Paper by Michael Holden
(Used by permission.)
Two exercises in meditating on the furniture of the Tabernacle of Moses
The first exercise:
The Bronze Altar
I enter the court through the gate and see, right ahead, the bronze altar. The ramp is straight ahead of me and I ascend it and stand before the altar itself. I am high enough to see the bronze grate and standing on it to my left is Jesus in an ankle-length robe. Flames from the altar are rising to about the height of His shoulders. The flames are coming from beneath the grate. He reaches out a hand in an invitation to join Him. I can see that He is not being burned by the flames, so I accept the invitation, step up, and join Him in the flames. I do not bum. With Him there is no fear.
The Bronze Laver
Jesus has gone ahead of me to the laver. I see Him moving past the laver toward me. He stoops down and with His right hand scoops up some water and splashes me with it, laughing as He does so. I think, "I have been sprinkled," and go forward and wash my face and hands.
The Table of Shewbread
Jesus takes me by the hand into the Tent of the Meeting. It is the Holy Place. He lets go of me and moves quickly over to the table of shewbread. I am surprised when He takes one of the round pieces of bread, breaks it in two and extending His arm, hands half of it to me to eat. He motions that it's all right to do so. It is obvious that He is excited to be showing me around the tent.
I find myself in front of the lampstand with its flames burning steady and clear. I can feel the heat on my forehead and as I look at the flames I am reminded of the pure, refined olive oil that is used for the lamps and of the pure light of Christ that shines in the darkness of the world. I do not see Jesus there, but I hear Him say, "And thus shall your spirit be before the altar of the Most High." We go over to the altar of incense.
The Altar of Incense
A sweet smell arises mingled with the smoke. There is an awesome presence now. It has become quiet. Jesus says nothing, but indicates that we are to go together through the veil into the Holy of Holies. We are covered by the incense. It penetrates my hair, my clothing and somehow transforms the substance of who I am, making me like Jesus. I am now smelling like Him. It is the same smell as He has had from the start. Jesus motions. It's time to go in.
Before the Ark of the Covenant
Here I fall on my knees. Jesus stands at my side, off to the right. "Father, this is one of ours." I cannot see the Father. He speaks to Jesus, "Bring him to me that I may see him." I sense that the Father looks, nods and smiles at Jesus and I realize that I am accepted by the Father of All, the Mighty One of Israel. I am over-awed.
Jesus leads me out and reminds me that He will introduce all those who are His to the Father. Later on He says that there will be a great celebration of all those who have been presented. "You will see all your loved ones. You will know them. There will be great rejoicing for the Lamb has come home and will take up His place on the throne with the Father. All will be made new. All will be restored."
A second visit to the Tabernacle, a week or so later:
At the Bronze Altar
I stand with Jesus on my left and we sacrifice something I can't see, but He is doing the offering. I ask Him, "Lord, what are we offering?" He answers, "Your wishes and your desires." I tell Him that's good that we are offering those things. He tells me, "No, I am offering them. Don't you remember, you have surrendered them to Me? They are Mine."
At the Laver
We go to the laver and I wash my hands and feet. I see Jesus washing His hands. I say, "Lord, I don't understand, why do You need to wash?" He replies without looking up, "What have I just been handling?"
At the Table of Shewbread
We stand and look and wait. Jesus says, "Bless the bread." "Lord, I don't feel worthy." "Feelings have nothing to do with it. Be in obedience; as I did what I saw the Father do, so you should do what you see Me do." I obey, "In the Name of the Most Blessed Trinity, I bless this bread, fine ground for perfection. May it feed our bodies as the Word of God feeds our souls and brings life to our spirits."
At the Lampstand
Jesus says, "Let your light so shine before men. Michael, walk in My ways. Be a reflection of Me. Bring a light of enlightened understanding into the darkness. Burn as a pure light for Me."
At the Altar of Incense
"This is how you are to be before the Father and before Me, a sweet-smelling sacrifice. Keep yourself holy, open always to My word spoken to you. Treasure My written word also in your heart. There it will be safe and will return life to many as you speak it out."
Before the Ark of the Covenant
Jesus now stands at the north side of the ark and I am facing it. Jesus starts to sing chants of praise and worship. I don't know the words. "Blessed art Thou, 0 God of Heavens, Mighty One Who rules from a throne of justice. Holy is Your name, You Who live above the cherubim and the seat of mercy. Your judgments, 0 God, are merciful. Have mercy on this one, 0 Lord God of Heaven. He has been cleansed by the word and by washing. He has been cleansed by My blood and offered to You through Me all his desires and wishes. May they be acceptable and a sweet-smelling fragrance to You, Mighty One, enthroned on high." Jesus is interceding for me. I sense the Father's blessing and commissioning for some future event and understand that whatever He has called me to do in the future will be successful.
I leave the Tabernacle.