Scripture Passage: Exodus 27:1
All of the Bible is about Jesus; He is the hero of the book. As we study the Old Testament tabernacle in further depth, we see clearly that it is a prophetic picture of Jesus Christ.
The bronze altar described in Exodus 27 symbolizes the cross of Jesus Christ.
The altar was five cubits by five cubits by three cubits. (See Exodus 27:1.) In the Bible, five is the number of grace, and three is the number of deity, the triune God. These dimensions tell us of the divine grace of God.
This altar was made of acacia wood, overlaid with brass; wood speaks of humanity, and brass speaks of judgment. This symbolizes humanity under judgment—more specifically, the moment when judgment met mercy at the cross of Calvary.
This altar had horns (see Exodus 27:2), which represent power, and four corners, which is the Earth number. Four horns on four corners symbolize that the Gospel is for everybody, all people.
Exodus 29 claims the altar, where they would make a blood sacrifice, is right at the door, signifying we cannot come into the tabernacle except by blood.
Hebrews 9:22 says, “...without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
God honors the blood, so we should honor the blood. There is much learning, growing, serving and praying to be done in the presence of God, but it does not have the approval of God until we come past this altar.
The animal sacrifice here is an offering to atone for the sins of man.
Adrian Rogers says, “The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.”
Once the sacrifice was placed on the altar, fire would fall from heaven and consume it, symbolizing God’s wrath burning against sin. This reminds us that God is not lenient with sin. This fire also prophesies Calvary, when Jesus Christ took on our sin, our penalty, the wrath of Jehovah.
Adrian Rogers says, “Just as the sin of the world was distilled upon Jesus, all of the sufferings of the world fell upon one man at one point. Jesus took it all.”
As we study the bronze altar of the tabernacle, praise God for the ultimate sacrifice, the blood of Jesus Christ shed at Calvary.