The Tabernacle, The Bread of the Table - Lesson 23
The function of the Table of Showbread is described exactly by its name, a place to show bread and the bread is shown in the Holy Place.
This bread was a declaration of a telling forth of bread that is to be eaten that will bring life.
We eat bread for the purpose of continuing physical life, but this bread told forth that there was bread that when eaten would bring forth eternal life.
Jesus also used a similar comparison to the woman at the well with regard to water when he said in:
John 4:14, But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Jesus Christ continued this symbolism with regard to bread when he instituted the table of communion.
This act of eating the bread of life is so poignantly described in John 6 where Christ told us that except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood ye have no life in you.
Believers in Christ are partakers of the divine nature when we partake of his body.
Now Moses was instructed in Exodus 40:22,23, to set the bread in order:
And he (Moses) put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northward, without the veil. 23And he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD; as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Now God was very specific about the bread that was to be presented to him continually for this bread was a shadow of His Son.
For He said to Moses in Leviticus 24:5-9, And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. 6And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. 7And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. 9And it shall be Aaronís and his sonsí; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.
First they were to take fine flour, which begins, as a whole kernel of wheat.
In order to make this wheat useable in bread and other cooking the wheat must be crushed to fine powder.
Thus, fine flour speaks to us of the trials, the testing, and temptations of the Lord Jesus Christ as the corn of wheat, bruised and broken to become bread to us.
It also speaks of the believers testing, trials and temptations that mold us into the image of the Bread, Jesus Christ!
As in fine flour, there was nothing rough or uncouth in His sinless and perfect humanity.
And that also is to apply to all of us who are in Christ!
Now in order for the bread to become eatable it must be baked by fire.
How this process speaks to us of the intense sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ, not only as He walked upon this earth but as he hung upon the cross.
It also reveals to us a type of the work of the Holy Spirit as FIRE in the life of the believer to bring us to conformance to Godís Son.
For fire reminds us of the fire that tries every manís work of what sort it is.
The bread baked by the Priests was to be perfectly done so that its color was the same on the top and the bottom.
There was to be no burnt place, and the bread was to be evenly baked throughout.
It was to be a perfectly cooked loaf symbolizing the perfect man Jesus Christ.
This is the picture given to us in the New Testament for our work is pictured as being tried by fire.
What sort are we?
God puts us through the heat that is caused by the oven of trials and tests, tribulation, and persecution.
These trials are for our own good, so that we can come out a "golden" color, beautifully and exquisitely cooked, until "done."
As Paul declared in I Corinthians 3:13, Every manís work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every manís work of what sort it is. 14If any manís work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any manís work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
We ought to thank God for trials and tests for they are meant to perfect us.
They are meant to make you conform to the image of the true bread, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now there were to be 12 loaves of Bread placed on the Table before the Lord, one loaf it seems for each Tribe of Israel.
We know of the importance of this number again when God chose to select 12 disciples.
He used these 12 disciples to distribute the miracle bread to the multitudes as described in John 6, again showing us what the function is of the body of Christ.
We are to first eat the bread then we are to be bread distributors to the multitudes as the disciples were bread distributors.
What kind of baker would not eat the bread he wants others to eat?
So in conforming us to the image of Christ we become bread, as Christ was bread.
This is confirmed in:
1 Corinthians. 10:17, For we being many are one bread, and one body:
for we are all partakers of that one bread.
A deal is another name for ephah.
And one tenth of an ephah is an omer which is used to describe the amount of manna to gather each day.
Now the Manna that was to be gathered on the sixth day of the week was 2 omers or 2/10ths deal.
This amount was equal to the amount of fine flour which each loaf of showbread was to contain (Exodus 16:22, 36).
This measure is equal to about 4 quarts of fine flour, so each loaf of bread was quite large.
Now on the sixth day of the week the children of Israel were to gather a double portion of manna.
So in other words this 2/10ths deal speaks of the DOUBLE PORTION.
The Meal Offering in the Feast Day of the Sheaf Of Firstfruits was to be made of 2/10ths deal of fine flour (Leviticus 23:13).
The Two Wave Loaves in the Feast of Pentecost were also to be made of 2/10ths deal of fine flour (Leviticus 23:17).
Here, in the 12 loaves of Showbread, we have 2/10ths deal per cake.
So there is in the message of the Showbread that God desires a double portion of Life for his people.
John 10:10, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more ABUNDANTLY.
Now God is very specific in his instructions as to the layout of the bread upon the table.
It is an amazing thing to study scripture and see how carefully and in detail God gives instructions.
Our God is not a "whatever" God.
Whatever floats your boat He is not.
He is a God of order and everything He prescribes is to fit into His desired order.
So when we read of how He instructs Moses to set the bread upon the table we should examine every detail and expect from it to receive instruction.
So speaking of this order God said:
There are various diagrams of what men think this layout was but I think the size of the 12 loaves indicate that they were placed upon the tables in two rows, each row with 6 loaves of bread, with each loaf piled on top of another.
Six always refers to man in scripture.
Godís bread of life is for man.
The bread is to feed man.
It is for manís benefit emanating from the love of God to man.
7And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Pure frankincense speaks of Christ's perfect life of prayer and intercession.
The fragrance of His Life was and is pleasing in the nostrils of the Father.
The Gospels reveal the Divine frankincense in His life, which was displayed through the prayer life He had while on earth.
The Bread was also the Bread of Memorial.
This calls to mind what Jesus says in regard to the New Testament Table from which we partake of the Lord's Supper.
Jesus said we are to do it in remembrance of Him.
Luke 22:19, And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and
gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in
remembrance of me.
And it was even an offering made by fire unto the Lord...
This corresponds to the thought of the Bread being baked.
Jesus went through the baking process of Calvary to become the Bread of Life for us.
It is God that puts His people through the fires so we may come forth as pure gold.
The Priests was told in Leviticus 24, Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. 9And it shall be Aaronís and his sonsí and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.
The Bread was to be set in order every SEVENTH day.
Every Sabbath day hot new loaves were placed on the table and the old loaves were removed and eaten by the priests.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the divinely complete Bread of Life for He is all in all.
In Him is the true Sabbath-rest, and the eating of the bread on the Sabbath day symbolizes the rest that is only found in Him.
And It was to be eaten by the Priests only, for it shall be to Aaron's And His Sons
In the New Covenant ALL BELIEVERS are called to Spiritual Priesthood and only those who belong to this Spiritual House are entitled to partake of the Table.
The Table was the "Most Holy" just as the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ is the "Most Holy Thing" upon which to feed.
Those that partake of the Table must be holy also.
After believers experience Calvary, which is the Brazen Altar in the tabernacle, believers are able to approach the Table worthily!
1 Peter 2:9, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an
holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who
hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
The Bread was to be eaten in the Holy Place indicating that it is never to be eaten unworthily.
It was never to be eaten in the Outer Court.
Because of what took place at Calvary we may now partake of the fullness of what He became for us by His death and His resurrection.
In the Bread we have LIFE, Healing, DIVINE HEALTH, Spiritual Nourishment,
Fellowship and Communion.
The Believer-Priest is to feed upon the HOLY OFFERING (CHRIST) which in turn produces HIS HOLINESS in us.
When we partake we are made like Jesus and all His perfections, graces, virtues and character, until He becomes our very life and nature.