The Vail and the Hanging for the Door of the Tent

Exodus 26:31‑37  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 10
We come now to the Vail, which separated the Holiest of All from the Holy Place. It typified Christ. It was made of blue, and purple and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work, with cherubims worked upon it. We need not dwell on the meaning of these colors, as we have already considered them in connection with the Curtains of the Tabernacle. But we may notice a difference in the order in which the items are presented, in that here the blue came first, and the fine twined linen came last with an added description of " cunning work." The blue coming first emphasized the fact that Christ is the Heavenly One, leading His people into Heavenly things, whilst the fine twined linen spoke of the spotless humanity of our Lord, " the cunning work," that all the details and minutia of that life will only afford the reverent believer delight and pleasure. The cherubims worked on the Vail signify that all judgment is committed to the Son, who will carry out righteous judgment, and also that judgment is past for the believer, because Christ has borne the penalty of sin fully.
When judgment is carried out the saints of God will rejoice. This is seen when the great whore, apostate Christendom, is judged, as seen in Rev. 19:22For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (Revelation 19:2) to 4. The smoke of her torment rises up forever and ever, and we find the four and twenty elders, symbolizing the saints, who have part in the first resurrection, worshipping and saying, " Amen; Alleluia." It is only those, who are in glory past all judgment on the ground of the atoning work of Christ, who can enter rightly into such solemn scenes.
The Vail was hung upon four pillars of Shittim wood overlaid with gold. Four speaks of what is universal. God has in mind the blessing of all, who will come through Christ.
The hooks of the pillars were of gold, and the sockets of silver, thus showing that it is only on the ground of redemption (silver), and righteousness (gold) that God can have to do with men.
Heb. 10:1919Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (Hebrews 10:19) to 22, tells us most beautifully what the Vail symbolized. " Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the Veil, that is to say, His flesh: and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
The High Priest could only go into the Holiest of All with much solemnity on the Great Day of Atonement. He went in with the blood of bulls and goats, which could never put away sin, for his action was only typical. That being so the Vail remained. No footfall was heard in the Holiest of All for another full year, till the Day of Atonement came round, and the same ritual was gone through, and the Vail still remained up. " Into the second [the Holiest of All] went the High Priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest, while as the first Tabernacle was yet standing " (Heb. 9:7, 87But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 8The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: (Hebrews 9:7‑8)).
But in the Antitype, Christ is both Sacrifice and offering Priest. Though He could not be a priest on earth, because He did not belong to the tribe of Levi, yet He performed a priestly act when He laid down His life on the cross as a Sacrifice for sin. It must have been a moment of all moments when He cried with a loud voice, " It Is finished,',' the wonderful, amazing work of atonement, the only hope of the world's redemption, completed. Even very nature gave witness at that moment, for the earth did quake and the rocks were rent, the very forces of the material world were convulsed, and above all and beyond all The vail was rent from the top to the bottom, from God's side, by God's hand. What a testimony that the day of shadows was over, the day of " good things to come " had arrived. Only the High Priest could enter into the Holiest of All, and that only once a year. To-day believers have boldness of access at all times.
The Hanging for the Door of the Tent
The hanging for the Door of the Tent was of blue, and purple, and scarlet and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework. There is no need to comment on these as they have been already explained. But there is one omission worthy of careful notice. There were cherubims on the Vail between the Holiest of All and the Holy Place, but on the Door of the Tent there were no cherubims worked. By this omission God would testify that He approached man in pure sovereign grace. No cherubims, speaking of justice and judgment, were visible to the outside to affright the timid seeker after God.
" No curse of law, in Thee was sovereign grace,
And now what glory in Thine unveiled face!
Thou didst attract the wretched and the weak,
Thy joy the wand'rers and the lost to seek."
It is when God's long-suffering will have drawn to a close, that judgment will have its course, and all God's people will worship Him, because of the righteousness of His ways in judgment. But meanwhile the attitude of God to man is one of purest grace.
Five pillars supported the hanging, the pillars were of Shittim wood covered with gold, hooks were of gold, the sockets of brass. This hanging spoke of man going in to God, it was the entrance for the priests as they entered upon their Sanctuary service. Five speaks of responsibility being met through the sacrifice of our Lord (the sockets of brass), and in consonance with righteousness (gold hooks).