וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָֽׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָֽם
And they shall make Me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst.
According to Rav Chaim Volozhin, there is no truer Temple than the personality of the individual (Nefesh Hachaim 4:1). The Divine Presence resides within us. Conversely, sin involves the removal of God’s presence from within the individual. Because sin is equated to the destruction of the Temple, in a very real sense a sinner does to himself what the tyrants Nevuzaraden and Titus did to the two Temples. (Before Hashem, pp. 155-156).
God created the world to reside in it, rather than reside in transcendence. Man could have continually experienced Him instead of trying to infer His Presence through examining nature. But in the wake of the original sin by Adam and Eve, He retreated. And they heard the voice of the Lord God going in the garden to the direction of the sun, and the man and his wife hid from before the Lord God in the midst of the trees of the garden. (Gen. 3:8). These “footsteps” were those of God leaving the garden and departing into infinity. Had they not sinned, God would always have been close. Through Adam’s hiding and fear of communicating with God in the wake of his sin, God removed His Divine Presence.
The purpose of the tabernacle was to restore the relationship between man and God: And I will dwell in their midst. (Boston 1979)