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Bible Pathways 01/26/05

January 26

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 which surrounded the Tabernacle stood the Brazen Altar (Exodus 27:1-8; 38:30), also called the Altar of Burnt Offering (30:28). God had said to Moses: You shall make an Altar of shittim wood. . . . overlay it with brass (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 (Leviticus 6:13).

In sacrificing an unblemished 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 was restored to a right relationship with God. The worshiper entered the one door into the outer court and approached the Brazen 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 Brass Laver 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) and washed his hands and feet before ministering in the Holy Place. The mirrors and water were symbolic of the Word of God which both reveals our sins and is the cleansing power to remove sin from our lives (Titus 3:5; James 1:23,25).

God used the Romans to destroy Herod's Temple: its Brazen Altar, Brass Laver, Gold Candlestick, 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 had symbolized 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 that He might sanctify (make holy) and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26). Jesus also said: Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you (John 15:3).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Brazen Altar, upon which the sin sacrifice was burned (Exodus 27:1-8; Leviticus 4:1-12). Jesus' sacrifice was the fulfillment of all Old Testament altars as well as all sacrifices. In whom we have redemption through His blood (Ephesians 1:7; John 1:36; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12).

Word Studies:

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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA) and Sen. Mark Dayton (MN) · Country: Jamaica (3 million) in the West Indies · Major languages: English and Creole · Religious freedom · 78% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 7% Afro-American spiritist · Prayer Suggestion: Cry out to God daily for mercy (Psalm 86:3).

Optional Reading: Matthew 26

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:24

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