Exodus 25 is the first in a long account of what God told Moses while on the Mountain for 40 days and 40 nights. God begins by giving instructions on how to build the tabernacle – or tent. This is where God would dwell among the Israelites…
In many ways the tabernacle points back to the Garden of Eden. Both were the dwelling place of God. Each entrance was guarded by Cherubim. The flowers on the Golden Lamp Stand seem to reflect the images of the Garden of Eden.
But the tabernacle also points forward. All of the objects within the tabernacle were symbols in which Christ fulfilled. For example, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” and “I am the bread of life,” as a reflection of the Golden Lamp Stand and the Table of the Bread of Presence respectively.
In today’s reading from Matthew, Jesus entered Jerusalem on the Sunday before Passover (Thursday). This entrance marked the beginning of what many scholars call “Passion Week.” Jews traveled long distances to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Passover and participate in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. One of Matthew’s main literary purposes of his gospel was to portray Jesus as “King.” Matthew quoted Zechariah that says “your King is coming…mounted on a donkey.” The people treated Jesus as a King as they shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Referring to Jesus as “the Son of David” revealed that the people thought he was the Promised King, the savior, the Messiah.
The next morning, Jesus entered the temple with authority. He was showing that He was the King of a spiritual Kingdom. As he was overturning the tables of the money changers, he was figuratively overturning the spiritual leadership of the day. Regarding the children’s praise, The ESV Study Bible comments; “Jesus acknowledged the children’s praise and linked it to Ps. 8:2, which the religious leaders should have known applied such praise to God, thus confirming Jesus as the divine Messiah.”
This passage is thick with allusions to Jesus’ Kingship!
But consider this…
Both passages from today’s reading point forward to an unspecified time in the future when “the dwelling place of God [will be] with man (Rev. 21:3). The tabernacle is just a shadow of what God’s house will be like in the new earth! And in that day, Jesus will not be the suffering-servant-King, but the King of all Glory and Splendor. The glory of the King will be so bright, we will no longer need the sun! That day will come!
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).