The Bronze Laver: The Washing of the Word

Exodus 30

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Exodus 30

The Old Testament tabernacle was a tent-like structure that God gave the Israelites on their journey from Egypt to Canaan. It was their house of worship; more importantly, it was a picture of Jesus Christ.

Before Jesus came, the tabernacle revealed how He would redeem and sanctify us. As we study the tabernacle, specifically the furnishings within the temple, we can see the sanctification we would receive through the Word of God.

Exodus 30:18 says, “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it…”

Bronze symbolizes the judgment of sins, but this particular bronze was first used as mirrors, for reflection and revealing. Considering its source and use, this laver symbolizes the Word of God, which reveals, judges and cleanses us. It speaks to the sanctifying power of God’s Word.

The placement of this laver expresses its further meaning: just beyond the altar and just before the holy place of service. God is revealing that after we’ve been reconciled by the blood of Jesus, we must be sanctified by the Word of God.

The laver was the most used piece of furniture in all of the tabernacle, which speaks of our daily sanctification. When we receive salvation, we are spiritually washed clean all over. But because we live in a dirty world, we must spiritually wash our hands and feet, as we’ve been defiled by the things we’ve touched.

We see this practice exemplified in John 13, when Jesus washed His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. When Peter asked to be washed all over, Jesus reminded Him that it was not his whole body that needed cleansing, just his feet.

How beautiful that this lesson in John 13 was first expressed in Exodus 30. Once we come to God and are saved, it is once and for all. But we need to come to the laver daily to be sanctified, and only then can we be of service to each other.

Adrian Rogers says, “If God has forgiven us, if Christ has washed our feet, then we must wash one another’s feet.”

Apply it to your life

Spend time at the laver today, by opening your Bible and diving in. The Word of God is faithful to reveal and cleanse us of our sins.

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