The apostle is describing the tabernacle with its variety of furniture, with a design to show its typical reference to the second and better covenant. It is obvious that the priests, sacrifices, and utensils of the tabernacle, and afterwards of the temple, were intended to shadow forth the author, medium, and blessings of the Christian dispensation. In reference to the manna, Jesus has applied it to himself, where he says, "I am the true bread of life," &c. Let us notice the manna, and then the golden pot in which it was contained Observe,
I. The Manna.
The history of it is given in Exod. xvi 11, &c. We shall especially consider it in its typical reference to Christ. Notice 1. Its name.
Which signifies to prepare or appoint which applies very forcibly to Christ, who was the prepared Redeemer—the appointed of the Father, to be the sacrifice for sin 2. Its source.
It was given from heaven, &c. Jesus, who had dwelt in the bosom of the Father in the highest heavens, descended from thence that he might be the life of the world.
3. Its nature.
(1) Small in appearance. Exod. xvi.
4. So Christ was "a root out of a dry ground, made himself of no reputation, but took, on him the form of a servant," &c.
(2) Form of it was round, denoting the perfection and fulness of Christ.
(3) Color of it was white, setting forth the unspotted purity of his nature.
(4) Taste of it peculiarly sweet, like wafers made with honey. All connected with the Saviour is sweet to the spiritual mind. Observe,
4. How the manna was given.
(1) Freely. They had no claim, no demand, upon God, for this heavenly provision; it was the result of his own free mercy and grace. So Christ was freely given for our salvation. It was given,
(2) Plentifully. It fell in rich abundance, so as to meet all their wants. Gospel feast is plentifully stored, enough for he whole of Adam's perishing posterity. It was given,
(3) In double quantities, on the evening preceding the Sabbath, probably intended to refer to the more copious outpouring of divine influences in the latter days.
(4) It never failed them so long as they remained in the wilderness. So Christ in his benefits will be the never-failing support of our souls in this life, our hope in death, and our salvation forever. Observe,
5. The way in which it was to be received.
(1) The place where it was to be obtained. "Round about the camp." So Christ is to be found in the ordinances of religion, and in the means of grace.
(2) It was to be gathered daily. So we must always live by faith on the Son of God, &c.
(3) It was to be gathered early. So Christ is to be sought first, principally, first an order of time, first every day. In all things to have both the preference and preeminence.
(4) It might be gathered by all. No restriction, it was free to the whole; so Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and tasted death for every man. Notice,
6. The manner in which it was to be used.
(1) It was to be ground in mills, and baked with fire. So Christ had to suffer both in body and soul, that he might be the life of the world.
(2) It was to be eaten; and only thus would it satisfy their craving desires. In like manner we must actually participate of the redemption which is in Christ. We must "eat his flesh, and drink his blood."
(3) All of it was to be eaten; signifying that we must receive a whole Christ, in all his offices, works, and benefits. Notice,
II. The golden Pot in which it was contained—
May be applied,
1. To the divine word; Which is more precious than gold, and which is the "word of Christ," every part of which is full of him.
2. To the holy ordinances; Where he is so strikingly exhibited. As baptism—the Lord's supper—prayer—praise, &c.
3. To the preached gospel; Where Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the all and in all.
4. To the believer's heart; Which is made pure and precious by the sanctifying blood of the cross, and where he abides as the sovereign of the soul, and the hope of glory.
5. To the holiest place; Where he ever dwells in all his glory, as the infinite source of all the blessedness of the heavenly world.
1. Let us be thankful for this heavenly bread. 2. Receive it with all cordiality and joy. 3. Constantly seek it in those means where his presence and blessing are promised. 4. Despisers of Christ must starve and die.