Read Exodus 26 -- 28
In Today's Reading:
Directions given for constructing the tabernacle, court, furniture, and enclosure; plans for altar; Aaron's priestly garments; ephod.
Just inside the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle stood the bronze altar (Exodus 27:1-8), also called the altar of burnt offering (30:28). God had said to Moses: You are to construct the altar of acacia wood. . . . Overlay it with bronze (27:1-2). Throughout the Bible, bronze is a symbol of the judgment of God on sin (compare Numbers 21:6-9; John 3:14-16). All sacrifices were offered on the bronze altar, with its fire which was kindled by an act of God and which was never to go out (Leviticus 6:13).
In offering an unblemished sacrificial animal, the Israelite understood that the animal's life was being forfeited in his place because of sins he had committed. He knew that it was only through the sinless animal being slain on his behalf that he could regain a right relationship with God. The worshiper entered the one door into the outer court and approached the bronze altar. Then he placed his hands upon his sacrifice to signify his guilt being transferred to the innocent animal.
Between the altar and the tabernacle was the large bronze basin made out of many bronze mirrors which the women of the camp had provided (Exodus 38:8). Each day after the priest had offered a sacrifice, he approached the bronze basin (30:17-19) and washed his hands and feet before ministering in the holy place. The water and mirrors were symbolic of the word of God which both reveals our sins and is the cleansing power to remove sin in our lives (Titus 3:5; James 1:23,25).
God used the Romans to destroy Herod's temple with its bronze altar, bronze basin, pure gold lampstand, table of the Presence, and gold altar of incense. The ark of the Lord's covenant, with its mercy seat, had been missing since the Babylonian captivity. All were symbolic of Christ, who fulfilled them (Hebrews 9:1 — 10:22; 13:10-12). Since the crucifixion, bodily resurrection, and ascension of Christ, both Jews and Gentiles have but one God-appointed means of cleansing from sin.
Christ gave Himself for the church to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word (Ephesians 5:26). Jesus also said: You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you (John 15:3).
Through the bronze altar, upon which the sin sacrifice was burned (Exodus 27:1-8; Leviticus 4:1-12; John 1:36; Ephesians 1:7).
Government Officials: Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA), Sen. Mark Dayton (MN), and Rep. Ronnie Shows (MS) · Country: Monaco (32,000) in southeastern France · Major languages: French and English · No open evangelism permitted · 90% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray to be sensitive to give God the praise for everything you do (Psalms 40:16).
Optional Reading: Matthew 26
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:6