Exodus 27:1-8 Christ’s sacrifice frees sinful man from selfish living to live the eternal life

Exodus 27:1-8  Christ’s sacrifice frees sinful man from selfish living to live the eternal life

“And you shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide; the altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits. 2 You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze. 3 You shall make its pails for removing its ashes, and its shovels and its basins and its forks and its firepans; you shall make all its utensils of bronze. 4 You shall make for it a grating of network of bronze, and on the net you shall make four bronze rings at its four corners. 5 You shall put it beneath, under the ledge of the altar, so that the net will reach halfway up the altar. 6 You shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. 7 Its poles shall be inserted into the rings, so that the poles shall be on the two sides of the altar when it is carried. 8 You shall make it hollow with planks; as it was shown to you in the mountain, so they shall make it.


The bronze altar was situated inside the courtyard upon entering the gate to the tabernacle. It is the second most important furniture in the tabernacle. The position of the bronze altar is illustrated below.

The Hebrew verb for altar is “to slaughter”. The altar is used for burning animal sacrifices. It showed that the first step for sinful man to approach God was to be sanctified by blood. The worshiper had to bring a sin offering, a male animal without defect to the priest. Leviticus records,

He (the worshiper) shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf. – Leviticus 1:4

The worshiper lays his hand on the head of the animal. And the priest slays the animal and sprinkles its blood in front of the veil of the holy place. He will burn the sacrifice and pour the rest of the blood at the bottom of the altar. The blood of the animal removes from the worshiper the demonic influences of sin through the process of atonement. Leviticus records,

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.’ – Leviticus 17:11

The process of atonement cleanses impurities from the worshiper so that he may be sanctified to meet with God. As a gesture of respect, it is appropriate to clean ourselves before we meet people. Likewise, we cleanse our souls in reverence and fear to meet with God. That said, the blood of animals cleanses extrinsic demonic influences, but could not cleanse the intrinsic sinful nature of the soul. What is that intrinsic sinful nature of man? It is man’s nature to oppose God, to live independently of God to be his own master.

The bronze altar reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice that freed humanity from selfish living to live the eternal life. Man’s sinful nature acts to preserve himself for his selfish benefit. But eternal life acts to give of oneself selflessly for the benefit of the world. Thus, the bronze altar reminds us to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. Unless we give of ourselves, we will not see Christ’s life; the eternal life being manifested through us. Today’s devotion teaches us: Christ’s sacrifice frees sinful man from selfish living to live the eternal life.


The altar is square with each side measuring 5 cubits (2.25m). Its height is 3 cubits (1.5m), and it is made of acacia wood and overlaid with bronze with a horn at each corner.


Christ’s sacrifice frees sinful man from selfish living to live the eternal life.

The Old Covenant could not free man from his sinful nature.

In the beginning, when Adam was created, God gave him a Law:

“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17.

Adam’s subsequent action proved that he possessed the sinful nature even before he was subject to the curse of death. After Adam defiantly ate the forbidden fruit, he and his descendants are cursed with eternal death: you will surely die. Adam was given authority to rule the world, but he lost that authority to become a slave of the devil. To save humanity, God expanded the Law in the form of the Old Covenant and gave it to Moses. This involved animal sacrifices purposed to remove demonic oppression from the people. As we know it, despite the sacrifices, man continued to live selfishly, committing acts out of lust and greed. This shows that man’s propensity towards sin is not due to demonic oppression but that his very nature is sinful. Indeed, the Old Covenant failed to stop man’s regress towards sin and death. For animal sacrifices could not stop man from sinning against God and one another. Because the Old Covenant has failed, God instituted a New Covenant that did away with animal sacrifices.

The New Covenant frees man to live the eternal life.

The New Covenant removes man’s propensity towards self-actualisation by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus, unlike the blood of animals, cleanses man’s core tendencies toward sin. The below scripture compares the cleansing power of the blood of animals to the blood of Christ.

For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? – Hebrews 9:13-14

Christ’s blood cleanse your conscience” by putting His virtues within us. Thus, we are freed to attain the heights of eternal life. The blood in its spiritual form (the eternal Spirit) carries with it the attributes of the resurrected Christ: divine virtues (all-loving), divine wisdom (all-wise) and divine authority (all-powerful). For those who are baptised in the Spirit, the divine attributes of Christ begin to operate in them.

The New Covenant restores man’s stature as sons of God.

Christ’s blood not only transforms man’s nature towards godliness, but it also restores his stature to become God’s sons. Through this restoration, we fulfil our calling to be holy and perfect. Ephesians said,

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace. – Ephesians 1:4-5

Indeed, from the very beginning God has predestined man for perfection: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” – Genesis 1:26a.

Why is the blood of Christ more effective than the blood of animals?

Man’s sinful tendency towards self-actualisation that was in Adam and the human race was also in Jesus. Jesus broke the sinful nature by denying His dreams and His right to life. For not only did Jesus give Himself over to be tortured by evil men, but He also did not require justice from them. Instead, He released them from the just punishment of God. Jesus’s willing denial of His ideals displayed His unwavering obedience to the Father. Because He is the Son of man (the firstborn of creation – Colossians 1:15), the denial of His rights and ideals released humanity from sin and selfish living. For Jesus said, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.” – (Luke 22:42b). Thus, he who receives Christ’s blood will receive Christ’s eternal virtues to deny his rights to actualise God’s kingdom ideals. Animals on the other hand, cannot deny themselves and neither do they possess divine virtues. Hence, the blood of animals can bring no benefit to our souls.

Religious culture and rituals cannot change the heart, which only Christ can.

Religious culture and rituals to some extent are likened to animal sacrifices; they have no power to change the heart. Even the ministry of exorcism cannot cleanse the sin within the heart. And the demons will return seven times stronger. Many in the churches have passed through the waters of baptism and partook of the holy communion. But their hearts remained hardened and filled with lust, greed and anger. While they welcome Jesus’s sacrifice as the will of God, they will not follow Him to yield their lives to God. Until and unless they place themselves on the altar, they will not experience eternal life. Such are no different from the generations of Jews who offered animal sacrifices according to the Old Covenant.


The bronze altar reminds us to give our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Are you often attacked by bouts of worries and fear that deprive you of joy and peace? Put your dreams on the bronze altar. Put your abilities and possessions on the altar and offer them. Ask God to be the captain of your ship. And God will manifest His dreams and His power through you as He manifests them through Jesus.

Dear Lord, I put all that I am, and all that I possess on the altar. I commit my future into your hands. I will listen to your commands and obey them one day at a time. Do manifest your divine wisdom and power through me. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar