After God gave Moses the instructions for His Santuary, His instructions turned to the Outer Court. The Alter for Burnt Offerings was the the first thing you would see when you entered the Tabernacle’s Outer Court. It was the largest piece of equipment in the courtyard.
Unlike the pieces made for the Sanctuary which were made of gold, the Alter was made of bronze covered acacia wood. It was to be 7 ½ feet square and 4 ½ feet high, with a horn that looked like an animal horn at each of the four corners. The utensils needed for the alter: shovels, pans to receive the ashes, basins, forks and firepans were also made of bronze. There was to be a bronze grate that fit onto a ledge halfway down into the hollow alter. The alter would be made moveable like the Ark of the Covenant with four bronze rings and acacia wood poles covered with bronze.
Like everything God does; the Alter for Burnt Offering has special symbols and messages for us. Wood is a biblical figure of man. “He (man) is like a tree planted beside streams of water” (Psalm 1:3) Bronze in the Bible speaks of God’s judgment over rebellious thinking and speaking against Him as in Numbers 16:29-40. Since the wood was overlaid with bronze, the Alter for the Burnt Offering reminds us of man under God’s judgment for our rebellion against Him.
Priests offered various offerings at the Alter for their sins and for the sins of the people. They used rams, goats, bullocks, turtle-doves or pigeons. The offering was to be without blemish, the very healthiest and best available. This foreshadows the Lord Jesus, Who was examined by Pontius Pilate, who declared, “I find no fault in Him at all” (John 18:38).
The blood of the offering was poured out around the base of the Alter, also foreshadowing Jesus, whose precious blood flowed out when His side was pierced on the cross by a Roman soldier’s spear. (John 19:34 & 1 Peter 1:19).
After the blood was poured out, the burnt offering was entirely consumed by burning, the only products being ashes and aroma. The ashes were removed from the camp to a “clean place”. (Leviticus 6:8-13). So it was with Jesus; His dead body was taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb. (John 19:41-42)
The extra reading for today is very interesting and helps you better understand why God gave the instructions He gave! There was a deeper meaning!! One reason I write my blog is to encourage you to look up extra passages and commentaries so you are able to enjoy His Word to the fullest! “Just a closer walk with Thee! Grant it, Jesus, is my plea!”