under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
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Lesson 8 (Part 2)
The moment a person stepped inside the one gate, he stood before the Brazen Altar, which burned continuously with its animal sacrifices.
The Brazen Altar was a large frame of acacia wood, covered with brass. It was about 7½ feet square and 4½ feet high, and it was made to bear the heaviest burdens.
There was nothing beautiful or ornamental about the Brazen Altar. In fact, it was ghastly looking. The altar had but one purpose—upon it the sacrificial animals were killed, their blood poured out, and the sacrifices themselves consumed by fire.
The Brazen Altar is a type of Christ and His death on the cross. The acacia wood points to His sinless humanity. The wood was covered with brass so that it could endure the fire. Brass is a type of the wrath of God against sin. On the cross, and on our behalf, Christ endured the "fire" of God's righteous wrath against sin. Christ is not only the Altar, but He is the Sacrifice as well.
The Brazen Altar stood on the desert sands, not on some high, inaccessible place. It could be approached without effort. It was equally accessible for a child or a full-grown man. There were no steps to the Brazen Altar! The sinner needs no "steps" to come to Christ; he can come to Christ just as he is.
The Brazen Altar was called "the altar" because there was no other. Christ and Christ alone is "the Altar." He is also "the Lamb of God," the perfect sacrifice. No other sacrifice is accepted by God.
The Brazen Altar was called "the altar at the door," because there was no way of approach to God except by passing that altar. The only access to God was on the ground of the sacrifices on that altar.
We need to let this truth burn itself into our hearts and minds. There is no way to God except through Christ and His blood which was shed for our sins. The Bible says,
"Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Peter 1:18-19
"In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Ephesians 1:7
When the children of Israel came to the gate of the court, they had to bring an animal sacrifice for their sins, usually a lamb.
Slowly and reverently, a man approaches the gate with his lamb. At the gate he is met by the priest. The lamb is placed on the Brazen Altar and bound there with cords. The man lays his hand upon the head of the lamb, saying in effect, "God, I thank You for allowing this lamb to die in my place for my sins."
The man then kills the lamb. Its blood is poured out. The priest catches the blood in a basin. Some of the blood is sprinkled on the altar, and the remainder is poured out at the base of the altar. The lamb's body is then burned on the altar.
What was God teaching His people in all of this? He was teaching them that sin is a very serious matter. It must be punished by death, either in person, or in a substitute.
Animal sacrifices were offered daily on the Brazen Altar for many hundreds of years. Then one day Jesus, the Lamb of God, was nailed to a Roman cross. It was not just the nails that held Him to the cross; He was bound there by "cords of love." He went to the cross because He loved us.
Our sins were laid on Him. He bore the "fire" of God's righteous wrath against sin. When He died, He said, "It is finished!"
After Christ's death, no further animal sacrifices were needed. There never need be another lamb offered on a "brazen altar." The perfect sacrifice for sin has been offered and accepted by God. He will never accept any other. The Bible says,
"Every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God…For by one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified [set apart]." Hebrews 10:11-12, 14