Among other things, I love what he says on page 137: “The events of Exodus 19-24 seem to serve as a paradigm for that cult, or to put it another way, the sanctuary cult models what it means for Israel to be a royal priesthood.”
He's right on. In fact, a close analysis of Exodus' account of the Sinai experience reveals something ancient Jews made more explicit in later works, namely, that Sinai was a proto-Temple.
Let me explain.
The graded holiness of the Tabernacle (i.e., the holy of holies [=most holy], the holy place, and the outer court [=least holy] reflects the Sinai experience. Most of the Israelites remained at the foot of the mountain (Exod 19:12, 23). The leaders were permitted to ascend upwards (Exod 19:22). However, Moses alone was allowed access into the cloud at the top (Exod 24:2). See Mary Douglas, Leviticus as Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 59:
“Both Sinai and the Tabernacle evidence a tripartite division. The summit corresponds to the inner sanctum, or Holy of Holies. The second zone, partway up the mountain, is the equivalent of the Tabernacle’s outer sanctum, or Holy Place. The third zone, at the foot of the mountain, is analogous to the outer court. As with the Tabernacle, the three distinct zones of Sinai feature three gradations of holiness in descending order. Just as Moses alone may ascend to the peak of the mountain, so all but one are barred from the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle.
(Of course, implicit in this is another idea made explicit in later Jewish literature--Moses’ priesthood!)
Likewise, see Göran Larsson, Bound for Freedom: The Book of Exodus in Jewish and Christian Traditions (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1999), 134:
“Just as here at Sinai, there came to be an area to which all of Israel had access, another reserved for the priests, and finally an inner ‘holy of holies’ into which only the high priest could enter… The model for this division is found already here, and the tabernacle becomes an important way of carrying the Sinai experience forward during the subsequent wanderings…”
Key to all of this is the covenant ratification ceremony of Exodus 24--a passage Jesus' likely alludes to at the Last Supper:
Mark 14:23: "And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many" (cf. Matt 26:28).
Exod 24:8: "And Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” [Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on this verse reads, "This is the blood of the covenant"].
Much could be said here [wait for my dissertation!], but suffice it to say, if Jesus is linking the Eucharist with Exodus 24 the implications are huge.
If the Sinai experience was a Temple experience in which God's presence came to be with His people, how much more real is God's presence with His people in the Eucharistic celebration?