Restless to Reconciled
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Over the past few weeks, I have been recovering from an injury to my right hand. Since the time of my accident, I have noticed something. It's difficult for me not to feel restless. If I sit or lay down too long, an ache wells up.
I believe we all have a deep spiritual ache. We as humans were created for a deep connection and intimacy with God. But that relationship has been broken, just like my right hand.
Through the study of Exodus, we have seen over and over how God continued to pursue His people who were enslaved, lost, and broken. He rescued them from slavery in Egypt. He provided a way for them through the wilderness of their wandering. He provided a way to dwell among them. That way was through specific instructions given to Moses on how to build the Tabernacle.
The people tried to invent their own ways to God. Remember the golden calf incident? We too often look for our own way to God that is outside His plan.
Yet in today's reading it says,
“So all the work on the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was completed. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses.” And “The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them.”
Inside the Tabernacle, inside the holy of holies, was placed the Ark of the Covenant. On top of the Ark was the mercy seat. The glorious presence of the almighty God overshadowed the Tabernacle, filled the holy of holies, and rested upon the mercy seat.
Hebrews 8:5 says:
“They (the priests) serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: 'See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.'”
How was the Tabernacle a shadow of what is in heaven?
The Temple became the permanent structure of what was the moveable Tabernacle in Exodus. Jesus is the true Temple. He said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." (John 2:19)
Jesus tells us He is the only true way to intimacy and restored relationship with God.
“I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
I found it interesting in today's reading that God used the people to create this Tabernacle. Could God not have just created the Tabernacle on His own? After all, He created the heavens and the earth. He put the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone. Why use the people to build the Tabernacle?
Remember what Angel Gabriel said when he appeared to Mary?
"The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)
God invited Mary to become the Tabernacle/Temple of God. His presence overshadowed her, and what was conceived in her belly was the very Son of God. Becoming God's humble servant, she birthed the Son of God (Immanuel—God with us) into the world. And that Son would pour out His life blood for the redemption of all mankind.
We too are invited to be His humble servants. We too are His temple. We have been given a calling.
Let us ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with His Divine presence.
Let's ask Him to use us to draw the world to the One who stands in God's presence to make reconciliation for us. Only in Him will we and all people, find the way, the truth, and the life that our restless hearts long for.
You are truly an amazing God. Though You are holy and perfect, You choose to pursue us. You want an intimate relationship with frail, broken human beings like us. Thank you for providing a way to a restored relationship with You through Jesus. As your temples, fill us with your Holy Spirit. Empower us to be about the business of drawing others into a restored relationship with You.