Field Stone Cottage Blog

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Advent Thoughts

We've just completed Exodus chapters 25-31 this week in my study of the life of Moses. These chapters outline the pattern for the tabernacle which God gives to Moses during their 40 day meeting on Mt. Sinai. Such an appropriate lesson for the beginning of advent! After telling the Israelites what offerings are required, God says in verse 8 of chapter 25 "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them." Immanuel. God with us.

Just as Moses is a type of Christ, so the entire plan of the tabernacle serves to foreshadow Him. The very word tabernacle means a dwelling of sorts but it is between the wings of the cherubim above the cover of the ark of the covenant specifically that God was understood to dwell.

The ark was a chest built to God's specifications to hold the tablets of the law. (Later, it also housed the jar of manna and Aaron's staff which budded. Hebrews 9:4) The cover of the ark of the covenant is called the atonement cover in the NIV but in other translations it is called the mercy seat. On the Day of Atonement, once a year, the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the animal sacrificed as a sin offering for the people on this cover and call on God for His mercy for them. As God looked down, He saw the blood of the sacrificed animal between Himself and His law which had been broken by His people. Here is a picture of God's judgment and the intercession of Christ through His shed blood giving forgiveness and righteousness to believers.

You may think I've strayed a bit from the topic of advent but the very word advent signifies a period of coming into being. So we are in the season of Christ's birth "coming into being." But there is a sense in which all time from eternity past, certainly from the point of view of what is recorded in the Old Testament of God's Word, is a season of preparation for Christ's coming, the period during which He would "dwell among us" in human flesh.


rosemary said...

It stills the heart, doesn't it, to ponder the details of "Immanuel, God with us." Great thoughts, Dorothy.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

And He continues to dwell with us!--not in the flesh, but in the Spirit! What a joy that is to know!

Kim from Hiraeth said...

You've got me thinking this morning, Dorothy! We still await His second coming: there is an advent still to come!

Dorothy said...

Ah, Kim. You are causing me to tip my hand a bit. I've got a couple more "Advent Thoughts" to post perking in my mind.

Elle said...

Our class takes the whole Thanksgiving week off so we are a week behind you. We catch up at Christmas. But loved reading your thoughts as this is the very lesson I am working on right now.

John said...

Very good post, Dorothy. I love thinking about the types of Christ in the OT law.

Did you notice that you've been tagged by Rebecca?

Dorothy said...

Thanks, John.

I did notice that Rebecca tagged me and have that on my "to do" list for tomorrow.