Taking the Temple Tour - Brazen Altar and the Sacrifice

In 960 BC Solomon built one of the most magnificent buildings of all time. Though other buildings through out history have been adorned with gold and many carvings, this building stands out above them all, because in it the unique presence of the Lord dwelt in a unique way. Today's blog is about this building, its unique furniture and the future truths that it all foretold.

The tabernacle and then the temple was a visual representation of what it would take for God's wrath towards sinful mankind to be satisfied and for God to have peace with man. What was lost in the garden - the ability for mankind to be in God's presence in joyful relationship - can be restored only through the shedding of blood. Hebrews 9:22 says, "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins" (ESV). This is because the penalty for sin is death. So as we walk through the temple - in our minds - we will look at the reality then in the temple and the reality now because of what Jesus has done.

The following information comes from this pamphlet that is sold at www.thetabernacleplace.com/shop from Rose Publishing.

To help us better understand when in history these things took place, let us first observe a timeline of the different temples. The tabernacle lasted from about 1446 when Moses was given the instructions by God to 960 BC when the Temple was built by King Solomon. This temple lasted till about 586 BC in Jerusalem until the Temple was plundered and destroyed by the Babylonians. There was no temple until Zerubbabel helped to rebuild it in 516 BC, but this temple was not as glorious. The former temple was enlarged and rebuilt by King Herod the Great in 20 BC (the temple Jesus would have visited), and this one was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans.

1) Brazen Altar (Bronze Altar)

When a person entered into the Temple that Solomon built, they would have first passed beyond a wall and met the Brazen Altar. Here "God required the people to regularly sacrifice a perfect animal (lambs, goats, doves, bulls) for their sins. The blood of the animal justified the people before God and restored their relationship with Him" (Claycombe 2). The animal foreshadowed a perfect human sacrifice, because an animal could never take the place - as a substitute - for a guilty man. In fact, in John 1:29, John writes, "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" No longer are sacrifices required because Jesus died once and for all, so that anyone who places their faith in Him is forgiven of his/her sins and credited with Jesus's righteousness. Check out these following references for further study (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:25; Rev. 13:8; Heb. 10:10; Rom 4:25).

2) The Sacrifice

When a person passed beyond the wall, he would bring with him a sacrifice. He would place his hand on the head of the sacrifice. Check out this video by The Bible Project team (www.thebibleproject.com) that explains this well...

Next time I post, I will be continuing the Temple Tour with a look at 3) The Sea (Bronze Basin), 4) Brass Pillars, 5) The Holy Place, 6) The Golden Lampstands and Tables of Showbread, 7) Golden Incense Altar, 8) The Veil, 9) The Most Holy Place, 10) the Cherubim, 11) the Ark of the Covenant, and 12) the Storerooms (Treasuries)

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