“For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place.” (Hebrews 9:2, ESV)
I remember when I was in the military having to do nighttime patrols. Sometimes it was so dark that the only thing you could see was the luminescent tabs on the cap of the soldier in front of you. It was often a struggle to patrol in these situations as you could not see the hazards in your path. So, the going was slow and difficult.
When the sun finally came up, everything was different. The light of the sun drove out the darkness. Suddenly all the hazards from the terrain that we could not formerly see were exposed. This made our movement much easier as we could negotiate around the hazards in our route.
In this section of the book of Hebrews, the author begins to discuss the Tabernacle. His intention is to speak about the Levitical priests and the high priest according to the Mosaic Law. So, he begins by describing the first section, the holy place. Here he mentions the furnishings that were in the holy places. Over the next several posts, we will look at the ways these furnishings picture Jesus Christ.
The first one he mentions is the golden lampstand. The golden lampstand had seven branches that were filled with pure olive oil. They were lit every evening to provide light in the holy place from evening until morning (Exod 27:20-21).
The lampstand is a picture of Jesus, who described Himself stating, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12, KJV 1900) As the light of the world, we who believe in Him have the light of life and we do not walk in darkness. He illuminates our lives so we can see the hazards of sin and avoid its deadly trap. We experience the joy of abundant life in Him. Since his light is in us, we also know that darkness cannot over take us.
Moreover, the light of Jesus that is in us has an outward purpose. It is not to be hidden in a box. It is to be radiated out from each believer to shine as a light of righteousness in a world of sin. Jesus tells us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, KJV 1900) When the light of Jesus shines out from us, it glorifies God. In addition, the light of Jesus’ righteousness exposes the sin around us. Moreover, the light of Jesus’ love that shines out from us blesses those we meet.
When you consider the Tabernacle, think about the lampstand. Is your lamp lit, illuminating the dark world in which we live? The oil that was in the branches of the lampstand was the purest olive oil. The purity of Jesus dwells in you to brightly illuminate your life. Let that light shine in every moment of your life. When you do, you will influence the world around and bring glory to God.