Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday and the Tabernacle

I was supposed to post this yesterday. Of course it was a self-imposed "supposed" because now I'm getting all out of order, but I really, REALLY wanted to post this at 3 on Friday. You'll see why in a bit.

We went to see a life sized replica of the tabernacle of those desert wandering Israelites. It was in the middle of the Negev. And it was raining. We were in on the one inch they get a year. Aren't we special?

It was considerably smaller than I'd imagined. As were most things in Israel besides the Temple--which I only saw in miniature--but the proportions were spectacular. Here I am standing, inappropriately dressed (it was the theme of the week) before the Bronze Altar.
Here is our temporary guide at the bronze laver. She asked us before we went in if we wanted the Old Testament tour or the New Testament tour. We asked for the "both" tour. She lit up like a Christmas tree and began one of my favorite tours of the weeks. She walked us through the tabernacle and gave the entire story with a Hebrew accent of how the tabernacle points directly to Y'shua. (Goodness, I hope I spelled that correctly.) She would have nothing to do with the name Jesus. "Is He American?" She asked. "No? English? No? So what was his name?Y'shua." She is a beautiful woman.
The table of showbread. I don't remember the significance. Study Hebrews 9. It's next on my list. I also hope against hope that Spence videoed the entire tour because I want to show it to everyone I know.
The lampstand.
The Altar of Incense.
Creepy blue-eyed mannequin dressed as the high priest complete with breastplate.
The Ark of the Covenant.
With the ten commandments, Aaron's staff and the jar of manna inside.
Me, crying. And why? I'll get to that in a minute.

This is a shot within the Holy Place. Those navy striped curtains in front of you are the entrance to the Most  Holy Place.

I don't know about you, but when I've read the cricifixion story, or heard it told, the versions go something like, "All our sins were piled on Jesus, and God could no longer look on him because he was so ugly to God with all our sins on him" thus the reason that Jesus said, "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" 

And, frankly, I have always been bothered by that. How cold. How unfeeling. I mean, this was HIS SON. I can imagine looking away because you can't stand the sight of the suffering of your child, though I find that when my children are suffering is when I'm most likely to look on them. I cry with them. I lock eyes with them and hope that by sheer force of will I can make the pain go away with my earnest stare. (I look away from the wound. I can't stand that.)

I've decided, in all my wisdom (that IS tongue in cheek), that Jesus, like most humans, cried out to God, feeling forsaken more than being truly forsaken, but that's just me. Although being the sacrifice for a bunch of ungrateful humans seems rather forsaken, I suppose.

So our guide says, while indicating the curtain between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place and talking about how thick it was in the Temple, etc., "And the Bible says that it was torn in two from top to bottom. Why was that?"

We, good Christians, gave the good Christian answers. God opened himself up to us, He is no longer separated from us, Jesus is the door way to God, yadda yadda yadda. You know, all those things you are taught in Sunday School, right? And like a good Sunday School teacher she says, "yes," and "uh, huh," and "What else?" 

And THEN she says, "What do Jewish parents do when their children die?"

Oh. My. Blessed. Risen. Savior.

The tear their clothes from top to bottom. My God, my "unfeeling" "uncaring" "cold" Father in Heaven MOURNED His Son. He ripped his clothes from top to bottom.

Yes, to give us access to him.
Yes, to indicate Jesus is the pathway.
AND to show His grief. He ripped his clothing right in two.

Oh, Sweet Jesus.

I cried for hours. My God is not an unfeeling Father. He loves His son. And by allowing His Son to be OUR sacrifice, how much does He love us? 

That's just amazing.

And I'll sign off in the same way our guide sent us off, but I'll give the English because I don't know Hebrew. But let me tell you, it is Beautiful.

"The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24

I highly recommend you go here and listen to it in Hebrew. And here to read about how the LORD delights in us as a father. And that page gives more on the blessing as well. 

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

But more on THAT tomorrow.


S said...

CRYING!!!!!!! THank you for sharing that!

MotherT said...

I have shared the veil story with several people--all of them have been as touched by it as I was.

AOISA ASIA Design said...

Hi there. Im a missionary in the Philippines, I am Colombian, my name is Miguel. in researching stuff about the Tabernacle and suddenly I was caught by your blog. Once I was in Israel 4 years ago, in my very own pilgrimage, I didnt get the chance to go there in that simulation of the tabernacle, but it just look amazing. and I really was touched by the story of God ripping his own clothes. Its very touching. I understand why you cried!! God bless! don´t stop posting on your blog! Take Care! -Miguel