As the priest approached the Tabernacle he stopped first at the Brazen Laver. There he performed ceremonial washings in order to cleanse himself from the sacrifice he had just made. The priests hands would be dripping with blood and his feet would be dirty from the sand and dust of the Tabernacle Court. The priest would move quickly to the Brazen Laver in order to become ceremonially clean. The words of Moses would probably race through his mind as he cleaned his hands and feet - "...they shall wash with water, that they die not." (Exodus 30:20)
Now that he is clean the priest would move quickly and reverently toward the Tabernacle entrance. He would draw back the heavy curtain and enter into the holy place. There were three pieces of furniture in the holy place; the golden lampstand, the table of shewbread, and the altar of incense. The golden lampstand was placed on the left side of the holy place.
The holy place had no windows. It would be dark behind the curtain without this lampstand. The golden lampstand was designed to shine light in order for the priest to perform his duties. One of the important duties of the priest was to ensure this lampstand remained lit at all times. The priest filled the lamp with olive oil everyday and trimmed the wicks replacing them when needed. The lamp was perpetually burning and therefore perpetually giving light. (A few scholars think the lamp only burned at night.)
The size and measurements of this lampstand were not given to us in Scripture. Since it represents Christ who is the light of the world, its size, measurements, and beauty would have been in keeping with the indescribable greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This lampstand was composed of seven branches, it had a central shaft which rested on a pedestal and from which three branches projected on each side. The central stem and the six branches each ended in a lamp which provided light for the holy place. Golden accessories to tend the lamps were provided.
Every day the priests would use golden tongs and snuff dishes to trim the wicks and they would remove any burned or dead debris from the wick or the oil that would possibly keep that beautiful light from shining through that holy place.
Jesus said, "...I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of light." John 8:12, (KJV)
Thursday: "Theological Thursdays" - Studies in Christian Theology
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