Read Exodus 26
Directions given for constructing the Tabernacle, court, furniture, and enclosure; plans for Altar; Aaron's priestly garments; ephod.
Just inside the courtyard which surrounded the Tabernacle stood the Brasen Altar (Ex. 27:1-8; 38:30), also called the Altar of Burnt Offering (30:28). God had said to Moses: Thou shalt make an Altar of shittim (acacia) wood. . . . and thou shalt overlay it with brass (27:1-2). Throughout the Bible, brass is a symbol of the judgment of God upon sin. Sacrifices were offered on the Brasen Altar (compare Num. 21:6-9; John 3:14-16). Its fire was kindled by an act of God and was never to be allowed to go out (Lev. 6:13). This was a daily demonstration of the mercy of God. As the fire of judgment consumed the sacrificed animal, God accepted the sacrifice as a substitute for the guilty sinner.
In sacrificing an unblemished animal, as required by the holiness of God, 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 be restored to a right relationship with our holy God. The worshiper entered the one door into the outer court and approached the Brasen Altar. Then he placed his hands upon his sacrifice to signify his guilt being transferred to the innocent animal and then he killed it (4:1-35).
Between the Altar and the Tabernacle was the large Brass Laver. It was made from many brass mirrors which the women of the camp had provided (Ex. 38:8). Each day after the priest had offered a sacrifice, he approached the Laver of Brass (30:17-21) and washed his hands and feet before ministering in the Holy Place. The mirrors and water symbolized the Word of God which both reveals our sin and is the cleansing power to remove that sin from our lives. Jesus revealed: Ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you (John 15:3; Titus 3:5; James 1:23-25).
Since there is no longer a need for animal sacrifices, God used the Romans to destroy Herod's Temple with its Brasen Altar, Laver of Brass, Candlestick of pure gold, Table of Showbread, and Altar of Incense. The Ark of the Lord's Covenant, with its Mercy Seat, had been missing since the Babylonian captivity. All of these symbolized Christ, who fulfilled their functions (Heb. 9:1 — 10:22; 13:10-12). Since the crucifixion, bodily resurrection, and ascension of Christ, both Jews and Gentiles have only one God-appointed means of cleansing from sin — through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
Christ gave Himself for the Church that He might sanctify (set apart for sacred service) and cleanse (make clean, purify) it with the washing of water by the Word (Eph. 5:26).
Thought for Today:
For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (I Tim. 2:5).
Through the Brasen 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: John 3:17