The Exodus Twenty Seven altar seems beautiful; covered in bronze and housed in a courtyard of silver and fine linen, with oil lamps that never burn out. Beautiful.
But it’s where messy things happened. Really messy things. It’s where animals were slaughtered; blood drained, skin removed and flesh divided. Gross.
Thankfully, because of Jesus, there is no longer a need for physical places of burnt sacrifice. Because of Jesus our sin is forgiven. (Hebrews 10) Because of Jesus we are promised eternity in Heaven. (Revelation 3:5)
Jesus’ sacrifice did not take sin out of the world. He doesn’t pluck us out of the sinful world or eliminate temptation. As long as we live on this side of eternity, the battle with sin rages on. Paul writes: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. And the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.
So here’s the thing, when I read about the Exodus Twenty Seven altar, I’m reminded that my daily battle with sin is still messy. It’s a daily…hourly…moment-to-moment process of surrender and sacrifice. It’s laying down my human nature and sinful desires; cleansing my soul by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you Jesus for eternal forgiveness and daily grace. Thank you for the power to overcome temptation, because of your Spirit that lives in me. And thank you that I am cleansed from all unrighteousness – not by the blood of goats, but by the power of the blood of Jesus.
…when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:11-12)