Exodus 40  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
When the glory fills the tabernacle in Exodus 40, the whole congregation is regarded, I judge, as in the reconciliation. This appears from several considerations.
Because the glory had then taken the place of mercy—the throne of grace in their sight.
Because the tabernacle, which they had been building, was the witness of their repentance and faith, the very materials of it being contributed through the atonement money, and through the willing offerings of the people.
Because the Lord in principle was now speaking to them f ram heaven, or in Christ from amid the shadows of good things.
Because He was having respect to their offerings, which He could not have had, had He not also respect to themselves, or regarded them as clean, or reconciled.
This being so, the sacrifices of Leviticus, which immediately follow, are the acts of a reconciled people, the services or worship of accepted sinners. Thus the burnt, the meat, the sin, the trespass, the peace offerings, are so many forms telling out the character, the ground, and the value of the various services of God's sanctuary. (Chaps. 1-8.)
Then comes out the secret of all this acceptance of the people and of their offerings. The priest is brought forth. He gets the due raiment, and goes through the needed process of his consecration. Then he offers both for himself and the congregation, the congregation all the while standing, seeing this great sight. And at last down comes the fire from heaven to attest the acceptance of the sacrifices of the priest; and then the people fall down and shout for joy. For that was the full public testimony to the value of that on which all their acceptance rested, and they triumph with holy rapture in it (chap. 9).
The easy gliding thus from Exodus into Leviticus is very sweet, and there is as close a connection between them as there could be in any chapters of the same book. Israel had, by the golden calf, sinned away all their hope under the covenant from Mount Sinai (Exodus 32); but they repented, stripped themselves of their ornaments, and took the place of sinners, and of believers too, in looking after the mediator (Exodus 33). Then they bring forth the fruit of repentance and faith, in so willingly offering, not to the calf, but to the sanctuary; and this puts them at once on such new grounds, that the Lord can come into the midst of them and their services. They meet Him as pardoned sinners, and then have a shout of joy, and see the glory; but under the fiery mount of law and judgment, they did not stand for one moment.