As we move through the veil from the Holy of holies, we enter the Holy place where the priests ministered. In this place were a number of objects which were highly symbolic and shadowed the life and ministry of Jesus.
This week we will be looking at the table of showbread.
“You shall make a table of acacia wood. Two cubits shall be its length, a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. 24 You shall overlay it with pure gold and make a molding of gold around it. 25 And you shall make a rim around it a handbreadth wide, and a molding of gold around the rim. 26 And you shall make for it four rings of gold, and fasten the rings to the four corners at its four legs. 27 Close to the frame the rings shall lie, as holders for the poles to carry the table. 28 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, and the table shall be carried with these. 29 And you shall make its plates and dishes for incense, and its flagons and bowls with which to pour drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. 30 And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly. (Exodus 25:23-30)
A meal table is a great place for fellowship. Some of the best times we can have with our family and friends is around a meal table. It’s the place where a family comes together, breaking bread and sharing life together. A place where we can communicate, deepen our relationships and bond strongly together. This was of course God’s idea all along. He loves relationship and where better to do it than a place where good food is being served and fine wine is flowing. In fact, it seems we will be feasting round a table a long time into the future;
Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:9)
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. (Isaiah 25:6)
The table of Showbread was where the priests would eat the bread in God’s presence. This meal shadowed the last supper where Jesus broke bread around a table with His 12 disciples. In fact on the table of showbread were 12 loaves of unleavened bread. The number 12 is a very significant number in the bible. It is a number of completeness. There were of course 12 tribes of Israel and 12 disciples.
The table was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. As we saw before with the ark, these two materials represent Jesus’ humanity (acacia wood) and divinity (gold).
The table had two crowns on it, one representing a king and the other a priest. Both of these offices perfectly fulfilled in Jesus.
The bread on the table, as we have seen previously on many occasions, represents the body of Jesus. ‘show’ means to tell forth or declare. This bread declares the presence of Jesus. The bread, after it was baked, remained on the table until it was eaten. Jesus the ‘bread of life’ is forever and constantly in the presence of God the father.
God also instructed Moses to create various golden objects to be placed on the table alongside the bread. There were: dishes to place the bread on, Bowls containing Frankincense and spoons to sprinkle the Frankincense. These objects mirrored everyday household items found at that time in middle-eastern homes. Significant because God was demonstrating that the people were to regard the Tabernacle as his house.
Frankincense was placed on each row of bread
“ And you shall put pure frankincense on each row…” (Leviticus 24:7)
Incense always speaks of prayer and intercession, so frankincense sprinkled over the Showbread speaks of Jesus’ life of prayer and Intercession.
Next week we will look at another item in the holy place.