Exodus 27 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“You are to construct and altar of acacia wood.” Exodus 27: 1
The Orthodox (non Messianic) Jewish Rabbis explain the symbolism of the altar by forming an anagram from each of the four letters spelling the Hebrew word: “Mizbe’ah”. Since few of you read Hebrew and my computer doesn’t type Hebrew letters, you’ll just have to trust me! Here’s the English translation:
FORGIVENESS: Sin separates us from G-d. The altar was the channel whereby the Israelite could seek reconciliation with G-d.
MERIT: Gratitude, humility, and contrition found their outlet on the altar. By approaching the L-rd through virtues, life was ennobled and “merit” acquired.
BLESSING: By remaining true to the teachings centered around the altar, man receives the L-rd’s blessing and himself becomes a blessing to his fellow men.
LIFE: The altar points the way to the life everlasting. It directs one’s worship to things that abide forever: righteousness, holiness, and G-d’s Word.
In order for men to perpetuate forgiveness, merit, blessing, and life, it was necessary for them to sacrifice prescribed things at prescribed times, in a prescribed manner. Problem: The atonement diminished over time. You were only covered till the next sacrifice.
Interesting, today neither of the 2 tabernacle altars exists. They were replaced by the altars Solomon built for the Temple, and even those Solomonic altars have been missing since the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. So how are one’s sins atoned today?
We receive forgiveness, merit, blessing, and life when we trust in Yeshua. Plus, we have the added bonus: His atoning sacrifice lasts forever.
“We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle do not have the right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy of holies by the high priest as a sin offering are burned outside the camp. Therefore Messiah also suffered outside the gate so that He may sanctify the people by His own blood. Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing His disgrace. For here we do not have an enduring city; instead, we seek the one to come. Therefore through Him let us continually offer up to G-d a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name. Don’t neglect to do good and to share, for G-d is pleased with such sacrifices.” Hebrews 13:10-16
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Friday, March 28, 2014