SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2024
"Emmanuel on the Altar" (Hebrews 9:11-28) // Pastor Daniel Mills
As you enter the tabernacle, the first item that you see is the altar of burnt offering. It is there that the various sacrifices were offered, killed, and burned before the Lord. When Israel sinned, they needed to bring an animal to atone for their failure. This altar reminds us of what happened in the Garden of Eden and the experience of Abraham in offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord. It also foreshadows the ultimate and perfect sacrifice of Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. As we study the meaning and purpose of the altar, we rejoice in Emmanuel’s heart to reconcile and restore humanity to himself in deep and intimate relationship through the finished work of Calvary.
Exodus 25:8 – Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.
Exodus 29:42-46 – Offer them in the Lord’s presence at the Tabernacle entrance; there I will meet with you and speak with you. I will meet the people of Israel there, in the place made holy by my glorious presence…then I will live among the people of Israel and be their God, and they will know that I am the Lord their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Lord their God.
Major Items in the Tabernacle:
- Altar of Burnt Offerings
- Bread of the Presence
- Altar of Incense
- Ark of the Covenant
What does the Tabernacle represent?
Jesus, Our True Tabernacle
John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Our Spiritual Journey
1 Corinthians 3:16 – Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
Hebrews 9:23-24 – That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals. For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf.
The Altar is a recollection of God’s kindness in humanity’s rebellion
Genesis 3:21 – And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Romans 2:4 – Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Leviticus 7:12 – If you present your peace offering as an expression of thanksgiving, the usual animal sacrifice must be accompanied by various kinds of bread made without yeast.
The Altar is a reminder of the covenant with Abraham
Genesis 22:2 – “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
Genesis 22:16-18 – “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”
The Altar is a recognition that sin has a cost and effect
Romans 3:23 – For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Isaiah 59:2 – It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hebrews 9:22 – In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
The Altar is a realization of our need for humility as we confess our sins
Leviticus 5:5-6 – When you become aware of your guilt in any of these ways, you must confess your sin. Then you must bring to the Lord as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord.
Leviticus 16:21 – He will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
James 5:16 – Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
The Altar is a revelation of Calvary as it foreshadows Jesus’ atonement & the New Covenant
Isaiah 53:5-7 – But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
Hebrews 9:12 – With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
Hebrews 9:14-15 – How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance
Hebrews 9:24, 26 – For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf…but now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.