Abrahamic / Middle Eastern Christianity Why Is the Tabernacle Important Today? The Spiritual Significance of the Tabernacle Share Flipboard Email Print Replica of the Wilderness Tabernacle. Reynold Mainse / Design Pics / Getty Images Christianity The Bible Christianity Origins The New Testament The Old Testament Practical Tools for Christians Christian Life For Teens Christian Prayers Weddings Inspirational Bible Devotions Denominations of Christianity Funerals and Memorial Services Christian Holidays Christian Entertainment Key Terms in Christianity Catholicism Latter Day Saints View More By Mary Fairchild Christianity Expert General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry." our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Mary Fairchild Updated August 12, 2019 The tabernacle, or the "tent of meeting," is referred to roughly 130 times in the Old Testament. A precursor to the temple in Jerusalem, the tabernacle was a movable place of worship for the children of Israel. It was where God met with Moses and the people to reveal his will. Interestingly, when the Israelites camped in the desert, the tabernacle was situated in the very center of camp, with the 12 tribes encamped around it. The entire compound of the tabernacle would fill nearly half the area of a football or soccer field. Why is the tabernacle important? The tabernacle itself, as well as each element in the tabernacle compound, are spiritually symbolic and carry important significance for Christians today. For starters, the tabernacle helps us better see and understand the pattern of worship our Holy God set forth for us to approach him. The guide below gives an overview of the different aspects of the tabernacle and their meaning. The Tabernacle was an earthly place for the ancient Israelites to interact with God. The Courtyard Fence of the tabernacle could be easily dismantled and moved. The Gate of the Court was the only way into the tabernacle. The Brazen Altar was only a temporary solution to the problem of sin. The Laver of Bronze pointed ahead to Jesus, more than 1,000 years later. Tabernacle Offerings substituted animals instead of humans to atone for sin. The High Priest sacrificed animals for Israel's sins, a ritual that had to be constantly repeated. The Holy Place, a secluded chamber in the desert tabernacle, was separated from the frightening presence of God only by a cloth veil. The Golden Lampstand shed light on more than just the holy place in the desert tabernacle. The Table of Showbread presented Israel's future Messiah as the bread of life. The Altar of Incense was yet another forerunner of Jesus Christ, our great High Priest. The Veil in the wilderness tabernacle both shielded and separated God from people. The Holy of Holies was where the high priest would sprinkle blood from sacrificed animals to atone for sin. The Ark of the Covenant was a sacred object with a startling connection to Jesus Christ. The Mercy Seat was an Old Testament requirement to cover Israel's sins. The Cloud and Pillar of Fire guided ancient Israel.