Ox, in God's way. Psalms 40:8; John 8:29; Matthew 11:29, 30.
If, like Him, we are
girded with humility, delighting to do His will in living for others, we will
not only be protected from the defiling things about us, but we will find rest
unto our souls, for His "yoke Is easy and His burden is light." Matthew 11:29,
30; 1 Peter 5:5, R. V.
The rams' skins dyed red at once suggests to us the object of Christ's humiliation, to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Philippians 2:8; Heb. 9:26; Gen. 22:13. This was the, consummation of a life of faith and obedience. Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 2:8. His absolute devotion unto God even unto death, made it possible for Jesus to say, "It is finished." John 19:30.
Paul, filled with the same Spirit, said "I count not my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24. At the close of his life, by the grace of God, He could say "I have finished my course." 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Timothy 4:7.
What Paul did, by the grace of God, in finishing his course, as, a bond-slave of Jesus Christ, every believer can do.
The tent, or covering of goats' hair reminds us of the result of Christ's death for us, the purification of sins. Upon the head of the scapegoat, all the sins of the children of Israel were laid on the great day of atonement, and borne away "into a land not inhabited," a land where there would be no one to call them to remembrance. Leviticus 16:21, 22.
The result for us, of the finished work of Christ, is that all our sins have been judged and put away, so that our Father "remembers them no more." Hebrews 1:3; 10:17; Psalms 103:12.
W. RUGH, Associate Dean, Bible Institute of Pennsylvania
1418 N. 16th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
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