We’ve talked about the tabernacle. Did you know that there was only one entrance, called the gateway of the court? The entrance was always facing east. There is a parallel for us, of course – only one way for salvation, through Jesus Christ. “East” parallels our need to come to Him and worship in a specific way.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. John 10:9 (KJV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)
If Jesus is the only way to God, is it possible to worship God without Jesus? For example, is the unsaved church attender actually worshiping God?
Notice that after a worshiper entered the tabernacle, the first thing they encountered was the bronze altar (altar of burnt offerings). Leviticus lists seven different offerings for the bronze altar, but our focus is on only one:
When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock. 3 “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord. 4 He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 Then he shall kill the bull before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Lev 1:2-5 (ESV)
A worshiper had to bring an unblemished bull. The worshiper had to lay his hand on the bull and personally kill it. The bull was the sacrifice that served as a substitute for his sins. The blood was thrown against the sides of the altar by the priests. It was a messy sacrifice.
This sacrifice was to be done immediately upon entering God’s house. What does that tell you about God’s requirements for worship?
Bulls and goats were used as substitutes for man – as atonement for sins. Jesus came to be a once for all sacrifice.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 (ESV)
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ” 8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:4-10 (ESV)
Why did Jesus have to die? What did His death ultimately accomplish? How does the sacrifice at the bronze altar give us a picture of the cross?
I will leave these questions open because I would really like to hear from you!
See you Friday.