All in Lord's Day Morning
At the gate of the taberbacle compound, stood the altar, sometimes referred to as the Brazen altar or ‘the altar...at the door’ (Lev 4:7). It is to this item that we turn to first, as we move our way inwards towards the holiest of all. This will commence our investigation of the typical purpose of the tabernacle.
In our last article, we noted that there was both a historical and typical purpose to the Tabernacle. Typically it functions as a 'shadow of heavenly things' (Heb 8:5) and 'the good things to come’ (Heb 10:1). This theme will be the purpose of the rest of this series, but for now, we are interested in its historical purpose, a 'figure for the time then present' (Heb 9:9).
What do you think about the Tabernacle? Do you think about the Tabernacle? There is much discussion among Bible interpreters about how to handle this interesting Old Testament structure. Some are accused of going too far. They see ‘types’  of Christ in almost every detail and feature given in the Exodus narrative. Others are criticised for making too little of it. They consign it to a contextual and historical meaning only. That is, they refuse to accept that it has any relevance to believers of this age. As always, the answer lies somewhere between the two. We do not have the liberty to make what we want out of the Tabernacle, but neither do we have permission to ignore it completely. Scripture tells us how to approach the Tabernacle today, and it is to that which we will turn in this series focused on this glorious Old Testament type.
The Lord Jesus having addressed God’s fatherhood, transcendence and holiness now appeals to his omnipotence. Having addressed God’s person he desires that God shows his attributes – God’s interests are first on this prayer list.
The differentiator pitting the Christian faith against all other world religions is that we have a Saviour who predicted and performed His own bodily resurrection. We worship a Saviour who once was dead, but now is alive forevermore. The one thing that Satanic forces, Jewish leaders, human minds and Roman power wanted to prevent was this very resurrection, or at least a staged version thereof. Yet in the wisdom of God, all opposition to the purposes of God worked in God’s favour to help prove the truth, “He is not here: for He is risen” (Mt 28:6a). We can examine this together in Matthew 27:66 and revel in the wisdom of God.
The Lord having started his prayer addressing the Fatherhood and transcendence of God, now addresses the holiness of God. In a day and age where everything is common, and God’s name debased, let us remember that God is separate, other and categorically different.
The Old Testament is full of passages that are anticipatory of the coming Messiah. Some are obvious and overt–Psalm 22, 69, and Isaiah 53–others are more subtle and nuanced. Proverbs 8 is the latter. Using the style of its poetic genre, Solomon personifies wisdom to give it character. He attributes to an abstract concept, specific and personal characteristics. 'Doth not Wisdom cry?' (8:1, KJV) asks Solomon, 'At the entrance of the doors, she cries out' (8:3, NASB) he continues.
This week we are posting Hannah Burlingham’s beautiful hymn ‘On His Father’s throne is seated’ reminding us of the current lofty position occupied by our Saviour, granted by the Father. This is contrasted in verse 3 to the Cross given to Him by man. Well might we sing again this morning, ‘This world’s judgment stands recorded. God’s own justice satisfied!’
Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones once said that “prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when, on his knees, he comes face-to-face with God”. To varying degrees and at different times in lifewe have all experienced the thrill of ‘face-to-face’communion with God. Yet often in our lives, and just like the disciples here, we need to be reminded and helped in this vital spiritual exercise. Today we say with them; “Lord, teach us pray” (v 1).
Two words stand out in Luke’s account of the people’s reaction to the greatness of the Lord Jesus, as demonstrated in the healing of the demon-possessed boy: amazement and wonder.
What would you say marks an ideal servant? For those in employment, there are directives given by Paul in the New Testament: 'be submissive...in everything...be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith' (Tt 2:9–10, ESV). Paul outlines features such as submission, integrity and trustworthiness as marks of the servant.
I wonder what sort of atmosphere characterises your meeting before it begins? In some places it is light chatter that can build up into a cacophony of noise. Often there are cordial smiles and greetings as people take their seats. Every meeting has a few ‘meerkats’ whose necks crane and look around to investigate every new sight or sound that enters the meeting room. Perhaps there are some who struggle to get to the meeting 10 minutes before it begins and thus enter the building flustered and in a jangling of noise. These are often common sights that we’ve all experienced.
This anonymous hymn is a timely reminder of the contrast between the depths of the temporal sufferings of the Lord Jesus and the eternal joys of His exaltation. As we remember Him again today may our hearts be touched by His willingness to lay aside what was His by right in exchange for the depths of Calvary’s wrath.
The Lord Jesus told many parables and used multiple illustrations that had a secondary audience. In Luke 6 he is addressing his disciples–‘And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said...’ (v20)–but you get the feeling that His perennial enemies, the scribes and the Pharisees, were not far away (v7).
There are few people who can claim to have been betrayed as often and as treacherously as King David. He first experienced betrayal at the hands of King Saul. Fresh back from his victory over Goliath in the Valley of Elah, he might have expected some form of preferential treatment in the King’s palace. Instead he heard the whistle of the King’s spear as it flew past his head and thudded into the wall behind.
The ceremonial cleansing of the leper found in Leviticus 14 is a wonderful picture of what Christ has done for us through His incarnation, death, and resurrection. A deeper look of this ceremony will warm our cold hearts, and fill us with joy at who Christ truly is.
What greater contrast could Doctor Luke present to affirm the stately humanity of the Lord Jesus? ‘Led by the Spirit’–even the Son of God, the perfect man, deemed it necessary to be led by the Spirit. We understand why Scripture would tell us that we should be led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14, KJV), but why Him? Surely as God, He did not require the work of the Spirit in this way? We note that He was also 'full of the Holy Ghost' (4:1) and so while we might not understand it, we are told that it was so. Thus, we read He was 'led by the Spirit' to go into the wilderness.
The authorship of this poem is contested, but it remains a poignant reminder of the believer’s blessing as a result of the incarnation of our Saviour.