Altar of Sacrifice – Consecration
The Altar of Sacrifice is the largest altar in the entire Tabernacle. Every other altar can fit inside. There was a continual fire on this Altar that was initially started by the Lord God Adonai, but the priests are responsible to keep the fire going. So it is with us. When we come to the Lord, when we fully surrender ourselves to the Lord, His Fire is ignited inside us. But it is up to us to keep the fire continually going. (Leviticus 6:6). The position of the Altar of Sacrifice must be noted, it is the first piece of furniture, the first altar that is just inside the door. This reflects the beginning of our walk with the Lord, but it also is a place where we must go continually, even daily.
There are five different offerings on this Altar:
- Consecration of self
- Consecration of our “things”
This is the largest altar in the Tabernacle, the only place where we “give” something or “do” something.
There are 5 different offerings on this Altar, not just the Sacrificial Lamb.
At this Altar, I hear the Holy Spirit gently whisper this to us:
“Lay your burdens down”.
What IS burdening us?
- Unkept promises
Lay everything down, all that which weighs us down. The LORD wants us. The LORD’s identity is in us, not in our titles, our responsibilities, our roles as parent, spouse, type of work we do or the talents we possess.
Who ARE we?
The LORD wants us to see ourselves as HE sees us. HE loves us to the very core of our beings. HE loves our uniqueness, not because what we do, but because of who we are. GOD’s love runs right into the very core of who we are. We don’t have to perform. We don’t have to do anything in order to “earn” GOD’s love. HIS Love is always there. Always for us, never against us.
From Kevin Connor – Tabernacle of Moses
The ancient Hebrew word for ALTAR has 2 meanings:
- Lifted up, high,ascending
- Place of slaughter
Place of sacrifice
From the root word Zabach (zaw-bakh) which means to kill, to slaughter.
The Sacrificial System
In pre-Israeli and Israeli days, whenever a covenant was made between 2 parties an animal (or something) was slaughtered and the 2 parties sat down to share a meal from it.
Today we receive Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross and we take Communion as part of our covenant-keeping promise.
God commanded the stones on this Altar be undressed (or uncut) stones because the human working will defile it.
We had nothing to do with Jesus’ death on the Cross. Jesus was our “uncut Stone”, as well as our Sacrifice. I Kings 18:31.
Anointing of the Altar
- Exodus 30:28-29, 40:10
- Leviticus 8:10-11
This type of anointing is a type of CONSECRATION.
CONSECRATION: To make or declare something sacred, dedicate formally to a religious or Divine purpose.
- Leviticus 20:7
- Joshua 3:5
- I Corinthians 6:11
- I Peter 1:14-16
IMPORTANT NUMBERS AT THE ALTAR OF SACRIFICE
Two specifics numbers are connected with the Altar of Sacrifice.
It was to be 5 cubits square and 3 cubits high.
3 cubits speak of the Godhead, the Trinity. Also, we are created in the image of God, therefore we also are “triune” or tri-part beings. We identify with God’s Trinity through our “triuneness”.
5 cubits width & length – 5 speaks of God’s Grace. In fact, the number 5 is prominent throughout the Tabernacle. The whole Tabernacle concept is built out of God’s Grace to fallen man.
Bronze is an alloy metal, a mixing of 2 parts. Copper is mixed with another material to create the bronze. It could be copper and zinc, or copper and another metal.
Bronze is mostly copper, but the other elements added to it make it harder. The invention of bronze dates back to 3500 years. It could have possibly been a newer metal the Israelites learned from the Egyptians, who learned it from the Sumerians.
There was no bottom or base to the Altar of Sacrifice, just a grate. That way the ashes could fall through to the ground and easily raked up.
FIRE ON THE ALTAR.
The fire must be continual – the priest’s duty was to never allow the fire to go out. Leviticus 6:5-6.
God’s Holy Nature
Fire is the way to remove sin – Hebrews 12:29 (God is an all-consuming fire).
Fire is used for purification – Numbers 31:21-23
Fire is used to reveal.
- Exodus 3:3 (Burning Bush)
- Exodus 19:18 (people declare obedience)
- Isaiah 6:4-6
- Ezekiel 1:4
Fire is used to transfigures.
- Malachi 3:2-3 (Refiner’s fire)
- II Corinthians 3:18
God LIT (started) the Fire – Leviticus 9:24
The fire was originally sovereignly lit, but now we are commissioned and are responsible to keep the fire going.
- Romans 12:1-2
- Ephesians 5:1
- Leviticus 1:9
The Fire fell supernaturally.
- Leviticus 9:22-24
- II Samuel 24
- II Chronicles 7:1-3
- I Kings 18:38-39
What was the Fire for?
- Consume the Sacrifice
- Reconciliation to God
- Paying the price for our sins
- Glory of God manifested
The Altar of Sacrifice was the largest altar in the Tabernacle. Continual fire was to be on this Altar, it must never go out.
The Altar was a place of ugliness
- Ugliness of sin
- Ugliness of shame
The Altar of Sacrifice was in the must public place in all of the Tabernacle
It was right inside the front door
Our eyes and our senses are accosted by this sight:
- The cries of the innocent lambs as they are being slaughtered.
- The sight of their blood flowing.
- The lambs were “our” lambs. The ones we let into our homes and our children played with.
The first thing we see is what the cost is for inviting us in. We cannot go any further until we come to the realization we have permission to come into this place, but only through the blood. It’s only the blood that gives us permission to have face-to-face encounters with the Eternal Living God. It’s only the blood that can pay the price for our sins. But then we see that our beloved dear Jesus willingly poured out HIS Blood because of the LOVE, the vast amount of love He has for us. For each one of us. HE gave His all to us. And all we have to do is say “yes” and accept it. Jesus loves us so much that He willingly went to the Cross. HE became that Sacrificial Lamb for once and for all…..for me! For you! We can go no further, except through the Cross.
our eyes are immediately assaulted by the sacrifice, the ugly, bloody picture of sacrifice. This is not a place of beauty, there is no beauty at this altar. The picture is gruesome, it’s ghastly. Blood is continually running from this altar. Most of us would want to turn our heads, avert our eyes, look away from this scene of horror. We would prefer not to think about the Price that was paid so we can enter in. We want to get away from this, just as we would prefer to skip over the chapters describing Jesus’ crucifixion in the Gospels. We don’t want to dwell on it. We would prefer to concentrate on the pretty things – such as God’s love for us, God strengthens and empowers us. We would prefer to see the results, not the process of how it came to us. But if we don’t truly get a revelation of this gruesome altar, we will never know or understand the depth of God’s love for us.
Again and again, as we daily revisit this place, this Altar of Sacrifice we are continually reminded of the price Jesus paid for us. This was the cost of our salvation. Jesus gave His all so that He can be with us. There was nothing, absolutely nothing Jesus held back from us. Oh the Price Jesus paid! Who am I to hold anything back from Him?
Then it suddenly dawns on us, we realize – that we must go through the Altar of Sacrifice, not around it. Never around it. We have to be like “firewalkers”. We must walk through the pain, the blood and the gore. Jesus did all of this…..for me! For you! We can’t even begin to understand this, unable to wrap our minds around it. This is too much. But as we walk through the Altar of Sacrifice, all of the junk, all of the crud that clings to us begins to burn off us. We are now being set free! We now learn to praise Him for the Blood. We no longer see the old hymns about the Blood as some outdated Pentecostal songs, these songs become us. The Blood that Jesus shed for each one of us. The Blood that was shed for me! And….we praise Him because we didn’t have to “do” anything except accept Him, accept His Blood! Oh dear sweet Jesus. You gave up Your crown and Your throne. You came to earth to be mocked, ridiculed, interrogated, and beaten. Then You were crucified. All just so we can LIVE! All that so we may SEE! I sing my praises to You because of what You’ve done for me. How You set me free, healed me and cleansed me and raised me up. Here I suddenly take in the full measure of what You’ve done. The price You paid! What it cost You to set me free! I stand aghast. The price You paid was not a cheap “I grant you freedom” and You strike the gavel declaring my innocence, costing You nothing. The price was so much more! The price cost You suffering. The price cost You death; the cruelest kind of death ever known. Yet You are innocent! Through Your death You declare me, the guilty one “innocent” – though I am guilty. In order for me to receive the price, fullness of price I must embrace the Cross. I have to recognize that the Grace offered to me is not cheap. The Grace has a price and the price was paid 2,000 years ago. I’m so unable to pay this price. But I must embrace the price that was paid for me. I will never understand Your love for me until I understand the Altar of Sacrifice.
Until I understand the Cross.
This was a place of sacrifice
Five offerings were presented on this Altar:
- Burnt – wholly consecrated to Father’s Will (Leviticus 1:5-7)
- Meal – Perfection through suffering (Leviticus 2:8-9)
- Peace – Reconciliation in ALL relationships (Leviticus 3:5)
- Sin – Deals with the nature (root) of sin (Leviticus 4:10)
- Trespass – Acts of sin against God and man (Leviticus 5:10)
Even though there is absolutely nothing we can do to win the Lord’s love for us, we are still required to pour out all that we have. We offer the Lord our best: our tithes, our offerings, and especially our hearts and our very lives. At this Altar of Sacrifice, this is the only place where we are required to give. This is a place where we give not just our best, but also our “worst”. What are we holding on to? We give the Lord all of that:
- Our sin
- Our iniquity
- Our pain
- Our forgiveness
- Our consecration
We begin to see ourselves as a set-apart people, holy and pleasing to God.
This is a place of unburdening.
We lay our burdens at the Altar and as we do this, slow realization begins to set in: we are now free! We’ve been set free! No longer do we have to carry around or on us. Heavy burdens such as family or work responsibilities, sickness, pain, sins, failings and shortcomings that we had experienced in the past are all taken from our shoulders, our backs and laid here at this Altar. Even our shame and regrets: Regrets of bad decisions. Abuse, name-calling, etc. Hatred. Unforgiveness. All of these burdens are laid at the Altar. As we let them go, we are set free!
This is a place where we lay down all our junk here at the Altar. We unburden ourselves from all of the crud of this world that is now clinging to us. We lay down our hurts, our pain, our unfulfilled dreams. We lay down our unforgiveness, our bitterness, our anger. We also lay down our accomplishments, our responsibilities, even our titles. This is a place where we are no longer called “Reverend, Senator, Governor, or even Mr. or Mrs”. We lay down our roles as managers, CEOs, directors, doctors, lawyers, nurses, office workers, blue collar workers, even husbands, wives, parents. We can only come to this place alone, as ourselves. The Lord isn’t impressed with our accomplishments. The Lord doesn’t want us to “work” for Him. He wants our hearts. He wants us.
One morning, as I was praying I had a vision: I was in the Throne Room of the Great I AM. The One Who is so holy, so magnificent, so fully of glory that I couldn’t even say His name! All I could do was just stare. Suddenly HE turned His head and looked right at me. HE then stretched out HIS arm, pointed at me and beckoned me to come. I was astounded! Who? ME??? I was so amazed. But then I desperately wanted to go to HIM. It seemed like nothing could stop me! I started to run to HIM as fast as I could go. But then hands stopped me. I was told I could not go to HIM looking like this. I needed a cleansing. I needed to let go. I looked down and saw that I looked like a “shopping bag lady”. My body and my clothes were covered with filth. I was carrying bags and bags of junk: backpacks, shopping bags, so much stuff! I was told I had to let them go. But they were my treasures! They were my accomplishments! They were my good works! I wanted to give them to HIM, the Great I AM! But I suddenly realized they were just stinky junk. I suddenly realized there was absolutely nothing that I could give HIM, nothing! All HE wants is me. All HE wants is my heart.
He whom the Son has set free is free indeed!
PLACE OF HEALING
This is a place of not just salvation, but also a place of healing, deliverance, redemption. Because Jesus gave His all, we are now able to embrace all of HIM. We are now able to go to this place to re
The curtain was torn. The curtain has now been torn from top to bottom. We ALL now free access to the Holy of Holies!
- No restrictions
- No holding back
- No more forbidding anyone from entering in.
“If then God gave the same Gift to them (the Gentiles) as He gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who am I to stand in Christ’s way?” Acts 11:17
Man no longer has the choice of who’s capable of entering into the Holy of Holies face-to-face encounters with the Living God. The Blood of Jesus flowed down on top of the Mercy Seat and tore the curtain. From then on, all Gentiles were included. I am included! The Blood is for us! The Blood was poured out for each one of us! The Blood does not and will never reject us.
We are part of the “ALL”! Little ole me! Little ole you! Jesus’ Blood bought me. Jesus’ Blood bought you.
- Exodus 12:13
- Matthew 27:50-54
The Blood is on the doorposts of our houses – the doorposts of the houses of our hearts and our souls.
The Death Angel will not come near us because the blood of the Eternal Sacrificial Lamb is on our doorposts.
- No death. No sickness.
- HIS Blood washes me clean.
- HIS Blood heals me!
- HIS Blood saves me.
This is a gruesome bloody place, but this also is a place of Restoration. A Place of Healing. A Place of my knowing who I am in Christ.
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
Ohhh precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow!
No other fount I know
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
I find it so fascinating that the Lord provides a way out of His own wrath! He provided His own Son to suffer the Wrath that was meant for us, that was meant for me.
What is wrath?
Wrath: Anger. Intense negative emotion. It involves a strong uncomfortable and hostil response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit – I fix my eyes on HIM. I focus on HIM. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, I died. I died to my flesh. I died to my sin. My life is now hidden in Christ. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, I can now come in. I am accepted in the Beloved.
I hear the Lord calling us to come into the Tabernacle and bring with us all of our unanswered questions, all of our shortcomings, all of our failures, all of our pain.
Here we are, standing at the Altar of Sacrifice and we are called to unburden ourselves. We are to take off all of our filty dirty shopping bags, all of our grimy backpacks. All filled with junk: our sins, our wrongdoings, our fleshly desires. But also in these bags are included our past accomplishments, all of our ministries, all of our hopes, our dreams, our treasures. All of that we have to leave at this Altar. Everything. We have to let them go.
But then, what is so amazing: when we come back from the Holy of Holies, we find all of our treasures are still there at the Altar of Sacrifice waiting for us. But this time they’re different. They’re beautiful, they’re shiny, they sparkle. What’s different about them? They’ve been passed through the Fire!!
All of the filth, the dirt, the junk of selfishness, pride and fleshly desires have been burned off. Even our claims to ownership has all been burned off. They never belonged to us in the first place. All of it, every bit of it belongs to God. All of it.
And all of it had to pass through the Fire.