In Chapter 9, the author of Hebrews takes a closer look at the Old Covenant worship system and then compares it to the New Covenant in order to illuminate the superiority of the new one. He begins by pointing out the items that were placed in the tabernacle. He first mentions the two items that were placed behind the first set of curtains that was referred to as “the Holy Place.” Hebrews 9:1-2 says, “Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place.” The tabernacle and all its accouterments were pictures of Christ’s work in the world. The Priests served in the tabernacle but Jesus served the world. Although the author of Hebrews does not mention the specific role each item played in its relationship to Jesus, it’s apparent that he wants to imply such simply by observing the overall theme of the superiority of Jesus to the Jewish religious system. Further, at the end of verse five, he explains that it’s not his intention to discuss the details of each item in his letter. He says, “Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.” There are several obvious connections to Jesus in these places of worship.

The lampstand speaks of Jesus in at least two ways. First, the lampstand provided the only light in the tabernacle. According to Exodus, it had to be tended daily by the sons of Aaron (Exodus 27;20) and refreshed morning and evening and was never allowed to go out. Jesus came into the world as light into darkness.  John tells us that when Jesus came into the world, he was the “light of the world.” He adds in John 1:5 that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” It will never go out! Just as the lampstand was the only light in the tabernacle by which the presence of God was illuminated, so too is Jesus the only light in the world by which God is illuminated for all mankind. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul explains that the “good news” about Jesus is the light. He writes about those who do not believe, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Second, God’s instructions about the design of the lampstand are very specific. It was to be shaped like a tree with six branches along with the central stem. At the end of each branch was a candle holder (fire holder) that was to be of one specific design. Exodus 25:33 says the lights would be placed in what would look like “almond blossoms.” The almond blossom and fruit were the first to bloom in the spring. It was the “first fruits.” Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:20. Jesus is the guarantee of God’s promise of everlasting life for believers. Jesus promised to prepare a place for us with him in heaven and will take us to himself. This guarantee is illustrated by the almond tree. The almond tree is mentioned several times in the Bible but one of the more significant times is in Jeremiah 1:11-12. “And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, ‘I see an almond branch.’ Then the LORD said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.’” I like the way one writer answers questions about the bible on this website: He says, “The most important thing to note about the lampstand is that it points to Christ, as do all the elements of the tabernacle. The Bible is from beginning to end a testimony about Christ and God’s merciful plan of redemption.”