Exodus 26 -- 28
Just inside the courtyard that surrounded the Tabernacle stood the Brazen Altar (Exodus 27:1-8), also called the Altar of Burnt Offering (30:28). God had said to Moses: You shall make an altar of shittim (acacia) wood. . . . and you shall overlay it with brass [bronze] (27:1-2). Throughout the Bible, brass 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 Brazen Altar, with its fire which was kindled by an act of God and which was never to go out. This signified that God was ever-present and desired that man be reconciled to Him.
In offering an unblemished sacrificial animal, the Israelite understood that the animal's life was being forfeited in his place and 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 sinner, with his animal sacrifice, entered the one door into the outer court and approached the Brazen Altar, then he placed his hands upon his sacrifice to identify his own personal responsibility and to signify his guilt being transferred to the innocent animal.
The Brazen Altar was the only place where acceptable sacrifices to God could be made as a trespass offering, and then only for sins of ignorance. All unintentional sin was to be atoned for immediately after the sinner realized his wrongdoing (Leviticus 4:2,13,22,27; 5:3,15,17). Premeditated sin required the death of the sinner (Numbers 15:30-31).
Between the Altar and the Tabernacle was the large Brass Laver that had been made out of many brass mirrors which the women of the camp had provided (Exodus 38: 8). Each day after the priest had offered a sacrifice, he approached the Laver of Brass (30:17-19), which contained water, and washed his hands and feet before ministering in the Holy Place. The water and Laver were symbolic of the Word of God which both reveals our sins and is the cleansing power in our lives (Titus 3:5; James 1:23,25). Christ gave Himself for the Church that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26). Jesus also said: You are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you (John 15:3).
Many centuries later, Christ foretold that the Temple would be destroyed (Matthew 24:1-2) and, in AD 70, God used the Romans to destroy Herod's Temple, its Brazen Altar, Laver, Candlestick, Table of Showbread, and Altar of Incense. The Ark of the Covenant, with its Mercy Seat, had been missing since the Babylonian captivity. The Tabernacle and its furnishings were symbolic of Christ, who fulfilled them completely (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. Jesus the Messiah Savior said: He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the Only Begotten Son of God (John 3:18).
26:6 taches = devices for fastening two parts together; 26:19 tenons = projections that fit into 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 a habergeon = neck in a jacket or protective armor.
Government Officials: Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA) and Rep. Ronnie Shows (MS) · BPM Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Pray for Bible Literature International · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Orville S. McSparran (my father) · Country: Sudan (27 million) at the eastern end of the Sahara Desert · Major languages: Arabic and Nubian · Limited religious freedom · 74% Muslim; 15% king worship, spirit-possession cults, and ancestral spirit worship; 5% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Trust in the Lord; He is your refuge (Psalms 15:1-4).
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