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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jesus Christ - the Lamp of God

Numbers 8:2-3 “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you mount the lamps, the seven lamps will give light in the front of the lampstand.’” 3Aaron therefore did so; he mounted its lamps at the front of the lampstand, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Hebrews 9:11-12 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 


The Need for Light from the Lord provided by Christ the Lamp
Yesterday we traced the Golden Lampstand of the Tabernacle and Temple through the Old Testament to show how it pointed to the need for Light.  We begin where we left off, showing how furnishings like the Golden Lampstand picture for us the Person and work of Jesus Christ.  The two passages above demonstrate the validity of such an approach.

Take three Bibles and open them up to compare
It might help the reader to take three Bibles and open up the first to Numbers 8, the second to Hebrews 9 and the third for turning to multiple references.  Often I tell people that though I may not be able to find Jesus Christ in every verse, yet from every verse I can get you to Jesus Christ.  Numbers 8 speaks about the Priests and their ministry, beginning with the Lampstand of which we spoke about yesterday.  Hebrews 9 shows the validity of using the lampstand and Tabernacle system as a way of illustrating the person and work of Jesus Christ.  With the third Bible, I would invite the reader to consider the following New Testament passages that reveal Jesus Christ as the Lamp of God.  Having done this, below shows what God's Word yields concerning Christ - the Lamp of God

Some remarkable parallels between the Lampstand and Jesus Christ
When we look at how the Old Testament Golden Lampstand was made, it sheds remarkable parallels on the person and work of Jesus Christ. First, according to Numbers 8:4, the lampstand was to be made out of pure gold, hammered or beaten.  Jesus Christ was pure, undefiled and seperated from sinners. (Hebrews 9:14).  Christ too was beaten, hammered by the wrath of God and bore the sins of many. (Isaiah 53:1-10; Hebrews 9:28) 

Secondly, the lampstand in the holy place functioned to help the priests see, to make the other furnishings appear in an otherwise dark room. (Numbers 8:1-2)  Likewise, Christ, the True Lamp of God, appeared in human flesh, as a High Priest of things to come. (Hebrews 9:11) 

Thirdly, in Numbers 8:5-22 we see instructions for the priests to be cleansed in preparation for the ministry in the tabernacle.  In Numbers 8:5, 11 and 12, we see reference to the priests being cleansed before the Lord, with a burnt offering being offered to make atonement for them.  Truly this is a reminder that cleansing cannot take place apart from the blood.  The revelation of the lampstand and this ritual of the cleansing and blood appear to be two different instructions from the Lord.  However, when we come to the New Testament, we see the connection.

In Hebrews 9:14 we discover that only Christ, offering himself as an atoning sacrifice, can cleanse the conscience of the believer from dead works.  In 1 John  1:7 we read - "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."  Thus we see the connection between Christ the Light, Christ's blood and cleansing!

Jesus Christ, the Lamp of God
With our comparison of a few verses in Numbers 8 and Hebrews 9, I hope you can begin to draw the connections between both passages.  With another Bible turn to the verses I am going to list below.  The remarkable thing about scripture is that it not only centers on Jesus Christ, but you can take any doctrine and with Christ trace its development from beginning to end.  Below we see Jesus Christ, the Lamp of God, developed through the New Testament. 




John 1:4,5 "In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

Matthew 4:16-17 “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH,
UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” 17From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”


John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

John 9:5 “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

2 Corinthians 4:6 "For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Hebrews 1:3 "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high."

Revelation 1:20 “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches."  Christ of course is the Lord amidst His church, depicted as the Golden lampstand!

Revelations 21:22-24 "I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it." Christ, the Lamb of God, is explicitely called "The Lamp"! 

May you and I today walk by the Lamp of God, Jesus Christ. 

 

 

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