Our Spiritual Journey Inside the Tabernacle – Part 3: The Bronze Altar
In Part 2 of this blog series, we looked at the first obstacle that separates mankind from a holy God – represented by the fence enclosing the courtyard of the tabernacle. The fence reminds us of how God gives us the faith to believe in Yeshua as the only entrance into God’s kingdom, so that we can accept His invitation of communion with Him.
But our sin keeps us from dwelling in his kingdom, keeps us from living in full relationship with Him. Once we’ve entered into relationship with Him through faith, we become aware of our sinfulness as compared to His righteousness. When we ask, “Lord, what about all those things in my past and still in my life even now? How can I ever measure up to your righteousness?” So He brings us to the Bronze Altar.
In the tabernacle, the Bronze Altar is situated just inside the fence. It’s the first piece of furniture we come to once inside the courtyard. This altar is where the priests perform the offerings required of mankind to draw near to a holy God. The various offerings atone for sin, express worship and obedience, and reconcile man back to God.
With Yeshua’s death, God provided the offering of a lamb’s blood, which is required to atone for our sin. The lamb is God’s own Son. God and His Son pay the payment for all of our sin – past, present and future. Our sins are forgiven! We’re in the kingdom! God has drawn us to Himself, and the faith He gave us to believe in His Son’s blood atonement has saved us. The Bronze Altar now represents this gift.
This is what The Day of Atonement is all about – Yeshua offering His own sinless, holy blood on the altar as our atonement once and for all. Because of Yeshua’s sacrifice, we can celebrate our reconciliation back to God and look forward to the time when the Lamb’s Book of Life is opened and our name is noted as one who accepted Yeshua’s blood as the payment for our sin.
This is a great place to be. Some people stay at this place for years, maybe forever. But God has so many other gifts he wants to provide us to bring us into deeper intimacy with Himself.
In Part 1, I used an example of a Father and Son to illustrate the process of salvation: A father sees his son living in desperation and poverty. Finally one day, the son has just enough minutes left on his cell phone for one last phone call, so he calls his dad. His dad says, “I’m so glad you called me! I have a plane ticket I’ve already purchased for you, I’ll give you a car when you arrive, and I’ve already built a home for you, so that we can live beside each other. I’ll make you a partner in my business and you can share fully in all of my unlimited provisions and in the family inheritance!”
As great as God’s eternal forgiveness is, stopping the journey just inside the courtyard at the Bronze Altar, would be as if the son got on the plane and landed in the city where his father lives, but then took the car and said, “Thanks for the ticket and the car, dad. I’m going to go visit some friends and see some of the sights. I’ll be over to visit when I can – how are Sunday mornings for you? I should have an hour or so free on most Sunday mornings.”
The father longs for his son to desire more of Him, so that he can come into full intimacy and relationship with Him. In Part 4, we’ll look at the next gift God offers us to bring us closer.