The History of Altar
The court of the tabernacle was about 150 feet long and 75 feet wide. It had only one entrance at the east side. The court had two pieces of furniture: the Brazen Alter and the Brazen Laver. In the court all the furniture were made of brass. The court represents earth where a sinner could enter the court through the gate to put away his sins. He is afraid, restless and troubled in his conscience. The sinner cannot run away from God. There is a wide open door that invites the sinner. He could enter the court through this opened door. God in his wisdom and mercy prepared all these things for sinners. This is a picture of salvation God has planned for us in Christ. Only Moses, priests and the person who brought the sacrifice were allowed to enter the court. The sinner had to slay his sacrifice before the Lord and the priest sprinkled the blood around the brazen alter (Leviticus 1:11-13). This is the type of Christ. "For indeed Christ, our Passover lamb was sacrificed for us" (1 Cor 5: 7). How thankful that we do not have to bring an offering now! All our sins have been forgiven and God will remember our sins and lawless deeds no more (Heb 10:17). The blood of the Jesus Christ cleanses us from all our sins ( John 1:7). Such grace should free us from guilt and transform us to love and serve Christ.
The Brazen Alter: Ex 27:1-9.
The word, altar means “Place of sacrifice”. Throughout the entire Bible we are told about altars and sacrifices. Abel, Noah, Abraham and Jacob built altars and offered sacrifices unto God (Gen 4:4; 12:8). They speak of Christ's atoning sacrifice on the cross. This was the perfect sacrifice. From eternity to eternity, the cross of Christ is the means of redemption. Heathens thought that spiritual things belong to God so that altars should be set up on high mountains. But God wanted that His altar should be different from other altars. He instructed Moses to set up His altar on the floor in the desert. The brazen alter stood just inside the gate of the court and the first item the sinner sees. It was made of acacia wood overlaid with brass. In the Bible altar speaks of Christ and His work of atonement on the cross of Calvary (John 1:29; 1 Cor 5:7; Rev 5:9). This is the only ground of salvation for sinners. Untold animal have been killed and burnt at the alter. The thousands of offerings made throughout the ages give an impressive picture of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The cross is the center between heaven and earth. God knew the plan of the devil to ruin man's life from the beginning. But long before that, God had a plan to save us. God is holy and He cannot condone sin or let it go unpunished. He had to judge man's sin righteously. God is also loving savior (1 John 4:8, 16). For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ (Rom 6:23). So God unfolded the plan of salvation by sending His son into the world to die in the place of guilty sinners. Throughout the Old Testament sacrifices point to Christ and his suffering death. "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin" (Heb 9:22). A guiltless one must die in place of guilty. Jesus Christ is the Holy One, the perfect Son of God. He died in our place to atone for our sins. We no longer dread sin's bitter payback of death but rejoice in God's free gift of salvation. Those who trust Jesus are forgiven. They are free from guilt and judgment of sin (Rom 8:1).
Construction: Exodus 27:1-9.
The Spiritual Lessons: