Dressmakers use a paper pattern to make a dress, so that all the bits will go together in just the right way.
God gave Moses a pattern for the tabernacle, so that it could be built in just the right way. And the tabernacle was just a pattern for what exists in Heaven (Hebrews 9:23). It was full of a rich set of symbols to help us build the right concepts.
The priesthood and the system of sacrifices were a pattern to help us understand who Jesus is (the ultimate bridge builder between God and us) and what he did when he died (the ultimate sacrifice which really does cancel out my sin).
The pattern of sacrifice by the earthly priesthood is hopelessly inadequate at dealing with real sin and restoring relationship. (Like a paper dress pattern would be hopelessly inadequate to wear to a party.) But Jesus achieved what the law never could. (Romans 3:20)
God gave that pattern to help us to understand Jesus and what he did more than a thousand years ahead of time. That’s a long time.
But it seems to have taken that long to even begin to understand – enough to accept the gift he bought for us. Even with an eternity with Jesus in Heaven, I suspect I won’t be able to fully understand how great he is, the enormity of what he did, and the unfathomably huge love that caused him to do it. (Ephesians 3:18)
Jesus, I just stand in awe at even the little I know about who you are. I love what you did for me. I’m so glad that you and your love are so much greater than anything I can conceive. And yet you make yourself known to me. You make the way into relationship with you so easy, even I could receive it.
Written by David Cornell