The Altar of Burnt-Offering
Exodus 27:1-8
And you shall make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare…

I. The altar of burnt-offering was made partly of WOOD, and partly of BRASS. The wood was incorruptible; and was therefore a lively type of the incorruptible humanity of Jesus.

II. The altar of burnt-offering, was not a golden altar; but A BRAZEN ALTAR. Brass is a durable metal, and an emblem of strength. Christ was equal to His mighty work. "I have laid help upon one that is mighty." He is "mighty to save," and strong to plead the cause of His people.

III. The altar was FOURSQUARE. There were firmness, stability and strength. The purposes of Divine love cannot be overturned. The atonement Christ has made is perfect and complete. Our altar presents a bold front to the enemy. It is a solid mass of strength.

IV. It was A HORNED ALTAR. In Christ we have sovereignty, protection, dignity and glory. Horns in Scripture are almost invariably emblems of power — regal power. Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords.

V. It was AN ANOINTED ALTAR. The holy anointing oil was poured upon it, and thus it was sanctified, and became most holy. Christ was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. The fulness of the Spirit was upon Him.

VI. THE SANCTIFIED ALTAR SANCTIFIED ALL THAT WAS LAID UPON IT. "Whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy." The altar was therefore greater than the sacrifice. It is the altar that sanctifieth the gift. The Divine nature of Christ sustained His human nature, and gave efficacy to His sacrifice. Christ's glorious Person is the only Altar on which we can offer acceptable sacrifices to God.

VII. Christ is A SPIRITUAL ALTAR, and on it we may offer spiritual sacrifices. To this Altar we must bring our prayers. If we pray in the name of Jesus, we give wings to our feeble breathings. To this Altar we must bring our praise. "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name." No service of song can be acceptable to God apart from Jesus Christ.

VIII. IT WAS A SACRIFICIAL ALTAR. On this altar was offered the daily sacrifice — a lamb every morning, and a lamb every evening. "Behold the Lamb of God! " Christ is the Lamb of God's providing.

IX. It was a BURNING ALTAR. On the altar sacrifices were continually burning. The fire was never to go out. Perfection was not to be found under the old dispensation. Christ's sacrifice was one; and it was offered but once. "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." "By one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." At the Jewish altar the fire consumed the sacrifices; but the sacrifice Christ offered consumed the fire. "It is finished."

X. The altar of burnt-offering was GOD'S ALTAR (Psalm 43:3, 4). Jesus is the Christ of God. He is God's beloved Son. In coming to Christ we come to the altar of God's providing; we come to the altar of God's appointment.

XI. It is the SINNER'S ALTAR. The altar was erected on purpose for the guilty; and Christ came into the world to save sinners.

XII. It is A BLOOD-STAINED ALTAR. Where the blood is, it is safe for the sinner to go. Being sprinkled with blood, it is A PROTECTING ALTAR.

XIII. The altar of brass was A NOURISHING ALTAR. The priests had a portion of the sacrifices for their food (1 Corinthians 9:13). "We have an altar" — the glorious Person of Christ — "whereof they have no right to eat which serve the Tabernacle." The old dispensation has passed away. The present dispensation is spiritual. Having "the heavenly things themselves," we have no need of "the patterns." In Christ we have all the "good things," of which the Tabernacle and its services were "shadows." All believers are priests. All wait at the altar. All live on Christ.

XIV. It was A CONSPICUOUS ALTAR. No one could enter the court of the Tabernacle without seeing the brazen altar. Christ must be the preacher's theme. Christ is the only object of saving faith, and Jesus only must be the subject of our ministry.

(B. E. Sears.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.

WEB: "You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and its height shall be three cubits.

The Altar of Burnt-Offering
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