The Jewish temple symbols are connected to the ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Hebrews 8:2). The temple blueprints were a copy of the original sanctuary in heaven (Hebrews 8:1, 2, 5). The Bible teaches that everything in the sanctuary or connected with its service was a symbol of something Jesus would do in saving us “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary” (Psalms 77:13).
The temple was divided to three parts: the court yard, the holy place and the most holy place.
First-The court yard in the temple had 2 pieces of furniture:
- The altar of burnt offerings where animals were sacrificed (Exodus 27:1-8). This altar represented the cross of Christ. The animal sacrifices pointed to Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice (John 1:29).
- The laver (wash basin) is where the priests washed their hands and feet before offering a sacrifice or entering the sanctuary (Exodus 30:17-21 38:8). The water represented cleansing from sin, or the new birth (Titus 3:5).
Second-The holy place in the temple had 3 pieces of furniture:
- The table of shewbread (Exodus 25:23-30) represented Jesus, the living bread (John 6:51).
- The seven-branch candlestick (Exodus 25:31-40) represented Jesus, the light of the world (John 9:5 1:9). The oil represented the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:1-6 Revelation 4:5).
- The altar of incense (Exodus 30:7, 8) represented the prayers of God’s people (Revelation 5:8).
Third-The most holy place in the temple had one piece of furniture:
The Ark of the Covenant, the only piece of furniture in the most holy place (Exodus 25:10-22), was a box or chest of acacia wood overlaid with gold. Standing atop the chest were two angels made of solid gold. Between these angels was the mercy seat (Exodus 25:17-22), where the supernatural presence of God dwelt. The Ark of the Covenant symbolized God’s throne in heaven, which is likewise located between two angels (Psalms 80:1).
The Ten Commandments, which God wrote on tables of stone with His own finger, and which His people will always obey (Revelation 14:12), were inside the ark (Deuteronomy 10:4, 5). But the mercy seat was above them, which signified that as long as God’s people confessed and forsook their sins (Proverbs 28:13), mercy would be extended to them through the blood which was sprinkled on the mercy seat by the priest (Leviticus 16:15, 16).
In His service,