So you are reading the Bible through in a year, or three, and you start the way you have in years past. You are excited. You are eager to dig into God’s Word. Of course, until you hit the second of the sixty-six biblical books. You have got a long way to go, but it just feels like Exodus and Leviticus were accidentally mixed in with these great narrative stories and prophetic accounts. All these details about how things should be built and where they should be placed cannot possibly be relevant anymore! I mean, they just cannot be, right?
If those details are not relevant than Jesus and Paul were just blowing hot air when they spoke of the Church and even of Christ’s own body. What I mean is that the work of Christ is intrinsically related to the Old Testament; you have got to better understand the history of God’s people if you want to best understand the work of Christ — that makes Fesko’s book a wonderful place to start. Fesko Fesko systematically walks through the details of Exodus & Leviticus in a way that reads easily and treats God’s Word with the respect it deserves. Read one of Fesko’s introductory paragraphs to get a glimpse into the mission of this book:
“I hope to be able to show readers, young and old alike, that far from being boring or uninteresting, the Old Testament tabernacle, and later the temple in Solomon’s day, is a shadowy picture of Christ and the church. True, people are perhaps easily able to draw the connections between Jesus and the sacrificial animals, as Jesus is identified as the one and only true sacrifice who takes away our sins (e.g., Heb. 8-10; 1 John 2:2); but beyond these obvious connections, the Old Testament tabernacle is literally an entire world of references, allusions and foreshadows of Christ and the church. One need not go very far to uncover the connections between Jesus and the Old Testament tabernacle — the New Teastament reveals them to us. If you read about the Old Testament tabernacle in the light of the New Testament, you will never think the descriptions of the tabernacle and its furnishings are boring. Instead, you will be filled with hope and assurance, knowing that Jesus Christ, the true tabernacle, has come to redeem his people, living stones, and unite us to him, the one true foundation, so that we would become the eternal temple of the living God.” (p. 12)
My only pushback is that I wish Fesko would have included more notes on his resources (and well, maybe a word or two on the method to his interpretation of Scripture). I sense that a lot of his observations came from his own intense study of the Scriptures (I believe I read somewhere within his book that the text first catalyzed from a series of sermons he did as a pastor). I just wish I had more books to go off of (I know that if you are interested in Jesus’ words as they correlate to temple-talk, I’d suggest Jesus the Temple by Nicholas Perrin).
1. Building materials
2. The Ark of the Covenant
3. The table and the bread of presence
4. The lampstand and oil
5. The tabernacle
6. The altar and courtyard
7. The priest’s garments
8. The consecration of the priests
9. The altar of incense
10. The census tax
11. The bronze basin
12. Oholiab and Benzalel
13. The Sabbath
Pick up your own copy of Christ and the Desert Tabernacle by J. V. Fesko at epbooks.com or amazon.com.
* I received this book free from www.crossfocusedmedia.com and EPbooks with my promise to post an unbiased review.