The Altar

In Numbers chapter 7, the dedication of the altar is described.

Noah had built an altar and offered sacrifices on it upon exiting the ark.

Abraham had taken Isaac to bind him and sacrifice him at an altar. God had provided another sacrifice- a ram caught in the thicket by its horns.

These are just two examples.

And now, at this point in history, in Numbers 7- God has given instructions on the building of the tabernacle, including the altar. The people of Israel  have followed His directions and it is time to dedicate the altar.

A place of death. of blood.

From the first entrance of sin, God shows us this picture of blood: how sin causes death, the spilling of blood (the Truth) and how that blood would be payment for sin (the Grace). Bittersweet and Glorious. Humbling and Majestic.

Adam and Eve, covered in leaves, and God making the first sacrifice to cover them with skins… this is a picture of the gravity of sin and the gracious love of God. Satan had tried to steal their dignity. They took the bait. God took the bait away and gave them truth and grace, wrapping them up… His very self… He did it. He sacrificed the animal and covered them.

And isn’t that the point of ALL of Scripture?

His will, not mine.

His truth. His grace. His work, not mine.

All leading up to HIS BLOOD.

So, in Numbers… we are still at this point in history before His blood… let’s look together.

(My paraphrase): For twelve days, one tribe of Israel would bring an offering for the dedication of the altar. The offerings included items for use in the tabernacle, such as gold and silver plates and sprinkling bowls, incense, flour, and oils. The offering also included animals for sacrifice at the anointed altar.

Starting in verse 87 The total number of animals for the burnt offering came to twelve young bulls, twelve rams, and twelve male lambs a year old, together with their grain offering. Twelve male goats were used for the sin offering. The total number of animals of the fellowship offering came to twenty four oxen, sixty rams, sixty male goats, and sixty male lambs a year old. These were the offerings for the dedication of the temple.

Lots of blood equaling Loads of Truth and Grace.

Repentance here painted in this picture from history

preparing repentance for us here and now-

 We, who live After Jesus, After His blood spilled.

Not as much blood at Calvary’s Cross, but the most precious, most valuable.

The ONLY blood that could fulfill the penalty for good.

The innocent animals killed could only give us a glimpse into the weightiness of sin, the cost.

The innocent JESUS killed.

That.

Where Love Stopped Drawing the Picture and WAS IN the Picture in the Most Profound Way:

In Pain.

For, you, Dear Reader, and for me.

The greatest compassion we can give each other is the Gospel.

The Gospel of Repentance, the only Good News there is.

Giving each other the Gospel means pointing each other over and over and over again to the covenant of blood, the covering of Jesus: His life in exchange for mine.

My sin payed by my greatest love for the purpose of reconciling me to my Heavenly Father and giving me life… my spirit married to His.

If He would bear our sin and spill His blood, is there anything He would NOT give of Himself for us? Is there any problem TOO great for Him? Let’s meditate on Him and stir up the faith in our spirits.

Jesus gives me:

His strength……………………………………………………….for my weakness

His peace………………………………………………………………for my anxiety

His purity………………………………………………………………..for my shame

His truth……………………………………………………………for my confusions

His grace…………………………………………………………..for my judgement

His purposes………………………………………………………….for my striving

His love………………………………………………..for my selfish, needy heart

Paul, all consumed with wanting more and more of Christ, gives us this urging in Romans 12:1

I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Another altar… without a specific location… for us… anytime, anywhere because Jesus tore the curtain making us: the people after the Cross- AFTER THE CROSS historically and AFTER THE CROSS as in that is what we are after… Taking up our cross daily… leaving all our sicknesses, manipulations, our striving to be good on it… CRUCIFIED…and instead resting in His goodness… which leaves us free to BE. to laugh. to be human and make mistakes. to walk blamelessly, to confess our sin quickly, to boldness because fear of man hangs from that cross as well. Free to let other people be… loving without strings attached… because our insecurity is being crucified there on that cross, too.

Bless you with the Cross today. Bless you, Dear Believer, with resting in the finished work done for you there. And bless you with being you all wrapped up in Jesus today.

And you. Who may not believe? Bless you. If you read this far, you did so for some reason. Bless you with the peace of the cross, the privilege of laying down all your burdens and being cleansed by Jesus.

In Christ Alone,

Diana

And…I am giving away this book:

photogive

Because it is such a clear representation of the Gospel and salvation. The kids and I loved it and I want to share it.  So… if you would like a copy, become an e-mail follower of the blog… that way I can communicate with you about where to send the book. If you already follow, comment on this post. I’ll send two books out, so we’ll see… I’ll draw if I need to.  Bless you!

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