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An Open Door

Exodus 26:1
“Moreover, you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet yarns; you shall make them with cherubim skillfully worked into them.”

While our finite minds are incapable of seeing the invisible, incomparable glory of God, imagery and symbolism illustrate something of His likeness, which is why God continually provides us with the right images for meditation and practice, knowing full well how quickly our minds turn to idolatrous and fanciful imaginings with the wrong ones. Yet, our eyes aren’t our only deficiency in worship. Our memories are as well, right? So, our Lord continually reiterates His imagery over and over again. Sometimes through annual Passovers, sometimes through renewed covenants, and sometimes through alterations of old pictures—as is the case with the symbolism of cherubim throughout the Bible—but always with the purpose of drawing us nearer to Himself and keeping us there.

The people who entered this tabernacle had never seen a real cherub before, but they were familiar with the imagery. They’d heard of cherubs in their earliest stories, learning how God placed a cherub at the border of Eden to bar man’s way after Adam fell, so a cherub was an unsettling mystery to them. A cherub was a reminder of their uncleanness before God. Yet, that was before. Now, with the construction of this tabernacle, God gives a fresh development in the picture of redemption. A significant modification He washes over the entire canvas, from the hem of the outer curtain to the cover on the arc of the covenant, to give seeking pilgrims like Moses an integral advancement in their understanding of divine grace. And I can only imagine how these blue and purple and scarlet threads must have shimmered in the sunlight, how the ornate, hand-threaded cherubim transformed the whole complexion of the place, how walking through this corridor of angel wings was like walking through those walls of water at the Red Sea, leading nearer to the Promised Land than they’d ever been.

Behold the grace of God in these scarlet threads, friend! These cherubim are no longer holding flaming swords; they’re no longer pointing angry fingers and bidding us away; they’re no longer barring the door to God! They’re welcoming us in.