Erediens Tyd: Sondae 09:30
Woord in Klank

Scripture : Exodus 27 : 16a

During the journey of the nation Israel through the desert, the Lord lived among them in a small demarcated area – in the tabernacle – and specifically in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle. (Later: the Temple in Jerusalem).

It was a picture image of paradise that was going to be restored: God and man dwelling together once more. A picture image of what Revelation 21 describes as the “New Jerusalem“.

The wonder is: The tabernacle is a prophetic picture image of who Jesus is and what He was going to do. Look at the tabernacle and you see the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what we want to look at in this series: How every detail of the tabernacle points to Christ and what it means in our lives in the 21st century.

Last Sunday we saw that the tabernacle had only one entrance with an exaggerated width of 10 meters. Not a little gap through which one has to try and worm through. In John 10:9 our Lord Jesus says of Himself that HE is the gate. He is the only way to the true God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

Significant that the entrance to the tabernacle was FOUR-COLOURED. Scarlet, purple, blue and white. Together, these four colours tell us WHO Jesus is in the believer’s life. What He is busy doing in the life of a child of God.

And we need not wonder what these colours mean, because the Bible explains itself.

SCARLET: Salvation by the blood of sacrifice. PURPLE: Kingship. Purple is a royal colour in the Bible. For example the purple robe the soldiers put on Jesus when they mocked Him for His kingship. BLUE: Heavenly descent of Christ. John 3:13 (“No one has ever gone into heaven except the One who came from heaven – the Son of Man”). WHITE: Perfect complete righteousness. Fine white linen of Rev 19:8.

These four colours have a great direct influence on one’s life if you trust in Christ alone for your salvation. It is impossible to stand at a distance and take note of this.

Figuratively speaking: At that time an Israelite could not enter the tabernacle and walk through the curtain without having contact with the curtain. The four-coloured curtain “gave off” on a person – to put it like that. About that the Bible is clear: whoever came to faith in Jesus Christ, experience the EFFECT of WHO He is in his/her life. In the form of these 4 colours, Christ actively comes into our lives. Let us take a brief look at it.

1 SCARLET – Salvation through the blood. The colour of sin is scarlet (Is 1:18). But the colour of salvation is also scarlet. For example, a) Deliverance out of Egypt through the Red Sea. b) Rahab was saved by the RED rope that was hanging from her house. c) Israel was saved by the blood of lambs painted on the doorframes (Ex 12). d) In old Israel a RED cow’s ashes were used in a ritual that signified cleansing from sin (Numbers 19). e) Important: Isaiah 63:2. Here the coming Saviour (Jesus) is prophetically seen and it is said that His robe would be RED when He alone shall work salvation.

That is the first colour with which Christ is at work in the lives of THOSE people who (by the power of the Spirit) come to be born-again and place their trust in Him. His blood truly has broken the power of sin (Heb 9:14, 10:14). It is red on red. The red of the blood that changes the red of sin into white-as-wool, as Is 1:18 puts it. It is not merely a possibility. It is also not a proposal. It is not dependent on how strong WE are. It is DONE. IT IS FINISHED, Jesus cried on the cross. IT IS PAID. IT IS COMPLETED. That is good news, is it not?

Additional good news is: ALL sin is broken by Him. Those things also that over the years have grown so strong and which felt/seemed indelible. Literally, EVERYTHING that wants to keep us away from fellowship with God. There is no sin, however stubborn and often committed, that make one’s access to the tabernacle (God’s presence) impossible. See Romans 6 – our old self has died completely with Christ. Therefore we may return to Him time and time again with our sin. We may speak it to Him. We may be honest and broken before Him.

The big mistake we make is: we think that once we believe, the blood will save me and the blood will work in my life. Just as if WE must activate God’s power before it can work.

No, the wonderful truth is: Because Jesus died and rose from the grave, salvation works powerfully. And, it is THAT which we believe and receive. We do not put anything in action! We receive that which is already working. We put our trust in the death and resurrection of Christ.

2 PURPLE: Kingship: When Christ is at work with purple (kingship authority) in our lives, we come to realise that the enemy is utterly and completely conquered and that he has definitely lost his grip. Satan and evil are NOT able to barricade the entrance into the presence of God. Eph 1:22 (And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything) and 1 Pet 3:22 (He has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to Him). It is a reality that the chains and shackles have fallen off.

Furthermore, Jesus’s kingship demands obedience. There is no way in which one can believe in Him without there being a desire to follow Him in obedience. Remember: His kingly purple garment means that He has all authority. Because He is King, our egos are pushed off the throne in principle. It is not only about our beginning to believe in Him but also that we start to FOLLOW Him. After all, a king is followed in obedience. And we CAN follow Him because our egos are pushed off the throne. After all, because HE is King. Romans 6 is explicit about that. When Jesus died, our old self died also. Even though our flesh is weak, the King is mighty. He is, whether we feel it or not.

Let us become practical: What effect does Jesus’s royal purple garment have on you or me when we must make choices in our everyday lives? Or when all kinds of bad temptations harass us? Or when the claims of Scripture confronts us? For example when you make a business transaction. Or a choice to look at this or that something online?

Can you see how this issue circles out far outside this church building? It really affects our personal lives.

I recently read how Christians in China follow the Lord Jesus so sincerely that they would rather pay a price than compromise.

There is telling of one lady – named Ruth – who resigned her work at a state department, and continued without an income because her work demanded from her to make a compromise in certain ways in contradiction to the Scriptures. To her, the purple of Jesus’s Kingship carried more weight than anything else.

3 BLUE: Heavenly descent: The heavenly descent and destination of Jesus Christ. John 3:13. John 13:3. In other parts of the Scriptures, we see that blue and purple go together concerning royal status. For example Esther 8:15: Mordecai’s royal garments.

The blue indicates though, more specifically to this King’s heavenly descent and destination.

What effect does it have in your and my life when Jesus is at work with this blue colour?

Eph 2:6 cast significant light on this. The Spirit says through Paul that God gave us a position in Christ – He seated us with Christ in the heavenly realms. He gave us a place in heaven in/with Christ. Enormously profound, not so. And remember: he is not speaking of eternity with Christ. He is talking about our lives here and now.

You see, from God’s point of view and through His performance, we are – included with Christ – in a higher position than our earthly struggles and troubles. We are looking down on our problems.

And we can depend on Christ’s steadfastness.
Or can we not depend on it? Yes. Sometimes it may feel like that. Jeremiah was at one stage so afraid that he felt as if the Lord was like a deceptive river (Jer 15:18). Do you also know that? The anxiety? Things that make you panic and tremble? You see, we confess that the Lord will carry us safely through to heaven, but how anxious we sometimes become that perhaps He may drop us.

When Christ is at work in our lives with the blue of His heavenly destination, then we begin to realise that we can depend on our heavenly security and that IN HIM we rose above the things that cause our fear and anxiety.

4 WHITE: Complete perfect righteousness: Throughout the Scriptures, a white garment indicates a righteous position before God – a righteous position before His perfect Law. What position? A position of complete RIGHTEOUSNESS before Him/Law – even though we are in ourselves NOT righteous. We know perfectly well that in ourselves we are NOT righteous. Yet we have the assurance that we ARE completely righteous because HE declared us righteous. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us through faith in Him.

How could He declare us righteous? Is He not aware of all our sins? Does He not know how wrong we are? Yes, He knows. But, He CLOTHED us with Christ himself. See 2 Cor 5:21. And Christ IS the 100% righteousness (being-right) before the Law. In Jeremiah 23:6 the Lord Jesus is called: “The Lord our Righteousness“.

I am 100% IN POSSESSION of the favour of God because Jesus’s pure white righteousness is booked over into my account. Therefore I don’t any longer have to deserve God’s favour. Jesus’s full mark now appears on my examination paper. That is what He does to me when He works in my life with His WHITE. He brings an end to my inclination to want to deserve God’s favour.

How often one finds oneself imagining that you must keep God on your side by prayer, reading the Bible, attending Bible studies, witnessing, being involved, growing spiritually, etc. ALL these things are of course very important. But, we are inclined to do these things to have God look favourably on us. Then we think: surely NOW He will bless me.

But observe what we do. When something bad happens to someone, we ask: Why HIM/HER? He/she cares so much for others and is so faithful at church! OR: Why did this or that happen to me: I have prayed so much and given so much as a thank offering. That is the natural way we argue, but Jesus is working in our lives with WHITE to deliver us from our anxiety to buy His favour.

Go and think over Christ’s work with the four colours in your life, and you shall experience the full riches of the Gospel in your life, and that the Christian Faith truly works practically and that it is very pleasant!

Translated by Marthie Wilson

Category Tabernacle

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