Pattern for the Tabernacle. It speaks of the person of Christ and the way of redemption. Progression from suffering, blood, and death, to beauty, holiness, and glory.
And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits (Ex. 27:1).
There were two altars connected with the Tabernacle worship. Both were made of Acacia or Shittim wood, but each was covered with a different metal. The first altar, just inside the court, was called the Brazen Altar and was covered with brass. Brass is a symbol of God's judgment. This was illustrated later when Moses lifted up the serpent of brass in the wilderness. God sent the deadly serpents as judgement for their complaining. The believing Israelites simply had to look at the brass serpent to be saved (Ex. 38:30; Num. 21:6-9; John 3:14-16).
The sinner, with his offering, entered the one door through the outer court and approached the Brazen Altar but could proceed no further. He placed his hands upon the sacrifice to acknowledge his guilt being transferred to the innocent animal. The blood was sprinkled to atone for his sins by the priest who prepared his sacrifice. The Brazen Altar was the only place on earth where acceptable sacrifices could be made for sin. The fire was kindled by an act of God and was never to go out. The trespass offering, meal offering, peace offering, and burnt offering were also made on this altar.
By faith, the sinner saw sin reduced to ashes at the Brazen Altar. Now, the believer has perfect peace in the assurance that his sins were all put away by God's own hand of redeeming love, mercy, and grace.
After the priest offered the sacrifice, he approached the laver of brass that contained the water which the priests used to cleanse their hands and feet before ministering in the Holy Place. The laver was symbolic of the Word of God that reveals our sins but provides His cleansing power in our lives.
As Christ foretold, the Temple was destroyed. The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat have been missing since the Babylonian captivity. God employed the Romans to destroy everything that had been vital for the Jews to worship Him. These things were only types and shadows of Christ. However, since the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, Jews and Gentiles have only one God-appointed means to be cleansed from sin. Christ gave Himself for the Church.
For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor. 5:21). The believer's sins have already been judged and cleansed at the cross, and when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). The result is: the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7) of which the world knows nothing.
That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word (Eph. 5:26).
Thought for Today:
God desires for us to follow His plan for our lives and not to devise one of our own. His thoughts for us are thoughts of peace (Jer. 29:11).
Through the Brazen Altar, upon which the Sin Offering was burned (Ex. 27:1-8; Lev. 4:1-35). Jesus' offering of Himself as the final sacrifice was the fulfillment of all Old Testament altars as well as all sacrificial offerings. Jesus Christ. . . . In whom we have redemption through His blood (Eph.1:5-7; John 1:29,36; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:12).
26:6 taches, devices for fastening two parts together; 26:19 tenons, projections that fit into one another; 27:6 staves, poles for carrying; 27:21 order it, keep it burning; 28:8 curious girdle, skillfully made belt; 28:32 hole of an habergeon, neck in a jacket or protective armor.
Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Mark Dayton (MS), Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA), and Rep. Albio Sires (NJ) • Country: Oman (2 million) on the southeastern coast of Arabia • Major languages: Arabic and English • Fewer restrictions on Christian activity than most of its neighbors • 97% Muslim; .5% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: When discouraged over material or financial loss, praise the Lord for preparing and providing an eternal home (John 14:1-3).
Optional Reading: Matthew 26
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 100:4