“You shall make seven lamps for it. And the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it.” Exodus 25:37
Ok, so this is not the fanciest picture out there, but it does show the location of the lampstand and the table of showbread – which is what I want to focus on. The lampstand was on the south side of the tabernacle and the table on the north. According to the verse in Exodus 25 the lampstand was to light up the space in front of it. This would mean it was designed to provide light for the table with the showbread on it.
Last month we talked about how the lampstand represents the church with Jesus in the middle and man branching off (yet firmly connected to the Christ in the middle). We also discussed last month how the altar of incense represents our prayers ascending to the Father as a sweet smelling aroma due to Jesus perfect sacrifice. We will now turn our attention to the only remaining item in the Holy Place, and that is the table of showbread. In Hebrews 8 we are taught that the things in the Tabernacle and Temple were shadows of heavenly things. That means we can look at the temporary, earthly picture from the Tabernacle to get a glimpse of an eternal, heavenly truth.
In John 6:35 Jesus tells us that He is the bread of life. From this verse alone we can determine that the bread represents Jesus. Going on a little, further Jesus gets a little more specific in John 6:48-51 saying “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Here Jesus is telling us that the heavenly thing represented by bread is his flesh (or body). When Jesus was with his disciples at Passover he gave us one more hint about the bread. “Now as they were eating Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26
It is the broken bread that we are to feed on.
- The broken bread represents Jesus’ beaten and bruised body that remained after fully satisfying all the righteous requirements of the law.
- He cried out “finished” to let us know he had succeeded in removing every speck of sin from us, and
- He was raised by the Father to prove we are justified.
The job of the church is to shed light upon the finished work of Christ. It is such a beautiful setup because the Spirit within the church shines light on the finished work of Jesus (John 16:13-15).
- There is power in the finished work of Christ (Romans 1:16).
- There is salvation in the finished work of Christ (Titus 2:11).
- There is forgiveness in the finished work of Christ (Acts 5:31).
- There is strength in the finished work of Christ (Romans 16:25).
- There is healing in the finished work of Christ (Isaiah 53:5).
Often in the church we are afraid to bring our strongholds into the light. Strongholds can be anything other than the LORD that has a strong hold on us. It can be anything from an illness to a secret sin. We may be secretive and keep things hidden in the dark due to our fear of disappointment, rejection or judgment, or the realization that once the thing is out – life will never be the same again. Although it is true that life might never be the same again, it is a good change! We bring our strongholds into the light and to the finished work of Christ. When side by side with the finished work of the cross NO stronghold can stand! 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 makes this exact point:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strong holds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. The phrase “the obedience of Christ” is another way of pointing to the finished work of Jesus on the cross. There are some translations that say “to obey Christ” focusing more on what we should do instead of what Jesus did. The Greek word here is a noun not a verb putting emphasis on Christ’s obedience. Every stronghold has no place in the presence of the finished work of Jesus.