Christ and the Desert Tabernacle by J.V. Fesko

Christ and the Desert TabernacleFesko, J.V. Christ and the Desert Tabernacle.  Faverdale North, Darlington, England: EP Books, 2012.  132 pp.  $13.99.  Purchase at Westminster for $10.35 or Amazon Kindle for $5.39.


Dr. Fesko is Academic Dean and Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary, California.  He was also the church planter of Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Woodstock, GA from 1998-2004 before serving as pastor from 2004-2009.  He has written a number of other quality resources that can be found here.


According to the title, the work focuses on Christ and how the desert tabernacle points us to Him.  Throughout the book, however, the reader will look at the permanent temple built in Jerusalem as well.  Regardless, Fesko divides this work into thirteen chapters and looks at everything concerning the desert tabernacle from the building materials to the furniture within and even the consecration of the priests and the craftsmen who built and designed everything (Oholiab and Bezalel) and concludes with a look at the Sabbath.

Each chapter, save the first, offers the biblical information regarding the piece of furniture or the ceremonial cleansing, etc., being considered.  After establishing this foundation, Fesko moves to how each particular element is to be understood in light of the New Testament.


Dr. Fesko plays it fairly safe in this work as he does not make the unusual stretches of application many attempt when looking at the tabernacle and Christ.  Much of his exegesis is Christ-centered and offers a deeper explanation to one of the more ‘boring’ sections of Scripture according to some.

Each chapter, though short, is a platform to plumb the depths of the amazing glory and mercy of God through His plan of salvation.  I found myself lead to worship and back to the Word of God as I sought to understand from a fresh perspective the importance of the tabernacle.  As can be expected, Dr. Fesko spends much of his NT application in the book of Hebrews.

Perhaps what makes this work more enjoyable is the pastoral precision and care in which he writes.  Each application is meant to drive home the importance of Christ and what He accomplished on behalf of us for the sake of YHWH.  To begin to understand the many layers and facets of the tabernacle and how it applies to Christ and the Christian today is to be swept away into a sea of beauty and awe.


This is a quick read that will have lasting impact on your life and meditations on the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Reading this work will also, I believe, transform your reading of the account of the building of the tabernacle, the temple, and then what all Christ experienced as He lived and died.  I recommend this to all Christians.