Heb. 8:4-5 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “SEE,” He says, “THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN.”
I love the types and shadows pointing to Jesus throughout the Old Testament. Everything from the types of Christ seen in the lives of Joseph, David, and Isaac (amongst many others), to the shadows glimpsed in the sacrificial lambs, the rock following Moses in the wilderness, or the snake lifted up on a pole; the pictures and images of the person and ministry of Christ are endless. One of my favorites is the actual tabernacle of Moses. It is a picture of the work of Christ in redemption and access into a new life made available to us in Christ. Jonathan Edwards had an entire book that he wrote on types and shadows. Here is something he said of Moses’ tabernacle.
“So we find something of a spiritual nature called in the prophecies by the name of the golden candlestick that was in the tabernacle and temple (Zechariah 4). Something is called by the name of that cloud of glory that was above the mercy seat (Zechariah 6:13), and something called by the name of God’s dwelling between the cherubim (Psalms 99:1). The name of the incense, and the names of the sweet spices that were used in the incense and anointing oil in the sanctuary, are made use of to signify spiritual things appertaining to the Messiah and his kingdom in the book of Canticles and Psalms 45:8. And something spiritual in that prophecy, Psalms 45, is called “needlework,” the name of the work of the hangings and garments of the sanctuary. The garments of the church of the Messiah are spoken under the same representation as the curtains of the tabernacle and beautiful garments of the high priest.”
In the tabernacle we see the brazen altar that pictures the redemption from sin by the blood of Jesus. Then there is the bronze laver which shadows our need for continual washing as we come to minister before The Lord. From there we see the table of shewbread that typifies our daily nourishment from the bread of life. Next there is the golden lamp-stand proclaiming Christ as the Light of the world. Then we come to the altar of incense, speaking to us about prayer, intimacy, worship, and intercession. That brings us to the great veil that was torn in two displaying for us access into the holiest of all giving us this new and living way to live our lives. Now we stand before the ark of the covenant, bowing before the very Shekinah Glory in this place of intimacy. The blood has been shed, the veil is torn, we can come with boldness into this new life in the very presence of God.