One of the great lessons of the Mosaic Law is that a holy God cannot dwell among an unholy people. Yet God desires to dwell with His people, and the people with God. How?
God must make provisions to remove their iniquity, the cause of their unholiness In Israel’s day, God did this through the tabernacle and the priesthood. Notice God’s statement to Aaron in Numbers 18:1. “So the Lord said to Aaron, You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear iniquity connected with your priesthood.”
Iniquity here is basic moral failure and the punishment associated with it. The priesthood and the tabernacle were to assume the punishment for moral failure for the nation of Israel. But who lived in the tabernacle? God did! The whole setup was designed to show that ultimately God desired to take the punishment for our sins, and then one day, He actually did it in the person of Christ Jesus. Hebrews 10:12-14 Sstates this truth: “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”
The priesthood and the tabernacle lead us to Jesus! In fact, everything in the Old Testament points us to Jesus. Paul taught us, “Therefore the law uwas our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).