The brazen altar

I was reading again today in my Bible, about the building and preparation of the tabernacle.

As I was reading, I began to say, “Oh, Lord, You know that I wish with all my heart that I had everyone that is going to be reading this post, all in one room. Just them, me, a white board and markers and my Bible! I would love to teach them all the things that You show me in these passages of scripture. Such beautiful pictures of Your provisions and pictures of Jesus all throughout the tabernacle.”

The beauty of the lid of the Ark of the Covenant (this is the mercy seat) What an appropriate name for the lid — it is solid gold (gold always represents Deity). There are solid gold figures that are called Cherubim. The Cherubim and Seraphim are angel beings who fly around the throne of God in heaven, crying, “Holy! Holy! Holy!” They are guardians of the throne. If we were to see one of them in person, we would think they are something out of a science fiction movie — they have four faces: an ox, an eagle, a lion, and the face of a man. They have three pairs of wings with which they fly and cover themselves with when they light or land.

On the lid of the Mercy Seat there are two Cherubim. They are facing one another with their wings spreading up over head, meeting in the center, covering the space representing the throne of God. They are figuratively shading and protecting the throne (mercy seat) of God. Isn’t that a beautiful picture? The Ark itself was 45” long and 27” wide, so a little over 3 feet long and 2 feet wide. Now that doesn’t sound too big, but do you know how heavy solid gold is? One gold bar weighs almost 28 pounds! So, the lid for the Ark was HEAVY! 

Did you know that the literal meaning of “holy” means heavy? When God speaks, His Words are “heavy” or Holy — they have weight! Everything in the tabernacle is covered (over-laid) in gold. But when we get into the outer court, the metal changes to brass. Brass is commonly known as a copper alloy because brass is a combination of copper and zinc, but mostly copper. The Brazen altar in the courtyard is made of brass. It is like a shield built around the fires where the offerings are burned. It is rectangular in shape and the sides are connected by a grate that is placed on the top. It holds the sides together and the grate keeps the sacrificial animals from coming into direct contact with the fire below.

The offerings were “food” for the priests. They were to eat all of the offerings except the sin offering, which was to be thoroughly burnt up outside of the camp. God used the people of Israel to feed and support His priests. This is why churches are to support their pastor and his family — when you do things for God’s called servants, it honors His Name.

The brazen altar is a picture of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and His suffering. The brass in the altar represents the humanity of Jesus; the gold in the tabernacle shows His Deity; the colors of red, blue, and purple are ROYAL colors — all pointing to Jesus. Everywhere you look in the tabernacle you can see a picture of Jesus. I love it!

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