Read Exodus 25:1-9 and Exodus 27:9-15. (Background - Hebrews 9)
The Outer Court
Size: 150 feet by 75 feet by 7 ½ feet.
The cost has been estimated at $1,500,000 before inflation.
The White Linen Fence
The white linen represents Jesus Christ in all His purity and absolute righteousness. [Describe His holiness] He did no sin. He knew no sin. In Him was no sin. The symbol extends beyond this however. The linen was made from flax, and flax is grown from the ground. There is a picture of His sinless humanity, and His earthly ministry. [Describe His humanity] He was the Mediator between God and man (God made flesh, etc. - See John 1).
The white linen fence kept defiled man away from God’s place of worship. The first act of worship was through the court gate to the place of sacrifice, the brazen altar. This is man’s only approach to God. Man must approach God through Christ.
These pillars, capped with silver, held the linen sheet in its place. These represent believers holding up the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ for the world to see. Never a man spoke like this man - see John 7:46. They wondered at the gracious words, which proceeded from His mouth - see Luke 4:22. [Describe our responsibility]
The silver here speaks of redemption. Notice that the material for the Tabernacle was given as a free-will offering, except the silver. The same amount of silver was required from each Israelite for the Tabernacle. A half shekel was demanded as atonement money from every male starting at the age of twenty. This produced 4 tons of silver. The cost of all men’s salvation was the same - the precious blood of Christ. [Apply this truth to the present]
The pillars were made of brass. The brass speaks of judgment. (Illustration: The serpent of brass). It is a picture of Christ bearing our judgment on the tree. These pillars of brass were seated on plates of brass, speaking of judgment that is past. To sum up, we have a picture of the believer who has been crowned with redemption. Although condemned to die, judgment is past. In addition to these things, the believer is holding up to a dying world, the purity of Christ and the righteousness of God.
The gate was beautiful as well as spacious. The colors were in contrast to the white. This was the way to the Brazen Altar and to God. The gate was 30 feet wide – it was the only way in. Remember that Jesus said: “I am the way” and “I am the door.” There is one Mediator. “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me,” says the Christ. No other Name under heaven. The wide gate is a picture of the easy and simple way salvation is offered to all.
The gate was covered with fine linen, but with this difference - the colors of Blue, Purple, Scarlet, and White were woven into it. Why these particular colors? They were chosen by God to give meaning. [Note the typical teaching] If the white linen speaks of Christ’s righteousness, surely the other colors speak of Him too.
[Explain how the Gospels portray the Lord] The Blue represents Christ as the Heavenly One. John in his Gospel says that Christ is the Son of God. The Purple is the color of royalty. Matthew portrays Christ as the King. The Scarlet is the color of blood reminding us of sacrifice. Mark, in his Gospel, pictures for us Christ as the perfect Servant, obedient unto death. The White represents purity or righteousness. Luke presents Him as the Son of man, the Holy One, the sinless One. These colors then, represent the Lord in this fourfold sense.
Note another interesting thing: There were no cherubim woven into these curtains. In the curtains at the Tabernacle doorway and also into the Inner Veil, they were woven. The cherubim speak of guardians of His holiness. They guarded the way into the presence of God. No guards were placed at the gate. The way to the brazen altar was open to “whosoever will.” No barriers existed between the sinner and the Lamb of salvation.
The Four Pillars of the Gate
These four pillars, which support the gate curtain, speak to us of the four writers of the Gospels. The pillars of the outer court represent believers in Christ. The picture here then is of the apostles and believers holding up Jesus Christ in all His purity. Think of what this means: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John hold Him up through the Gospels. We, as believers, hold Him up in our life.
The hanging of the court gate was the last of the Tabernacle to be erected. When this lovely gate was erected Moses could say, “It is finished.” The way of access to God was proclaimed a finished work. How beautifully this speaks of the finished work of Christ. When He said, “It is finished,” the veil of the temple was split from top to bottom. The way to God was now open. He could come out to man. And man could go in to Him.