The Slaughter

On our tour of the Tabernacle, we first discovered the symbolism of God’s purity and holiness pictured in the white fence. It reminds us of the separation caused by our sin. Next, we found the one and only gate to the Tabernacle courtyard symbolized Christ and represents the fact there is only one way to come to God—through Christ, John 14:6~ Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (NIV) Going through the gate into the courtyard, the first item we encounter is the brazen, or bronze, altar of sacrifice. The altar is made of acacia, or shittim wood and overlaid with bronze. Exodus 27:1~You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits. (ESV) 

Making its dimensions 7.5 feet by 7.5 feet and 4.5 feet high. That is over 56 square feet. That’s a third larger than the average person’s home bathroom, of 40 feet. It is dubbed the altar of burnt offering Exodus 30:28~and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils and the basin and its stand. (ESV) The altar has a bronze grating, to which rings are attached. Poles are slipped through the rings to transport the altar. Remember all of the Tabernacle from the poles and white curtain to the ark of the covenant at all made to be portable. 

Exodus 27:4~You shall also make for it a grating, a network of bronze, and on the net, you shall make four bronze rings at its four corners. (ESV) Exodus 27:6~And you shall make poles for the altar (מִזְבֵּחַ mizbeach), poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. (ESV) The word (מִזְבֵּחַ mizbeach) translated altar means slaughter place. The Lord tells Ole Mo to build Him a working altar. A place of sacrifice, where animals are killed and the blood is put on the altar, en lieu of the individual. Our Father in heaven is an amazing God who understands that we, you, and me, all of humanity is going to make mistakes. That is a given because God knows the shortcomings, flaws, and propensity to sin that is bound up in the heart of His children. Proverbs 22:6~Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV) Think about that for a moment. God rescues His children and right after leaving bondage, one of the first things He does is provide for people to be forgiven of sin, so they can draw near in worship. Wow, God is truly amazing, for He sees our greatest need as His first concern. 

Today, what is your greatest need? Know that there is nothing greater than our relationship with God. Perhaps you need to take some time today and ask the Lord for a spiritual tune-up. Before leaving on a trip we often have our cars serviced and our spiritual lives benefit from the qualified hands of the Lord working on, in, and through us. All we have to do is allow Him to work and respond to the adjustments He is making in our lives. You have got this!



Illuminate

I am so grateful that the way to God is visible. Our great God speaks to us all, with great specificity. As God spoke with Ole Mo on the mount, He shared the materials to be used in the building of the Tabernacle’s Gate. Listen to what the Gate looks like: Exodus 27:16~For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, embroidered with needlework. It shall have four pillars and with them four bases. (ESV) It is a very colorful, beautiful gate. 

Like the Gospel, it is attractive and inviting. I will tell you that there is much speculation about the four colors and how they relate to Christ. Some suggest the blue is symbolic of Christ’s heavenly nature. Purple, the color of royalty, and it is symbolic of Christ’s royalty as King of Kings. Scarlet is symbolic of His suffering, and then there is white fine twined linen revealing His holiness. While all those things are true of Christ, we cling cautiously for there are no biblical references to verify any such suggestions. Therefore, they are just speculations. 

The one thing we know for sure is that this beautiful Gate is brightly colored, warm, and inviting to all. While the rest of the fence is only one color, white. So, the colors in the gate make it stand out, which easily distinguished it, from the rest of the fence. The colors beckon to all that this is the entrance, making the Gate visible so anyone can easily find it and be attracted to its invitation. It reminds us of Jesus who referring to His coming crucifixion, says in John 12:32~And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (NIV) 

This same principle should be true in our lives. When people see the love of Jesus Christ in us, they will be drawn in by God (John 6:44). That’s why Jesus leaves us on earth after we are saved. We are not left here to make money, though that is a wonderful gift for many of you. We aren’t left to become famous, or just to enjoy ourselves. We are here to make Jesus, the Door to God Visible. This is precisely what being a fisher of men is all about. In Matthew 4:19~Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. (NIV) 

Fishermen use attractional bait. Often times it is bright colors that stand out like the Gate to the Tabernacle. Jesus said let your light shine. (Matthew 5:15-15) We are to be salty. How many of you go searching for something salty. Being fishers of people means we are to make Christ, the Door, Visible and accessible to the world, so Jesus can draw all people to Himself. To make Christ, the Door visible, we must be blameless and innocent children of God. Philippians 2:15~so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. (ESV)

The light of our lives should always illuminate the Door to God. In this world of spiritual darkness, the Door is not visible without the light of a holy life. Jesus died so we might live. (2 Corinthians 5:15) So, God says to Ole Mo, build me a portable building. Exodus 25:8~Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. God wants to live in you. He wants to walk with you every single day of your life. The Gate teaches us that God is Accessible, God’s Way is Non-Negotiable, God is to be Visible in our lives, and the fourth truth we discover about the Gate is that God’s love and mercy are inexhaustible. Oh, that is such good news. 

God offers us a fresh supply of His love and mercy every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) The next time you see a sunrise, remember it is not just a new day, but just as God supplied manna in the wilderness, God has a supply of love and mercy for you on each new day. Psalm 30:6-7~As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong…(ESV). 

If you need strength today, God has it. If you need love, God has it. If you need mercy, God has it. God has everything you could and will every need. That is why we call Him Jehovah Jireh—God our provider. Why not take some time right now to cry out to Jesus and receive today, what you need. For Jesus Christ is our Gate to God.



One Way

The Gate to God is Non-Negotiable. Hear me very clearly because I do not want you to get this twisted, there is only one gate that leads into the courtyard of the Tabernacle. Just as Jesus Himself says in the New Testament I Am the Way. (John 14:6) Some of you may think I’m wrong. Well, let’s go have a look at the Old Testament when the Israelites were bound up in slavery, ever been there? Living in the bondage of sin, needing a savior: Exodus 6:6~I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke…I will free you from being slaves …I will redeem you with an outstretched arm…(NIV). Exodus 6:7~I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke…(NIV).

As a New Testament believer in Jesus, I can think of an outstretched arm, belonging to the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16) Jesus who stretched out on Calvary’s Cross as He died bearing my sin, bearing your sin, bearing the sin of the whole world to become the Gate, the Door, the Way for us to enter into a personal relationship with the everlasting Father God. With estimates as low as 600,000 men plus women and children, reaching as high as 3 million people (Exodus 12:37), one might begin to think there would be several gates or doors. 

However, having only one point of entry teaches everyone a vital spiritual truth—that we are not in control, and thus, we don’t choose how we come to God. Rather, God specifies to us that there is only one way to enter into the Tabernacle, and into His presence. We cannot come to God any way we want. We can only come to God through the way He provides. We must come to God on His terms and not our own. There is only one Gate and it is a shadow, or symbol, of Jesus Christ. 

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read how Peter and John heal a lame man at the temple gate (Acts 3:1-8). Then the Sanhedrin arrests them because they are teaching and preaching about Jesus and the resurrection of the dead. The next day the rulers require the formerly lame man to stand in their midst, and then they bring in Peter and John. This Jewish high court asks by what power or name they healed the lame man and preached about the resurrection of the dead. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter tells them it is by the name of Jesus, whom they crucified and God raised from the dead, that the lame man now stands. Acts 4:12~ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. (NIV)

There is only one gate because there is only one way to come to God. You can’t come to God because of good works, church membership, or even good intentions. Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life and no one can come to God the Father except through Him (John 14:6). The only Gate that leads to a relationship with God and to eternal life is Non-Negotiable. Jesus is the only way.

If you are like me, then you have a loved one who does not walk with the Lord. Yeah, they may know the stories and have all the answers but their sins have not been placed under the blood. I want you to add them to your daily prayer list if they are not already on it, as you begin to ask God for a moment to share that Jesus wants a personal relationship with them. Remind the Lord to work in their lives to bring them to a decision for Christ. 2 Peter 3:9~The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV) We want our loved ones to come to know Jesus.