Today we will kindle eight candles.
This is the last day of the festival. We have allowed more light into our hearts with each day’s meditation. We have meditated on many different aspects of God’s Kingdom and the fact that Christ is The Light of The World. Many parts of the Old Testament are symbolic of this very fact. For instance; the Lampstand of The Wilderness Tabernacle.
God instructed Moses on how he was to make the Lampstand for the wilderness tabernacle.
It was to be made of pure gold. Gold is symbolic of how God makes us perfect. Without Him we are nothing; with Him we are gold. The greatest gold is Christ.
The base of the Lampstand was to be hammered out, and the shaft was to be hammered out. It was to have flower-like cups, buds and blossoms made of one piece. Remember how the word “Maccabee” means “hammer?”
Six branches were to extend from the sides of the Lampstand – three on one side, and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms were to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and it was to be the same for all six branches extending from the Lampstand.
On the Lampstand there were to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. One bud should be under the first pair of branches extending from the Lampstand, a second bud under the second pair, and a third bud under the third pair – six branches in all. The buds and branches should all be of one piece with the Lampstand, hammered out of pure gold.
Christ is the Lampstand.
Seven lamps were to be made for this Lampstand. The seven lamps were to set upon the Lampstand and be used to light the space in front of it. The wick trimmers and trays were to be made of pure gold. A talent of pure gold was to be used for the Lampstand and all of these accessories.
The true Church is the seven lamps made for The Lampstand.
God instructed Moses to be very careful to make all of this exactly like the pattern that He showed him. Nothing was to be altered or changed. Everything was to be done exactly as God had instructed.
That is why we can clearly see the symbolism that God gave us so that we may always follow the path of Light in our lives.
This beautiful Lampstand is very symbolic, and we have so much to learn from this one magnificent piece of furniture placed to the left of the Holy Place.
One of the best books I’ve ever read about this Lampstand was written by Dr. John D. Garr, Ph.D. The book is titled “God’s Lamp, Man’s Light – Mysteries of the Menorah.” I highly recommend that every person on earth purchase this book and read it. I have no ties and am not personally affiliated with the author; I am just a witness to the great significance of this Lampstand of which he does a beautiful job of describing. Dr. Garr’s book goes into greater detail than we could ever do justice in such a short blog article. His description is the best description and interpretation of the Lampstand I have ever read; and I have read many.
There are also mysteries in the scriptures relating to the Menorah in the wilderness tabernacle. These things too are amazing and detailed. I cannot go into all of them here; but I recommend that you do some reading of your own from the works of other biblical scholars who go deeper into this subject.
The subject is truly fascinating and deep; and you could fill volumes and volumes of books on this subject of the Menorah alone.
That is not my intention today; so this will be a very brief and to the point description of The Lampstand and how it is symbolic of the Light of The World – Jesus Christ.
The Lampstand is very, very significant to the people of God.
I am humbled to even share this subject; and I fear saying too much about such holy things that could be misinterpreted if not spoken with great care. I would rather say too little than add or subtract from the truth. As usual, I stand in awe of the wonderful way God teaches us through both sacred objects and ordinary things in life.
So let’s briefly explore the mysteries of the Menorah. What are the answers to “who,” “what,” “when,” “why,” and “where” regarding this subject.
The Lampstand of the Menorah clearly represents Christ, as The Most High Priest of God.
You can see the importance of One in the design of this Lampstand. Everything is hewn out of one solid piece of gold. It reminds us of the Oneness of Christ with God the Father. This is what qualifies Him to be The Most High Priest.
There are seven lamps that work together to provide the light from the Menorah. The main piece providing light in the middle of the Menorah (The Lampstand) represents Christ, and it holds and offers the greatest light. All of the other light is made possible through the oil that originally flows from this one great light. Six other lamps are fed by the oil of olive leaves that pour out into and flow from the center of the Lampstand. These six lamps represent those who follow Christ. There are three on one side and three on the other side. Could those represent the Old Testament and the New Testament Christians? I am not sure; but that is a thought to ponder.
The number six is always representative of the humanity of mankind. When we think of the six branches connecting to the Lampstand in the center we are reminded of the words of Christ when He told us in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches.” The rest of Christ’s words in this passage clearly emphasize His place as our Most High Priest, standing ever before the Throne of God to make intercession for our souls. He said “If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Without the Lampstand in the center the branches of the Menorah would have been totally useless. They can only bear light out into the darkness if they are connected to the center of the Lamp. This reminds us of how Christ makes us complete. If you add 1 to 6 you get the number seven; the total number of the lights.
Without the One the other six would not be complete and could not function properly. The number seven always stands for completeness. God completed the six days of creation with the seventh day – and this was the most holy part of the creation week. God completed the creation of mankind by sending His beloved Son to live as one of us; and that is what makes our lives sacred and holy. Because of the seventh light, the other six are useful to the work of The Kingdom of God.
It was the Most High Priest who could go into The Holy of Holies and come before the Presence of God who rested over the Mercy Seat of the Ark in The Wilderness Tabernacle. The Lampstand provided the light to see the way into this area. Without Christ, this would not be possible for anyone. If a man entered improperly; he would die. So it is with our souls who must be covered with Christ before entering before the Throne of God into The Kingdom of Heaven.
The oil comes from the oil that flows from the center (Christ) and the oil of the great Lampstand represents the presence of The Holy Spirit. All of the other lights receive the oil from the center (The Lampstand.) This is symbolic of the fact that without the foundation of Christ in our lives; we have no access to God’s Holy Spirit.
The six branches and/or lights; the ones on each side of the center light, stand for those who have followed and been associated with Christ throughout the ages (The True Church), or in other words, this section of the lamp stands for how God’s people are connected to God through Christ as The Most High Priest of God. He is the One who IS the Lampstand in the center of the Menorah, and the whole lamp works together to shine out God’s glory to illuminate the darkness. As each individual light shines out together with the others through the oil from the largest light in the center; they have stories to tell; stories that bring glory to God The Father.
You must distinguish The Lampstand from the whole Menorah.
The Lampstand is the center that holds everything together (Christ) and there are branches on the sides (God’s People) holding lamps that hold oil. The whole Menorah represents and symbolizes God’s Kingdom at work together with Jesus acting as The Most High Priest, The Holy Spirit flowing from Christ and indwelling the people who should be living like lamps that are not hidden; shinning their light out into the world.
So you see, this Menorah in the Sanctuary is so much more than a mere functional light fixture in a room.
Just as God living inside our hearts is so much more than words can ever describe; The Menorah that gives off physical light gives off spiritual hope. It is a beautiful piece of art designed and conceived from God, and it represents so much more than any human artist could ever portray.
The ancient Israelites actually called the light from the Menorah “ner Elohim” or “The Lamp of God.” Can you see how “The Lamp of God” would be Jesus Christ acting as our Most High Priest?
King David identified with this “Lamp of God” in the psalms that he sang, using the words; “He wraps Himself in light as with a garment.” David was speaking of the beautiful illustration of God through Christ that we see represented in the Menorah. (Psalm 104:2) .
It was also David who spoke of The Lamp of God being a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” He was speaking of this Lampstand that connects to the lamps of the Menorah in the Tabernacle.
Christ being “The Word Of God” represents Torah as well as representing the role of our Most High Priest. He IS the Living Word of God. His words are direction for our souls. David received instruction for life from the Holy Scriptures in Torah. Even before the Messiah had come David knew these words contained The Words of Life.
No matter how dark the human condition becomes; just one ray of light from this “Lamp of God” is said to dispel the darkness and bring clarity and purpose into our world. This marvelous Lampstand is said to mark the pathway to The Tree of Life. (Isa. 35:8)
We know that Jesus Christ is “the way.” The Glory of God is fully revealed in Jesus Christ. Jesus became known as “The Light Of The World.” Through this light, in the living, dying, rising and giving of His life, mankind has been illuminated and brought into the Divine Presence of God.
John 8:12 speaks of this: “I am the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
The significance of this Lampstand of God started at the very moment of creation when the voice of God said; “Let there be Light.” Light came into the nothingness of total darkness and the universe began with glorious light, seen for the first time ever.
Many see the significance of the six branches and their lamps representing the first six days of creation and the seventh, the middle branch (the Lampstand) being representative of the seventh day; the Sabbath.
As the universe was born into light and time went on, light became equated with knowledge and wisdom. The Light of God shone from the Lampstand and gave meaning to the whole universe and everything that made up life.
So in this previous illustration we see the “who.” It is Christ, our Creator, Our Savior, Our Beloved, Our Most High Priest. Way before he came as a man, His presence was there before the Glory of God in the tabernacle in the wilderness. He was showing types and shadows of what was to come later to provide a way for man and God to be together forever.
That is the “Who” of The Lampstand; but now let’s look at the “What.” Just what was the main purpose of the Lampstand?
It seems The Lampstand’s primary purpose was to connect mankind with God, then help them to shine God’s light out into the universe.
This giving of “light” and illumination was achieved through the pouring of the oil into the lamps causing a holy fire that illumined the way to the Tree of Life.
Christ has made this possible. Through Him, all believers have The Holy Spirit living inside of them. Through Him and those living in Him a light has come into the darkness and the darkness has been overcome.
Notice how the Menorah is tree-shaped?
This is not coincidence.
The shape of the Menorah with the branches coming from the central stem is clearly patterned after a tree. It was clear to the Israelites that the Menorah represented The Tree of Life. We can see a repeat of this symbolized from the burning bush and we can see another repeat of this in Aaron’s (The High Priest of Israel) staff, the one that God used in the deliverance from Pharaoh.
The LORD chose to decorate the Menorah with almond cups from the almond tree and he used the almond blossoms that are very beautiful to behold. Most people think that the staff that Aaron used to perform the signs and wonders from God was made from the branch of an almond tree. There was a later time in the wilderness when Aaron’s staff budded, produced flowers and almonds overnight. We now know this was symbolic of the power of the Resurrection of Christ, and this is symbolized in the design of the Lampstand.
So we see that the main purpose of the Menorah was to shine God’s light out into the universe so that it could reach and unite men’s souls to God through Christ as the center, and all of these together could form the structure of The Kingdom of God and reflect God’s Glory to the world. For the Israelites this meant becoming a holy nation under God. They were the shadow of the coming of God’s Kingdom in the hearts and souls of mankind.
So we have seen “who” and we know “what” but now we ask “when.”
When will the message of God’s Lampstand be most significant?
There are many time periods in history where the Lampstand is extremely significant. For Israel and all of the people living in the Old Testament days The Lampstand representing the Most High Priest represented the promise of a coming Messiah.
For us on the other side of the cross; it represents the Second Coming of Christ.
All of this light points to a future time where we, through Christ our Savior will obtain the right to eternal life through the blessings of The Tree of Life.
If you read Revelation 22:14 you will hear “they who do His commandments have a right to the tree of life.”
The Menorah becomes most significant to us when we are following the commandments and when we come to the time of the revealing of The Tree of Life; those who have followed the commandments, or have been given mercy from their sins and have turned to living out the commandments because of Christ; they will be allowed to taste of The Tree of Life.
This “when” will be an eternal “when.”
So we know the “who,” and the “what” and the “when;” and now we seek the answers to the “why.”
Why does God chose to place the Lampstand inside The Holy Place in the wilderness tabernacle; and why is everything about the Menorah so significant?
Well, if the Menorah stands for Christ and the reflection of the light of God living from within the souls of mankind who have Jesus Christ living within their hearts; what could matter more?
Is there possibly even more that we should recognize?
The blending of the tree motif and the fire in the design of the Menorah is very significant in that it is the Light of God, that eternal fire from the burning bush that Moses first saw that connects these two together – the divine and the human. Do the flames coming from the lamps not remind you of the flames of fire from the Day of Pentecost?
The burning bush drew the human man, Moses, to the divine being; God. This was the beginning of the connection that God wished to make with those He loves. He does not desire to see our sin when He looks upon us; He desires to see our goodness. The light of the Menorah reveals all things. God sees us in this light for exactly who we are; unless we are covered in the blood of Jesus.
If God sees this covering in the pure, clean, light of the Menorah, He will only see the evidence of His most Beloved Son, our Most High Priest and Holy Intercessor. He will love and cherish us because He loves and cherishes the Son who died for us.
So; one reason for the light of the Menorah is that the light of the Menorah reveals who we really are. God either sees us standing in Christ, or He sees us standing in our sins. The light of Christ reveals everything that is true. This is one reason why the Menorah is so very significant.
There are many, many more reasons as to “why” God chose to place this Lampstand in the wilderness tabernacle; the biggest reason is that it shadows the role of Christ as our Most High Priest.
We have answered the questions of “who,” “what,” “when,” and “why;” now we must answer the question of “where:”
It is significant to notice where the Menorah is placed.
It is strategically placed where the light will shine in the most needed areas so that those who are working in the tabernacle can find their way around and see what is most important to their mission. It is there to dispel the darkness. God gives us His light so that we can give Him the Glory. His light shows us the way to all that we need to know.
And after all of these significant facts, you might ask where the original Lampstand now resides? That is a good question. No one knows the answer to where the actual, physical golden Lampstand is at this present moment.
We can only know the answer to where the One it stands for is. He is at the right hand of God in Heaven, ever interceding for our souls before God the Father. He is receiving our prayers and answering our prayers through The Holy Spirit, giving light to our days and forever shinning hope into our hearts.