Two meanings in the tabernacle and its form
Next we have the
tabernacle itself, which was one, though separated into
two parts. There were (as the word teaches us) two
meanings in the tabernacle and in its form. In general it
was where God dwelt and revealed Himself, hence, the
heavens, God's tabernacle; and the Person of Christ,
God's dwelling .
The heavenly places themselves, says the apostle, had to
be purified with better sacrifices (Heb. 9: 23). So
Christ has passed through the heavens, as Aaron up to the
mercy-seat (Heb. 4: 14). Again, it is used in the same
sense as a figure of the created universe (Heb. 3: 3, 4),
where it is also used as a whole as a figure of the
saints, as the house over which Christ is as Son. The
veil was, we know on the same divine authority, the flesh
of Christ, which concealed God in His holiness of
judgmentin His perfectness as sovereign justice
itself, but manifested Him in perfect grace to those to
whom His presence revealed itself.
The tent, the veil
and the cherubim
The tabernacle  itself was formed of the same
things as the veil; figurative, I doubt not, of the
essential purity of Christ as a man, and of all the
divine graces embroidered, as it were, thereon. To this
was also added cherubim, the figure, as we have seen, of
judicial power ,
conferred, as we know, on Christ as man: God "will
judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath
ordained:" and again, "The Father judgeth no
man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son . . .
and hath given him authority to execute judgment also,
because he is the Son of man."
It seems to me that the
other coverings point to Him also: that of the goat-skins
to His positive purity, or rather to that severity of
separation from the evil that was around Him, which gave
Him the character of prophetseverity, not in His
ways towards poor sinners, but in separation from
sinners, the uncompromisingness as to Himself, which kept
Him apart, and gave Him His moral authority, that moral
cloth of hair which distinguished the prophet; that of
the ram-skins dyed red points to His perfect devotedness
to God , His consecration to God (may God
enable us to imitate Him!); and that of the badger-skin
to the vigilant holiness, both of walk and in external
relationship, which preserved Him, and perfectly so, from
the evil that surrounded Him. "By the word of thy
lips I have kept me from the paths of the
destroyer." "He that is begotten of God keepeth
himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."
Besides what may be called His Person, these things
correspond to the new nature in us, the new man, and of
Him, so far as born of the Holy Ghost at His
incarnationHis birth in the flesh in which He was
the perfect expression of it; but I speak of the thing
itself in practice, or what is produced by the Spirit in
us, and by the word.
 We may add, as Christians, "whose house are
we." The body is never the subject in Hebrews: we
are pilgrims walking by faith. Nor is the Father.
 If we examine the details more
closely, it will be found that in the tent and veil there
was no gold, but there were cherubim; in the ephod gold,
but no cherubim; in the hangings before the holy place
neither Within, in both holy place and holy of holies,
all was gold. So Christ as man (and the veil we know was
His flesh) had the judicial authority and will have it as
man, not only in government, but in final divine
judgment; but He was man, and walked as man; within all
was divine The priesthood in its Aaronic character could
not have the cherubim that is judicial authority in
heaven, but His presence there is identified with divine
righteousness. As He appeared outside down here all was
perfect grace, but in outward appearance He took neither.
 When fully depicted, the cherubim
shewed the powers of creation and God's attributes as
displayed in the throne, in the four heads of the earthly
creation: man, cattle, wild beasts, and birds;
intelligence, stability, power, and rapidity of judgment.
Man had made gods and idols of them; they formed the
throne on which God sat.
 This is drawn from the occasions
on which the ram was used in the sacrifices.