So far in our tour of the tabernacle we have explored the altar of burnt offering where sacrifices were made to atone for the sins of Israel. This altar was a shadow of God’s perfect sacrifice – Jesus Christ (Heb 10:10-12). After we partook of this sacrifice we continued on to the brazen laver. This laver was filled with water for the intent of washing the Priest’s hands and feet. This ceremonial washing made the Priest clean and fit for the service of God. The laver served as a figure of the word of God. As a royal priesthood, all believers today can read and study God’s word. His word serves as a cleansing agent in our life (Ps 119:9), it instructs us, convicts us, and if properly applied, changes us.
In this study, we are going to continue walking west, away from the gate. Here we will come to the sanctuary. Remember that within this small structure were two rooms, the first being the holy place and the second, the most holy place. These two rooms were separated by the vail. We will stay in the holy place for now and begin to explore it`s furniture.
The first item that we will discuss in the holy place is the table of shewbread.
• Alternate reading Exodus 25:23-30 and answer the questions below.
Q. What was the table made of? What was it covered with?
Q. What accessories were made for the table? v29.
Q. What was to be set upon the table “alway”?________________________.
The purpose of this table was simply to hold the shewbread. The bread itself will be the main subject of this study. • Alternate reading Lev 24:5-9, where we find a description of this bread.
Q. How many “cakes” were to be on the table?______________.
Q. How were these cakes to be arranged?
Q. Where were these cakes to come from?________________________.
Q. What were Aaron and his sons to do with the bread? _________________.
Q. How did God describe this bread? v9. M_________ H____________.
As we learned in our introduction to this series, the tabernacle was a pattern, a figure and a shadow of things to come (Heb 8:5, 10:1). Some of these shadows are easier to discern than others. For instance, we are told explicitly that the altar of burnt offering pointed to the offering of Christ on the cross (Heb 10:7-12). Then there are other symbols which are not as easy to discern. As students of the Bible our task is to search the scriptures and to prayerfully attempt to understand them and their applications. That being said, lets look into the word of God and discover what the table of shewbread may have envisioned.
First of all, the bread speaks of The Sacrifice of Christ.
• Luke 22:19. Q. At this first communion service, what did Jesus compare his body to?______________________________.
Q. Jesus said “This is my body which is _____________________________”
• Write Jesus words in John 6:48__________________________________.
• John 6:51. Q. What was the “bread” that Jesus would give?
Q. Why did Jesus give this bread (his body)? __________________________.
It seems very likely that the bread of the tabernacle in the Old Testament, in some respect, forshadowed the offering of Christ’s body in the New Testament. Let’s consider some other facts about the bread that may make this picture clearer.
The Bread was an Offering
• Leviticus 24:7 And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even __________________________
________________________________ unto the LORD.
Although the Priests would eat this bread each Sabbath day, it was actually an offering to the Lord. The frankincense which was placed on top of the rows was burned each sabbath as the old bread was taken away and the new bread was brought in. This burning of frankincense was accepted by God as a representation of the offering of all the bread
The Bread was Pure
Any representation of the sacrifice of Christ must of necessity be pure. (1 Pet 1:19, Heb 7:26). He is our sinless saviour, our lamb without spot, and our undefiled priest. How does the table of shewbread picture this?
• Leviticus 24:6-7 And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the _______________________ before the LORD. And thou shalt put _________________ upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
The Bread was Taken from Out of Israel
In a great prophecy of Christ’s first coming, Moses said in • Deuteronomy 18:15: ”The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the
________________________, _______________________, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
How might the shewbread picture this aspect of Christ’s coming?
• Leviticus 24:8 Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being _______________________________________________ by an everlasting covenant.
The Bread was a Continual Provision
God was very clear concerning his desire that the bread be always present upon the table. Each sabbath day one group of priests would come and remove the rows of bread from the table, as they were removing the old bread another set of priests would immediately replace them with new, hot bread. This was done in fulfillment of God’s command that it be “set in order before the LORD continually” (Lev 24:8). In Num 4:7 it is called “continual bread”.
• Lev 24:8-9. How did God describe his covenant concerning the shewbread? E______________________ C____________________ and a P_______________________ S_________________________.
God ensured that the picture which the bread painted was one of continual provision. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:12 that Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins for ever.
The Bread was to Be Eaten
• Lev 24:9 And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they _______________ in the holy place…
Just like the Christian who eats the communion bread at the Lord’s Supper, the Priest was to take this bread, which was first offered to God, and eat it. What significance does the eating of the bread show?
It Speaks of Identification
• Alternate reading John 6:51-56. In this passage Jesus is again comparing his body and his blood to bread and to drink. This was a hard saying for the Jews and Jesus’ own disciples to understand.
_ Why do you think Jesus uses this analogy to describe his body and blood?
• John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, _________________________ and ________________________________.
We can understand why the disciples became offended at this teaching! The idea of someone eating flesh and drinking blood is sure to conjure up some grotesque images. But the gratuitous nature of this analogy was purposeful. Jesus wanted to clearly and strikingly illustrate the close communion and identification his followers have with Him.
Jesus said that when we accept him as our Lord and Saviour we are then in Him and he is in us (John 14:20). We identify ourselves with Christ and actually partake of him. After salvation we are indivisibly linked to Jesus Christ (Rom 8:38,39). This is the picture of the shewbread. As the Priests ate this bread in the holy place they were ingesting a powerful picture of the coming saviour. They were indentifying themselves with the Messiah, and personally partaking of Him.
It Speaks of Fellowship
Q. How many loaves were there? What is the significance of this? Lev 24:5
Although only Aaron and his sons could eat the shewbread, all twelve tribes of Israel were represented by the twelve loaves. In the New Testament we see that fellowship and breaking of bread is often linked together (Acts 2:42, 46)
As the Priests ate the bread in the holy place they were communing with God, and with each other. This was a holy fellowship in the presence of the Lord. 1 John 1:7 tells us “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another”. There is a sweet fellowship for Christians who will commune together around the things of the Lord.
The shewbread reminds us that Jesus was given for us, that his sacrifice is forever applied to us, that we now have an intimate relationship with Him, and that when we walk in Him we can have wonderful fellowship with one another.HHHsdf