The Outer Court (or Court of the Tabernacle) points to Jesus
Christ, just as does every part of the Tabernacle of Moses. In this post we will see the beautiful picture of the holiness and the redemption of Jesus Christ in the walls and gate of the Outer Court.
“You shall also make the court of the tabernacle. For the south side there shall be hangings for the court made of fine woven linen, one hundred cubits long for one side. 10 And its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets shall be bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be silver. 11 Likewise along the length of the north side there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, with its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of bronze, and the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver.
12 “And along the width of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits, with their ten pillars and their ten sockets. 13 The width of the court on the east side shall be fifty cubits. 14 The hangings on one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets. 15 And on the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets.
16 “For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. It shall have four pillars and four sockets. 17 All the pillars around the court shall have bands of silver; their hooks shall be of silver and their sockets of bronze. 18 The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, the width fifty throughout, and the height five cubits, made of fine woven linen, and its sockets of bronze.
The Materials of the Outer Court
As we saw in Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials every item used in the construction of the Tabernacle had a divine purpose and meaning:
- The walls of the Outer Court were made from hangings of fine woven linen = the Righteousness of Christ
- Its 20 pillars and 20 sockets for the pillars were made of bronze = judgment against sin
- The hooks and bands of the pillars were made of silver = redemption
The Outer Court is a picture of Christ. Christ came in His righteousness as our redemption. He took our place, as a substitutionary atonement in God’s judgment against sin.
The Outer Court and the Law of God.
The Outer Court is also a picture of the Law of God. The Tabernacle was surrounded by a wall of fine linen hangings. This wall kept the Holy of Holies, where God’s Shekinah Glory dwelt, separate from the outside world. Each person upon approaching God’s dwelling place, the Tabernacle, was confronted by this huge 7.5 foot-high wall of fine linen.
As we know, fine linen speaks to us of righteousness. At the front of the Tabernacle an individual was confronted with the wall of the holy standard of God’s righteousness upon their approach to Him. How could they enter this holy and righteous place? How could they scale this wall of righteousness? How could they get to a holy God?
The Bible says “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” Isaiah 59:2
The sinner is separated from the holiness of God because of the defilement of his sin. The fact is, the sinner cannot approach a holy God in his own righteousness. The Bible says that:
“…we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;” Isaiah 64:6
Just as each person was confronted with the wall of God’s righteousness at the Tabernacle, so this is true of today as well. Each sinner needs to be confronted with God’s holy righteousness – His Law, the 10 commandments, to see that he cannot measure up to God’s standards of holiness. God is perfectly good, perfectly Holy, perfectly righteous. But we are not.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Once we are confronted with His righteousness we see that there is no way to scale the wall into His righteousness. There is no way we can get in on our own.
We are lost, without hope.
But…the Outer Court had a Gate.
“For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver…”
God, in His marvelous grace, has of course made a way into His presence.
But…. there is only ONE way. And that is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
An individual could only enter the Outer Court through one gate on the east side of the Tabernacle.
The walls were so high that anyone trying to climb over them could have plunged to their death. This speaks of the sinner trying to work his way, or climb his way, up to God. It doesn’t work, for we will never be good or holy enough to meet God’s standards. The way of the flesh only leads to death.
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1
But there was this gate and it was the way, the only way, into the presence of God, into Life. The gate had a screen woven of blue, purple and scarlet thread as well as fine linen.
Jesus Himself said: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved…” John 10:9 (NIV)
The gate, of course, speaks to us of Christ:
- The fine linen= His righteousness,
- The colours = His heavenly nature (blue), His royalty (purple) and His sacrifice (red).
We see that there is only one way into the presence of a Holy God, and that is through the gate, the Person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Just as none could enter the Tabernacle and approach God from any other way except through the gate, so it is the same today. No one can approach God any other way than through Jesus Christ.
We come through Him, we come through the Gate.
Going through the gate we enter through Him. We come through His righteousness (linen), His heavenly nature (blue), His Kingship (purple) and His sacrifice (scarlet).
Then when a person was in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle they too were separated from the world. This speaks of the holiness of God and the separation of man from the world unto Him.
Upon entering through the Gate, immediately the individual is met with the Brazen Altar.
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