April 8, 2020

Jesus Lives Easter Devotional: A Living Sanctuary

In this Jesus Lives Easter Devotional, we ask “Is the Lord preparing you to be a living sanctuary?” We learn what a living sanctuary means and why you must examine your heart, repent and turn from sin, and offer up sacrifices of praise.

Over a month ago, an old praise song came to mind. The lyrics are a prayer, asking God to make us into a living sanctuary, pure and holy. This song kept coming up through other sources, so I believed God wanted to teach me some things about the Tent of Meeting, otherwise known as the Tabernacle of Moses. The children of Israel were in the wilderness and God wanted them to build a place for Him to dwell. A place for fellowship and honor.

Upon leaving Egypt, God moved Egyptian hearts so that they gave the Israelites gold, silver, and fine clothing. In Exodus 25 and 35:4, we learn that freewill offerings were given in order to make the sanctuary. Just think, Egyptian plunder was used to create a mobile sanctuary equipped with the ark of the covenant, a golden lampstand, table, and an alter for sin offerings.

The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so, they plundered the Egyptians.Exodus 12:36 (NIV)

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.  And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze;  blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.’” Exodus 25:1-9 (NKJV)

God goes into great detail concerning how His sanctuary is to be built (Exodus 25-40). Along with Moses, he appoints Bezalel and Aholiab to carry out the design. He faithfully fills them with the Spirit of God and equips them to do the work.

“See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you.’” Exodus 31:2-6 (NKJV)

Once the Tent of Meeting was finished, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. God rested between the wings of the Cherubim, above the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord was with His people and moved them through the wilderness by a cloud or by a pillar of fire.

 For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.Exodus 40:38 (NKJV)

This Easter, I want to remind you that God is with us. He was with the Israelites as they journeyed through the wilderness and He is with us as we move through this pandemic. Although there is no cloud or pillar of fire leading us, we have something even better to guide us. The Holy Spirit that lives within us is our help. He is the Great Comforter and will never forsake us. God knows our needs and is in control. Our resurrected Savior is on the throne, victorious. The devil may be stirring the pot, but we can rest in knowing how the story ends.

Come Lord Jesus. We are yours. Thank you for your saving grace.

*If the Lord is preparing you to be a living sanctuary, you must examine your heart, repent and turn from sin, and offer up sacrifices of praise. You will be tested, but by His grace you’ll be found tried and true.

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.

With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

 

Thank you for reading this Jesus Lives Easter Devotional.

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