Who do you live with? What do you like/dislike about living with other people?
God has always wanted to live with us. That’s why he created us and made a beautiful garden for us to live in. But because of our sin God can’t live with us. Do you see the problem? God wants to live with us but can’t because we are so sinful. Listen to what God told the Hebrews to do in order to fix the problem:
Exodus 25:8. And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. 9 Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle.
God told his people to build him a “tabernacle.” A tabernacle is a tent. Back then the people all lived in tents travelling from place to place. God wanted to live in a tent right along with the Israelites. God’s tabernacle did two important things. First it allowed God to be near his people all the time, loving them, protecting them, and caring for them. But second, it also kept God away from the people and his anger at them because they were sinful. You see no one could go into God’s tent except special men called priests, at special times, after a special sacrifice for sins on a special altar. Every day as the people went to the tabernacle it reminded them that God loves them (so come near), but hates their sin (so stay away).
I know that sounds confusing, but God’s tabernacle was meant to be a picture of Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross it showed us how much God hates our sin but loves us. And when we believe that Jesus died for our sins we never have to be separated from God again. In fact, the Bible calls Christians the new “tabernacle of God.” When we trust in Jesus as our savior God lives in our hearts. But we don’t need special priests, with special sacrifices, at a special tent anymore – we are God’s tent! God lives IN us. And when Christians gather together they become the place where God’s goodness and his love are displayed for all to see.
Because of Jesus we never have to be separated from God.
With Jesus God is always with us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Find a picture of the tabernacle online, maybe one that you can color.
Jesus, because I trust in you, you live in my heart. Help me to trust that you love me. And help me to show others your goodness and love today. Amen.