THE ALTAR & THE CROSS

Monday, 24 August 2020

Exodus 27:1-21


“And you shall make the altar…” -Exodus 27:1


One of the most important subjects dealt in the Bible is the construction of the Tabernacle. There are about fifty chapters in various books, in which the tabernacle is described! When we understand that the creation account takes only two chapters in the Bible, we are reminded to note the importance God attaches to this very important subject. We can notice that this one statement is there in most of the places where the details of construction of the various items of the Tabernacle is provided. : “You shall make it ……….as shown to you in the mountain… so they shall they make it.”


As explained in Hebrews 10:1, the Law is a shadow of the good things to come. When we start to see the Tabernacle as a shadow of the future things, we will start to see the amazing truths hidden in each piece of equipment – in its function, its relative position, in the material for its construction and even in its dimensions!! The first item that is described is the altar. And the altar is a shadow of the Cross of Calvary!  A person who enters the court through the gate encounters the Altar first. The dimension of the altar is Five cubits by Five cubits. We can observe that most of the dimensions of the tabernacle and its furniture are multiples of 5, which is the number of grace, as seen in the feeding of the 5000 with 5 loves and also the 5 stones picked up by David for fighting Goliath- all pointing to the “unmerited favour” (grace) of the LORD in their lives. So too, the altar represents the grace of God demonstrated through the cross!! [Ref. ‘Made According to Pattern’ by C.W. Slemming]


Although the sacrifice itself represented Christ, every piece of furniture in the Tabernacle also reveals Christ! The materials that are used for the construction of the altar are Acacia wood and bronze. The Acacia tree was a common tree available in the wilderness – we can equate it to the humanity of Jesus Christ. It is then overlaid with metal (bronze) for imparting strength. The wood inside the metal covering, does not get burnt off, but rather it suffers the heat. Heb. 2:14 says that “since the children share in the flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same…” When Jesus came into the human form, He had the flesh like any other human being.  Also Hebrews 10:5 says: “…sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for Me.” And in verse 10 it is written that “by this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” And verse 14 – “by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”


Slemming in his book provides this interesting observation that the size of the Altar is so big that all the other furniture can be contained in it! It also means that all the other blessings originate from the perfect sacrifice on the cross. The body of Christ when it was subjected to the cruel punishment by the Roman soldiers, it was not that His body was of a different substance that it could withstand it – Jesus had the same body like any human being, and the pain when His human body was subjected to, was real!! Jesus suffered that pain and agony just for your sake and mine! Will you come to this altar of the Cross and admit that the sacrifice of Jesus was for you?


“Lifted up was He to die/‘It is finished’ was His cry/Now in heaven, exalted high, Hallelujah! What a Saviour!”

~Hymn


Listen: ‘Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Good Shepherd Ministry International