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The Place of Sacrifice

by Cindy Wallace on August 03, 2020


When gratefulness is our way of life, it can’t help but overflow into many expressions of thanksgiving and praise.  As we enter His gates and come into His courts, what could cause our hearts to overflow with thanksgiving and praise more than the anticipation of an encounter with Almighty God?  That’s what our journey is all about.

Entering the gate into the courtyard, the first object that stands between us and the door of the Holy Place where the presence of God is enjoyed is the Brazen Altar.  The Brazen Altar is an instrument of death that cannot be overlooked or escaped.  Because of the justice and holiness of God, if we want to enter the Holy Place to pursue a relationship with Him, an acceptable offering is required—an offering of blood (Heb. 9:22).  The Brazen Altar is the place of sacrifice. 

Although sacrifices were slaughtered daily, only one time each year would the high priest enter the Holy of Holies.  He entered on behalf of himself and the people with an offering of blood as a sacrifice for sins committed that year.  The blood had to come from a male animal of the herd or flock that was without blemish.  The yearly sacrifices were not to take sin away, but to remind the people of their sin. (Heb. 10:3)  This had to be done year after year, because the blood of their sacrifices could not remove or take away their sin (Heb. 10:4).   They were only “a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities…” (Heb. 10:1)  The reality was that Christ entered the “true” sanctuary of God in heaven, built by the Lord—not man—one time to make atonement for all. 

“For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.  But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Heb. 9:24-26)

With His own blood He paid the penalty for our sin, “once and for all”—one sacrifice for all people for all time.  And at that very moment, the veil of the temple was torn in two.  You see, inside the Holy Place was a curtain which veiled the Ark of the Covenant where God met with the high priest.  This was called the Holy of Holies.  The earthly Tabernacle served as a preview of the work the Messiah would fulfill at the appointed time.  The way into the presence of God for all mankind was made possible only by the atoning work of Christ.  Thus, the rending of the veil signified that we now have access to God through Jesus Christ.

Does that give you chills?  Can you imagine that scene in your mind?  While Jesus’ lifeless body was hanging on the cross of Calvary… while the sky was dark and and the earth was shaking…while the disciples were scattered in fear…while his mother was filled with grief…and while the veil of the earthly temple was literally being torn into two pieces…Christ Jesus was entering the true Tabernacle of God in heaven, not with the blood of goats and bulls, but with His own blood on behalf of all mankind in order to put an end to sin. (Heb. 9:26b)  Will somebody join me in saying, “Glory!”?

  • The cross is the ultimate display of love.  “but God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
  • The cross is the ultimate display of humility and obedience.  “…he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:8)
  • The cross is the ultimate display of submission.  “…Abba, Father, all things are possible for you.  Remove this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)

The cross was the means by which the Spotless Lamb of God took away the sins of the world and gave right standing before God to all who turn to Him in faith for salvation.  (Luke 13:3)

Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus…let us draw near to God. (Heb. 9:19,22)

What about you?  Do you have confidence before God to enter the Most Holy Place?  What is the source of your confidence?  Do you believe that the sacrifice made by Christ on your behalf was complete and sufficient?  Are you trusting in Christ and His shed blood to bring you into communion with God, the Creator and Sustainer of Life?  Or, has your trust been misplaced.  Maybe it’s time to examine your heart before we go any further in our journey.

 

*I left my throne in Heaven itself and chose to live as man
I gave my life, my love, my all—I gave my Father’s plan
Of abundant life unending, of my home above
All I ask is that you trust me, please accept my love

Turn to me and be saved all the ends of the earth for there is no other
I’m Jesus Christ, the giver of life, the Savior, the Messiah
Someday every knee will bow, every tongue confess that I alone am Savior
Just look you’ll see, turn to me, be saved 

I gave My life upon a cross, I shed my blood for you
I bore the sins of all the world, and yes, that means your sins, too
Then I conquered death’s strong power rising from the grave
No one else even fought to redeem you, only I can save

*Turn to Me and Be Saved | Sung by James Bradford
Words & Music by Cindy Wallace © Copyright 1987

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