“because in him it did please all the fullness to tabernacle”
(Col 1:19)

All of the fullness of creation (visible and invisible), all of the fullness of the Church, and all of the fullness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell (lit. tabernacle) in Jesus Christ.  Yes, it is in He Himself that all the universe and all of God is pleased to dwell.

What an extremely FULL Christ!

The Tabernacle

In this post I would like to explore this word, tabernacle.

In Colossians 1:19 the word ‘dwell’ is literally ‘tabernacle’.  Also in John 1:14 the word is translated as tabernacle:

And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.

Both of these references speak of Christ as a tabernacle.  Interesting that both of them use the word as a verb rather than a noun.  The fullness was pleased to tabernacle and he did tabernacle among us.  It’s very apparent that God wants to tabernacle.  He wants to dwell.  And the place where He tabernacles is in Christ!  John tells us that when the Word was made flesh He tabernacled among us.  This Man Jesus walked around the planet with the fullness of the community of the Godhead living inside of Him!

Let’s take a brief look at the tabernacle of Moses as a picture or shadow of our glorious Christ… the One True Tabernacle.

Simply stated; everything in the tabernacle of Moses speaks of Christ (see John 1:45; John 5:39; Luke 24:27; Heb. 10:7).  Let’s start from the inside out.

The Holy of Holies

This is just a small room that contains one item; the ark of the covenant.  The “box” represented the presence of God to the nation of Israel.  This ark is an incredible revelation of the Triune God and God’s purpose in Jesus Christ.

The materials and content of the outside –  The box is made of acacia wood overlaid with gold.  The top contains two angels facing each other with their wings touching.  In the scriptures wood usually represents humanity and gold usually represents divinity.  Hmmm… a human who is covered with divinity.  Sound like anyone you know?  How about the one who is both the Son of God and the Son of Man?  But what are the contents of this wooden box overlaid with gold?

  • the jar of manna – this represents the Son who is called the Bread of Life
  • the stone tablets – this represents the Father who is the lawgiver, the law which describes the nature of God … community, relationship, and love!
  • the rod that budded – this represents the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of resurrection life, eternal life, divine life, uncreated life, God’s life!

All of these contents are contained within the Ark who is the living Christ!

because in him doth tabernacle all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9)

Don’t forget that on top of the ark sit two cherubim who are facing downward.

To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves but to you they ministered those things, which have now been announced to you by those who have declared to you the glad tidings by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven, which angels desire to look into.
(1 Peter 1:12)

Now all of this is contained within the holy of holies which is a small room at the center of the tabernacle.  It’s the place where God lives!  It’s the place inside of every believer where Christ lives by the Spirit and the fullness of the Godhead is contained within that Christ.  Sisters and brothers, this holy of holies is an actual place inside of you called your spirit.  It is the place where He Himself dwells (tabernacles).  The place where His Spirit is one with your spirit.

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  (1Co 6:17)

For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man  (Rom 7:22)

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  (2Co 4:16)

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love  (Eph 3:17)

The contents of the ark feed our spirits.  As we turn to He Himself we are nourished by all of the riches of the Godhead in Christ.

The Enlargement of the Holy of Holies

I don’t know if you have ever considered this, but the whole tablernacle is actually the expansion, enlargement, and expression of the center which is the ark.  The holy place and the outer court are the expression of the holy of holies.  You will find the same materials throughout, God and Man becoming one.  We also see this ultimately pictured for us in the New Jerusalem.  Everything emanates from the throne of God; the river of life, the tree of life, the street of gold, all flow out of the throne of God and the Lamb.  The throne is like the ark and it contains all of the fullness of God in Christ.  And this fullness of divine life flows out of the throne to the whole city.  The precious stones that are built into the walls are the saints who have been transformed.

This is definitely a picture of Christ and the Church.  The Church is the expression of Christ who is the expression of God.  The tabernacle is an incredible shadow of Christ and the Church and once again we can see He Himself being shown and displayed throughout the scriptures.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them  (Rev 21:1-3)