Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #19: T’rumah (Contributions) Sh’mot (Exodus 25:1-27:19)
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 5:26-6;13
B’rit Chadashah: Hebrews 8:1-6; 9:23-4; 10:1
In this week’s parashah. G-d describes how the Tabernacle is to be built in great detail with the voluntary contributions of the people. Note that He does not ask for anything other than what is required for its construction. The materials are the very finest, appropriate for the place in which the King will communicate and dwell with His people. The highest quality of the materials represents G-d’s greatness and transcendence. Below is a brief description of the scriptural meaning of colors that may assist you in understanding the symbology used in the construction of the Mishkan. It is by no means exhaustive.
Red- blood and atonement Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews
Blue- Heaven (Exodus 24:10)
Turquoise-(also translated as blue) Yahshua (Exodus 25:4)
Purple- Royalty (Judges 8; 26; Mark 15:17-18)
Silver- Redemption (Numbers 18:15-16)
Gold- Divinity and G-d’s Glory (Exodus 37, 40)
Bronze-Brass- Judgment/testing (Exodus 27:1-3)
Also, the curtain surrounding the most holy place symbolizes G-d’s moral perfection symbolized by the separation for the clean from unclean. Furthermore, the portable nature of the Tabernacle shows us that G-d would and does travel with His people wherever they may go. Finally, the Tabernacle and all its furnishings along with the services performed including the sacrifices symbolizes the atonement that G-d’s/Yahshua’s sacrifice would bring in the future.
In contrast, the sanctuaries built for the many gods worshipped by polytheistic societies were for the purpose of feeding their gods and otherwise appeasing them in order to get the desired outcome. The G-d of Israel needs nothing, and the Tabernacle was a place where the Israelites could relate to Him under His guidelines which were very specific. There was no “slaying in the spirit”, babbling of unknown tongues and other soulish behavior in G-d’s Tabernacle.
There were three carefully designated areas of descending holiness and restricted access. First was the ‘Holy of Holies” where the Ark and the Tablets of the Covenant are kept. Its antechamber “ the Holy Place’ both inside the Tent of Meeting, the Tabernacle proper, and the surrounding courtyard. Access to these areas was also restricted.
In any case, only the ritually pure were allowed to enter their respective areas. These restrictions were to protect the purity and sanctity of G-d so that His unblemished presence could interact with the people.
The cover of the Ark was called the atonement cover where the presence of G-d would dwell in a cloud above the outstretched wings of the cherubim, both of which faced inward toward the presence. The atonement cover was where the most perfect and highest act of atonement would be made when the high priest would enter the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement to atone for the sins of all the people. The existence and location of the atonement cover perfectly symbolizes our L-rd and Savior Yahshua who was and is our intermediary between Himself and G-d and who was the Olah offering for our sins. Just as the over laid between the two cherubim as it covered the Ark, Yahshua mediates between what I submit is grace and law possibly represented by the two cherubim.
When Yahshua fulfilled His role as the Sacrificial Lamb for the sins of man, the special curtain made of finely woven linen decorated that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn in two (Mark 15:38) symbolizing free access to G-d without the need to go through priests and sacrifices. I am often asked the question as to why the sacrificial system will be reinstituted during the millennial kingdom? The answer is that there will be people who have not accept Yahshua as their Messiah during this time. Yahshua will rule with an iron hand and all the people will be required to bring sacrifices to the Temple with Yahshua as King. The reinstitution of the sacrificial system is found in Ezekiel 40-48.
The hope is to have everyone who has not already accepted Yahshua’s sacrifice as the only access to Him as G-d(YHVH/Yahshua as he is One and the same), to accept Him as the Messiah and Savior because “no one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6). The light for the tabernacle that is intimately related to the Light of the World and our purpose will be discussed next week.
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 5:26-6:13
This week’s Haftarah theme is consistent with that of our parashah. Both readings describe the construction of places for G-d to dwell. I want to call your attention to the last part of the Haftarah which I believe is most important. G-d tells Solomon that “This house which you are building, IF you walk in my statutes, and execute my ordinances, AND keep all my commandments to walk in them’ THEN I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people, Israel.” It doesn’t matter how lavish the house; without G-d dwelling within it, it will never be a home.
B’rit Chadashah: Hebrews 8:1-6
This narrative describes the fact that Yahshua is now our High Priest and there is no need for earthly priests and sacrifices to communicate with or relate to G-d. Yahshua is G-d who manifested himself in a tangible earthly form so that we humans could related to Him on a physical level. He spent his earthly ministry teaching us how we are to interact with humans and G-d and he suffered for every sin of man although he was blameless. His example and teachings leave mankind no excuse for not hearing, internalizing, and acting upon His Word/Instructions/Torah. He showed us that it can be done!
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart