Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Almost Burnt Through!

God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
Psalm 118:27

Dedicated to my friend, Michali

That is odd!  Why would the writer of this Psalm mention tying a sacrifice to the altar?  Let's review the  sacrifices commonly offered briefly.  First comes the burnt offering that was cut up and burnt as the name implies.  Next comes the peace offering--also cut up and burnt.  Then the sin offering was cut up and burnt.  The trespass offering was partially burnt and partially eaten.  The daily sacrifice was killed and burnt daily.  Other offerings dealt with grain, oil, wine,and frankincense.  Nothing here is alive when it is offered so why does it have to be bound?  Why would you tie a dead, cut up sacrifice to an altar?  It is not like it is going to jump off of the altar or something!

All of the offerings were symbolic of one event, and the future offerings of the Millennial Temple are memorials looking back to that same event.  It was the voluntary sacrifice of Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary.  His atoning death meets our every need.  In Christ, the LORD has given us light.  He has shone on us the light of grace and mercy.  However, He has also held back the wrath of God on our sins in patience.  There will be a time when God's patience will wear thin!  There is a time when the light is dimmed and darkness invades!  This is the message of the tied sacrifice.

The brazen altar represents the atonement of Christ and is tied to the message of the cross.  All that believers possess is brought about by the grace that was shown at that cross.  Not only that, grace was shown to the entire world.  Remember the taunts at the foot of the cross where Jesus was bound by nails? "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross."  (Matthew 27:41)"  That would have been a bad day had Jesus done that!  In Matthew 26:53 we read, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?"  Had he came down there would have been immediate judgment!  His being bound reminds us of the commitment of His love for us,  fallen mankind!

The power of the message of the cross, the very message of God's grace in Christ's atoning death, has gone out into all of the world.  It is the power of God to save!  GOD truly has given light.  Today, you can choose to accept that gift freely even now.  Those horns on the brazen altar also remind us of that the message and power of God's salvation is extended to the whole world--whosoever will can be saved by God's power.  There were 4 horns on that altar facing four directions.  Horns are symbolic of power and four represents creation or the world.  The power of God can reach the the uttermost part of creation and save the vilest of sinners!  Even the dimensions of the brazen altar speak that message.  It was 5 x 5 x 4 cubits.  Five is symbolic of grace while four signifies the world.  The message of the altar is grace upon grace for the world.  Furthermore, brass is the metal that represents judgment.  Christ took the judgement for sin--your judgment for your sin--at the cross.

The rope was not to hold the sacrifice to the altar.  The rope was symbolic of the sacrifice holding back the wrath of God for sin.  Jesus was nailed to the cross to hold back God's wrath.  Literally, the weight of the world's sin, your sin, was upon Him. He was/is all that was/is holding back the wrath of God.  What will eventually happen to a rope on fire, however?  It will burn thin then break.  There is a day coming, and coming soon, when the rope will break and the wrath of God will erupt against those who have rejected the sacrifice of Christ.  Christ will come down with that heavenly host He mentioned.  It is inevitable.  When that day comes, God's justice will be the attribute of God for the day.  What day?  The Day of the Lord--and it is ever nearer.  Where will that leave you?  Have you accepted Christ's sacrifice as your own?  Have you placed your hands on the Lamb of God and transferred your sin to Him at the cross, or will the rope break and the wrath of God issue forth against you?  If you are lost and undone, don't delay.  Call on Jesus to save--quickly--as He is Soon2Come!  

Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Jude 1:14c-15

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