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Sermon #5212

The Message of the Tabernacle

A Sermon on the Tabernacle from Exodus 24:12


Exodus 24:12 ESV KJV
The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

Christians often wonder why their prayers are not answered? In this sermon on the Tabernacle from Exodus 24:12 titled “The Message of the Tabernacle,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proposes that perhaps prayers are not answered because the Christian does not approach God rightly. When they approach God, they cannot disregard the reason why they are able to approach Him. Rather than rushing to God with one’s needs, Christians should remember that God’s Son was given as a sacrifice for their sin that they might dwell in God’s presence. In this passage, Dr. Lloyd-Jones considers the significance of the tabernacle for the Israelites. The glorious message that comes with the tabernacle in the Old Testament is that God desires to dwell with His people. In the New Testament, Jesus’s death shows God’s desire to dwell with His people forever.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the topic of the tabernacle and how God instructed Moses and the Israelites to build it so that He could dwell among them.
  2. The sermon then highlights how the tabernacle is a prophecy of Jesus Christ coming to dwell among men. The tabernacle represents Jesus Christ in the flesh.
  3. The first main point of the sermon is that God wants to come and dwell with men despite man's sin and failure. God did not abandon man after the fall but provided a way for fellowship through the tabernacle.
  4. The second main point is that the tabernacle shows how man can come into God's presence. Man cannot come to God in his own way but must come in the way God prescribes.
  5. God gave very specific details about how to build and furnish the tabernacle. This shows that God must be approached in the way He dictates. Man cannot modify or dismiss these details.
  6. The first way to approach God is through the altar of burnt offering which represents repentance of sin. Man must first realize he is a sinner under God's wrath before coming to Him.
  7. The next item in the tabernacle is the laver which represents the need for cleansing from sin. Man needs to be sanctified and purified to come before a holy God.
  8. The lamp in the tabernacle represents the Holy Spirit who provides light, life, strength, and power to come before God.
  9. The veil in front of the Holy of Holies shows that man cannot enter into God's presence by himself. Only the high priest could enter once a year with blood.
  10. The high priest entering the Holy of Holies represents Jesus as our high priest entering heaven with His own blood to make atonement for our sins. Jesus is the only mediator between God and man.
  11. The mercy seat where the high priest sprinkled blood represents how God's law and grace come together. The law is fulfilled in Christ, and God forgives through faith in Christ's sacrifice.
  12. Knowing God through faith in Christ's sacrifice leads to God's blessing, peace, joy, and comfort. This is the message of the tabernacle.

Old Testament

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.