In my home sits a table. It’s just a wooden table with eight wooden chairs. As I gaze upon the table, I recollect the faces of family and friends that have shared a meal and graced us with hours of joyful conversation.
At the front of the church’s auditorium there is also a table. It’s functional. It hold the offering plates, and we use it on Lord’s Supper Sundays. It’s also symbolic, reminding us that as we worship, we enter the presence of our Holy God to be nourished and enjoy spiritual fellowship at our Host’s table.
In the Tabernacle, Israel’s mobile temple ... no surprise ... there was a table.
In the Holy Place, the first room in the tent, there were three fixtures. When one entered the tent, the Golden Altar lay directly ahead, just in front of the Veil. To the worshipper’s left was the flickering light of the Menorah, the Golden Lampstand. And to the right was the small, but functional, Golden Table.
God’s blueprints directed Moses “to construct a table of acacia wood, thirty-six inches long, eighteen inches wide, and twenty-seven inches high” (Exodus 25:23, CSB). A plain wooden table wouldn’t be right, so God continued, “Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding all around it” (Exodus 25:24, CSB). The common dessert wood spoke of Jesus’ humanity, while the gold symbolized His Divine royalty!
On the Golden Table the worshipper found bread. The Old English language of King James spoke of shew bread (show bread). Later translators (ESV, CSB, NIV, etc.) called it “the Bread of the Presence” (Exodus 25:30). Once in a while you’ll hear an old preacher (like me) call it “the table of show bread.”
The bread obviously portrayed Jesus, “the Bread of Life” (John 6:33-58). Like the manna, it spoke of God’s life-giving and life-sustaining grace.
Jesus said He was like a grain of wheat that is planted in the earth. Only when it dies can it produce grain for bread. The grain is crushed and subjected to fire in the oven to produce “the Bread of Life” (John 12:24-33).
“On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me’ ” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24, CSB).
In Heaven, there is a table, a banquet table of heavenly proportions! (Revelation 19:6-10). The table calls out to every worshipper, “Welcome to my home! Come in! Sit a spell... eat and drink!” At His table, we’ll sing, “Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty, reigns!” (Revelation 19:6, CSB).
If you close your eyes ... you might hear the melody ... you might smell fresh, home-made bread ...