The Altar

Exodus 27:2
“You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze.”

IMG_1448One of the key furnishings for the Tabernacle was the Altar. It was a large wooden structure overlaid with bronze. It was located within the gate of the courtyard, and outside the entrance of the Tabernacle, itself. It was on the Altar, where all of Israel’s sacrifices were offered. After the construction of the Tabernacle was completed, the nation gathered around and dedicated it to the Lord; concentrating on the Altar, with its sin offerings.

This dedication included placing blood on the four horns of the altar. These horns were more than decorative attachments to the Altar, the Psalmist wrote, “God is the Lord, and He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar” (Psalm 118:27). This Psalm is Messianic, meaning it looks forward to the Christ, and His death upon the cross. In a figurative sense, Jesus was bound with chords to the Altar when He was bound with nails to the cross.

These horns were on the four corners of the Altar, pointing outward in the four directions of the compass. Again, in a figurative sense, the Altar alluded to the fact that salvation was available to all men through the shed blood of the innocent. After rising from the dead, Jesus sent His disciples out to the uttermost parts of the earth with the simple message of salvation, available to all who would put their trust in Christ. Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, . . .” The word translated “nations”, is the Greek word “ethnos”, from which the word ethnicity is derived. Jesus is declaring that salvation is the same for all people, everywhere. No matter who we are, if we want eternal life, all we need do is come to the cross and receive Christ. Pastor Jim

 

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