Some might say that they aren’t that interested in such details but it seems to me that God is often a stickler for details. If not, why in the world would the Holy Spirit give the exact count of the number of fish caught after Jesus was resurrected in John 21? 153 large fish to be exact! When God gave Moses instructions to build the tabernacle in the wilderness, he said in Exodus 25:40 “See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” The pattern needed to be an exact replica of what already existed in heaven. This is explained in chapter 8 of the book of Hebrews. “The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.” (Heb. 8:1-6)
Because of the superiority of the ministry of Jesus and the ultimate intention that one sacrifice would be sufficient for all mankind it had to be in a place that was far superior to an earthly temple that could be destroyed. The earthly tabernacle had a place in that it fulfilled the atoning of sins every year until one could come who would take away the sins of the world once and for all. The pattern was important as it represented a copy and a shadow of what is in heaven.
If this is the case with the tabernacle, then what about the church, is there a pattern? The church will be with Christ for eternity, his bride. Obviously it is far more than wood, stone and mortar. What is God’s perspective of the church?
The reality is ‘the church is us’. You know the ‘hand rhyme’ you can do for little kids by putting your hands together with the thumbs forming the door and the index fingers the steeple. ‘Open the door and there’s all the people’. Peter basically agrees saying: “As you came to Him, the living stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him – you also like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2: 4+5)