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Sanctuary : Altar of Burnt Offering

After the long period of Egyptian bondage, Israel was so prone to idolatry that the Lord had the brazen altar built in the court of the tabernacle instead of burnt offerings being offered anywhere by the father of the household. The burnt offering was offered as an atonement for sin. The person making the offering laid his hands on the head of the animal, confessing his sins; and then, if it was a lamb, with his own hands he took its life. If it was a bird, the priest killed the offering. The blood was sprinkled around the brazen altar, a symbol of the cleansing blood of Messiah, and then the offering was burnt upon the altar. This consuming fire represents the final destruction of sin.

The sacrifices offered on the brazen altar symbolized Y'shua the Messiah, who through His death became "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29)! When the repentant sinner came to the alter with his sacrifice and confessed his sins, he received cleansing. In the same way, the sinner today obtains cleansing through the blood of Y'shua, the Lamb of God, when we confess our sins to Him.

The whole burnt-offering is also a symbol of the full consecration that must come into every life that God can use to His glory. An offering was an abomination to the Lord unless it was accompanied by the surrender of the heart and life of the one who offered it. Rabbi Paul urges this surrender when he wrote , "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).

 

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