A Tabernacle View of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter
by JOSEPH CLARK
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Every years the question arises “Should Christians celebrate these holidays, and if so how?” The biggest reason for this question is rooted in the fact that each holiday has a lot of secular influence related to it. Thanksgiving is probably the least disputed because it is seen as more of a patriotic holiday. Christmas is suppose to be about the birth of the savior of the world, but with the fact that Jesus was almost certainly not born anywhere near December 25th and the huge commercialism that surrounds the holiday this holy time is coming under more and more scrutiny. Easter is quickly heading down the same path as Christmas. While I am all for gaining knowledge, and changing as I grow in knowledge, I am afraid most of the hype surrounding these holidays is not meant for growth but rather condemnation. In this article I am going to use The Old Testament Tabernacle to show that God has his hand in the timing of each of these holidays. To get the most from this writing I recommend you first read my article A Tabernacle View of Thanksgiving, Praise, and Worship. If you read it first God will start to connect things for you as you read this one.
We want to start with Thanksgiving. Most of us know the basic Thanksgiving Day story with the Pilgrims and the Indians. However, the story of the first Thanksgiving is not as important as why it happened. The Pilgrims where a part of a group of people coming to a new land so they could enjoy religious freedoms after centuries of persecution and corruption of the church they loved. This whole story lines up perfectly with the Outer Courts of the Tabernacle.
The Outer Court contained the Brazen Altar for sacrifices and the Brazen Laver for cleansing. Because of this the Outer Court always relates to sacrifice and purifying. The Pilgrims where looking to purify their religion and were willing to make any sacrifice necessary. The relationship between the Pilgrims and the Indians was a picture of the relationship in the Outer Courts between the Priest and the Jews. The Indians helped the Pilgrims with their needs so they could have the opportunity to fulfill the purification of their religion. Likewise the Priest helped the Jews in the sacrifice and purification of themselves before God.
For Christians, Thanksgiving should be a time of not only being thankful for everything God has done for us, but it should also be a time for us to examine our “religion” to see how pure it is.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Ask yourself two questions “How much time and effort do I spend helping others?” and “How much of the world has started creating spots on me?” Christ is coming back for a bride without spot or blemish.
Moving on, we go to the Inner Court and Christmas. Everything in the Inner Court speaks on Jesus being the Word of God. You first have the Table of Shew bread which is a picture of Jesus as our bread of life. Next, you have the Menorah that gave off light which is a picture of Jesus being the great light of the world. As we read the word it starts to shine light on our life and draw us closer to God. Last of all we have the Altar of Incense which is a picture of Prayer.
For Christians, Christmas should be a time to praise God for who he is as revealed trough his son which was called Emanuel (God with us). As we read the word of God, the father becomes more and more real to us. Then, the light (Jesus) that was put in us at salvation begins to shine brighter. While we are going through this process, Jesus is at the right hand of the father making intercessory prayer for us.
After spending time thanking God for the blessings in our life and examining our self to make sure we are using those God given blessings to honor God, we must spend time praising him for who he is. Only then do we position ourselves to worship God with all that we are.
This brings us to The Holy of Holies and Easter.
Located in The Holy of Holies we find The Ark of the Covenant. This Ark of the Covenant was a box like object made of a special wood over laid with Gold. It represented the covenant made by God to always be with his people. In the New Testament we know that Jesus Christ is the representation of the new covenant made by God to never leave those that trust in him. In the Bible wood speaks of the works of the flesh and gold speaks of kingship. Just as the Ark of the Covenant was wood with gold covering it, Jesus was flesh covered by his eternal God given kingship.
Looking at Easter we can see how to truly worship God. Easter is a time we celebrate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords laying down his life for the ones he loves. This is the definition Jesus gives for love as recorded in the Book of John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
To worship someone is to want to be just like them. On Easter, Christians should not only take time to honor God for the sacrifices made for them, but they should also take time to consider what they are doing for others. The Bible tells us that just as we have been freely given a gift we should freely give it to others. You may never be asked to physically die for someone, but to truly worship God a Christian must be willing to die to their own desires in order to help others.
I know that many will still question these Holidays, but I hope after reading this article it is clear that God has his hand in them. If they were laid out in any other way, they would not fit God’s pattern. Sometimes God uses even ungodly things to perform his will, but remember that God is always in control and working towards a higher purpose. So, as we enter these Holidays try to view them not as secular attempts to get rich, but as real opportunities to reflect what God has done for you and where you are in God so that you may build on your relationship with him.
If you enjoyed this article please visit my site, Shining God’s Light, at www.josephclarkblog.com.
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