Representations of Christ
Lesson 3 | Sabbath, 15 January 2022
“The law of God, enshrined within the ark, was the great rule of righteousness and judgment. That law pronounced death upon the transgressor; but above the law was the mercy seat, upon which the presence of God was revealed, and from which, by virtue of the atonement, pardon was granted to the repentant sinner. Thus in the work of Christ for our redemption, symbolized by the sanctuary service, ‘mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.’ Psalm 85:10.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 349.
SYMBOL OF GOD’S PRESENCE
1. What symbolized God’s presence in the tabernacle?
Exodus 25:8; 29:45, 46 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them…. 29:45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God.
“God commanded Moses for Israel, ‘Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them’ (Exodus 25:8), and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 23, 24. “… When the Reality came, in the person of Christ, they did not recognize in Him the fulfillment of all their types, the substance of all their shadows.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 35.
2. What ministry was included in the daily sacrifices that were offered in the earthly sanctuary?
Exodus 29:38-43 Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. 39The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even: 40 And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering. 41And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord. 42This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee. 43And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.
“The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, ‘within the veil’ which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension. It was the work of the priest in the daily ministration to present before God the blood of the sin offering, also the incense which ascended with the prayers of Israel. So did Christ plead His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners, and present before Him also, with the precious fragrance of His own righteousness, the prayers of penitent believers. Such was the work of ministration in the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 420, 421.
3. What special sanctuary service was carried out once every year on the tenth day of the seventh month? Who is now performing the actual service of purification in heaven?
Leviticus 16:16, 33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness…. 33And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation.
Hebrews 8:1, 2 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
“For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record. As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ’s work for the redemption of men is completed there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work–to cleanse the sanctuary.” –The Great Controversy, p. 421.
THE HIGH PRIESTLY MINISTRY
4. Whom did the high priest represent when he carried out the special service of cleansing the sanctuary?
Leviticus 16:15, 16 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.
Hebrews 9:7; 7:25 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:… 7:25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
“It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed. When the high priest, by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, removed the sins from the sanctuary, he placed them upon the scapegoat. When Christ, by virtue of His own blood, removes the sins of His people from the heavenly sanctuary at the close of His ministration, He will place them upon Satan, who, in the execution of the judgment, must ear the final penalty. The scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, never to come again into the congregation of Israel. So will Satan be forever banished from the presence of God and His people, and he will be blotted from existence in the final destruction of sin and sinners.” –The Great Controversy, p. 422.
5. What ascended to heaven from the golden altar every morning and evening? Whose merits and intercession did this sweet incense represent?
Exodus 35:15, 28; 30:7, 8 And the incense altar, and his staves, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle…. 28And spice, and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense…. 30:7And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
Revelation 8:3, 4 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
The incense, ascending with the prayers of Israel, represents the merits and intercession of Christ, His perfect righteousness, which through faith is imputed to His people, and which can alone make the worship of sinful beings acceptable to God. Before the veil of the most holy place was an altar of perpetual intercession, before the holy, an altar of continual atonement. By blood and by incense God was to be approached– symbols pointing to the great Mediator, through whom sinners may approach Jehovah, and through whom alone mercy and salvation can be granted to the repentant, believing soul…. “The cloud of incense ascending with the prayers of Israel represents His righteousness that alone can make the sinner’s prayer acceptable to God; the bleeding victim on the altar of sacrifice testified of a Redeemer to come;… Thus through age after age … faith was kept alive in the hearts of men until the time came for the advent of the promised Messiah. Jesus was the light of His people–the light of the world–before He came to earth in the form of humanity.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 353, 367.
IMPORTANT TYPES AND SYMBOLS
6. Whom did the shadows and symbols of the sanctuary represent?
Hebrews 10:1, first part For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things….
Colossians 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Hebrews 9:24; 10:10, 12, 14 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:… 10:10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…. 12this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God…. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
“As a golden treasure, truth had been intrusted to the Hebrew people. The Jewish economy, bearing the signature of Heaven, had been instituted by Christ Himself. In types and symbols the great truths of redemption were veiled. Yet when Christ came, the Jews did not recognize Him to whom all these symbols pointed. They had the word of God in their hands; but the traditions which had been handed down from generation to generation, and the human interpretation of the Scriptures, hid from them the truth as it is in Jesus.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 104. “The ceremonies connected with the services of the temple, prefiguring Christ in types and shadows, were taken away at the time of the crucifixion, because on the cross type met antitype in the death of the true and perfect offering, the Lamb of God.” –(Manuscript 72, 1901) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 1115, 1116.
7. What information is provided in the Scriptures about the foundation of the sacrificial system and the sanctuary with all of its services?
Isaiah 28:16; 8:13, 14, first part Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste…. 8:13Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself…. 14And he shall be for a sanctuary….
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.
“In all these revelations of the divine presence, the glory of God was manifested through Christ. Not alone at the Saviour’s advent, but through all the ages after the fall and the promise of redemption, ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.’ Christ was the foundation and center of the sacrificial system in both the patriarchal and the Jewish age. Since the sin of our first parents, there has been no direct communication between God and man…. All the communion between heaven and the fallen race has been through Christ. It was the Son of God that gave to our first parents the promise of redemption. It was He who revealed Himself to the patriarchs. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses understood the gospel. They looked for salvation through man’s Substitute and Surety….” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 366. “Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. The death of Abel was in consequence of Cain’s refusing to accept God’s plan in the school of obedience to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ typified by the sacrificial offerings pointing to Christ…. Christ became the foundation of the whole system.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 233
FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY
“The law of the ten commandments lives and will live through the eternal ages. The need for the service of sacrifices and offerings ceased when type met antitype in the death of Christ. In Him the shadow reached the substance. The Lamb of God was the complete and perfect offering…. “Types and shadows, offerings and sacrifices had no virtue after Christ’s death on the cross; but God’s law was not crucified with Christ. Had it been, Satan would have gained all that he attempted to gain in heaven. For this attempt he was expelled from the heavenly courts. He fell, taking with him the angels he had deceived. And today he is deceiving human beings in regard to the law of God.” –(Manuscript 67, 1898) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1116.