By Grant Phillips
The Outer Court or Court of the Gentiles was 75 feet wide and 150 feet long encircled by a white linen fence. The fence was 7 1/2 feet high, supported by bronze pillars and the bronze pillars sat upon bronze sockets. The Eastern Gate was 30 feet wide and was colored with purple, scarlet, white and blue.
There was only one entrance, the Eastern Gate, and it was always located on the East end of the enclosure.
The first piece of furniture upon entering through the Eastern Gate was the Bronze Altar, and then on the other side or west of the Bronze Altar was the Bronze Laver. West of the Bronze Laver was the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle was a flat roofed tent that was 15 feet high, 15 feet wide and 45 feet long. There were two rooms. Upon entering from the East, the first room was called the Holy Place and was 15 feet wide and 30 feet long. The second or rear room was called the Holy of Holies and was 15 feet wide and 15 feet long. The two rooms were separated by a veil.
Before proceeding, it helps to know the following:
– The acacia wood speaks of Christ’s humanity.
– The gold speaks of Christ’s deity.
– The silver speaks of Christ’s blood sacrifice.
– The brass speaks of Christ’s perfect holiness and God’s judgment.
– The purple speaks of Christ’s royalty.
– The white speaks of Christ’s righteousness.
– The scarlet speaks of Christ’s sacrifice, His blood.
– The blue speaks of Christ’s heavenly character.
– The veil speaks of Christ’s body.
The Fence (Exodus 27:9-18 NLT)
“Then make the courtyard for the Tabernacle, enclosed with curtains made of finely woven linen. On the south side, make the curtains 150 feet long. They will be held up by twenty posts set securely in twenty bronze bases. Hang the curtains with silver hooks and rings. Make the curtains the same on the north sideâ€”150 feet of curtains held up by twenty posts set securely in bronze bases. Hang the curtains with silver hooks and rings. The curtains on the west end of the courtyard will be 75 feet long, supported by ten posts set into ten bases. The east end of the courtyard, the front, will also be 75 feet long. The courtyard entrance will be on the east end, flanked by two curtains. The curtain on the right side will be 22 1/2 feet long, supported by three posts set into three bases. The curtain on the left side will also be 22 1/2 feet long, supported by three posts set into three bases.For the entrance to the courtyard, make a curtain that is 30 feet long. Make it from finely woven linen, and decorate it with beautiful embroidery in blue, purple, and scarlet thread. Support it with four posts, each securely set in its own base. All the posts around the courtyard must have silver rings and hooks and bronze bases. So the entire courtyard will be 150 feet long and 75 feet wide, with curtain walls 7 1/2 feet high, made from finely woven linen. The bases for the posts will be made of bronze.”
Recall that the white linen fence surrounding the Outer Court was 7 1/2 feet high. Make no mistake, this was no accident. It was designed to keep people out, but why would God want to keep anyone away from Him?
We must realize that the color “white” of the fine twined linen fence represents the righteousness of God. Not only that … but the fact that the pillars (posts) and sockets were of brass (bronze) depicts God’s judgment upon sin. But also, the silver hooks remind us of something … the price that was paid by God (John 3:16) to make us righteous and restore the fellowship that was lost. Remember too that Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:15)
God once walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden, but when our original parents disobeyed God, sin came upon all mankind. God could no longer walk with man. A separation happened. A wide chasm was instantly formed that broke all fellowship between God and man.
The wall came between God and man; a wall that said God is righteous (without sin) and cannot fellowship with unrighteousness (sin). Unrighteousness must be judged or God is not holy. So God judged the unrighteousness (sin) of man and also provided a way, the only way that He could ever fellowship with man again.
We walk around the outer fence and see the way is barred to enter in. It is too high to go over, for the righteousness of God is never within man’s grasp (1 Peter 1:6). However, He did provide a way to enter in (Ephesians 2:8-9). He provided one opening on the Eastern end, a gate.
The Gate (Exodus 38:14-19 NLT)
“The courtyard entrance was on the east end, flanked by two curtains. The curtain on the right side was 22 1/2 feet long and was supported by three posts set into three bases. The curtain on the left side was also 22 1/2 feet long and was supported by three posts set into three bases. All the curtains used in the courtyard were made of finely woven linen. Each post had a bronze base, and all the hooks and rings were silver. The tops of the posts of the courtyard were overlaid with silver, and the rings to hold up the curtains were made of silver. He made the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard of finely woven linen, and he decorated it with beautiful embroidery in blue, purple, and scarlet thread. It was 30 feet long, and its height was 7 1/2 feet, just like the curtains of the courtyard walls. It was supported by four posts, each set securely in its own bronze base. The tops of the posts were overlaid with silver, and the hooks and rings were also made of silver.”
What a tragedy it would be if there were no gate or if the gate were closed. We all would die without ever knowing God or feeling His presence within us. We would all be doomed to wander in the wilderness, never being able to enter His rest. We would leave this world in death, with no hope, and only the eternal fire as our reward.
But there is an Eastern Gate and it is always open for those who wish to enter in. This one and only entrance to the bosom of God has been made available to us by the greatest act of love and the greatest sacrifice ever made. The Holy Son of God took our judgment and paid our debt, something that we could never do. Only He who is without sin can pay the sin debt, and as we journey on, only a cold heart could ever not be moved by this realization.
No matter how hard we work, how “good” we think we are, or anything we have done, there is only one way back to God and that is through His Son, Jesus the Messiah.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
As the arms of Jesus were outstretched upon the cross, they are outstretched at the Eastern Gate. This gate is thirty feet wide, more than enough room to enter in and be embraced by the Lord God.
Jesus says, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” (Luke 13:24) Why would He say to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate, when this gate is thirty feet wide? He is saying that His arms are outstretched and all who come to Him He will not deny (John 6:37), but there is only one way to the Father, through Him. (John 14:6; Luke 13:24).
The linen fencing is all white, but now we see a gate that is made up of four colors; purple, white, scarlet and blue. The purple tells us that Jesus is of the royal family. He is God. The white tells us that He is righteous, without sin. The scarlet reminds us that He shed His blood for us upon the cross of Calvary, and the blue points to His home in Heaven.
In Old Testament times the people would bring a sacrifice to the Eastern Gate. The sacrifice had to be acceptable per God’s standards and was to cover the sin debt temporarily. The priest would take the sacrifice and slay it upon the Bronze Altar of judgment which was a picture of Christ’s once-and-for-all sacrifice upon the cross.
Our Eastern Gate is, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) Our Bronze Altar is the cross of Jesus Christ.