March 7

Exodus 27:1-8, 38:1

The altar

The Lord told Moses about all the other things that must be inside the Holy Tent and in the courtyard that surrounded it.

God said, “Make a square altar out of acacia wood and put rings on the sides for the poles that will be used to carry the altar. You must also make shovels, bowls, hooks, and pans out of bronze.”

Moses did what the Lord told him to do and had the altar made exactly as the Lord had said.

Do we still have altars today?

An altar was used for all the offerings that were made to the Lord (see Leviticus 1-5). It was made of wood or big stones, and a fire would be made on top of it. Although there were different kinds of offerings that could be made, it was the only place where people could offer an animal to God for their sin. The animal would be killed and laid on the altar as a sign that the sin had been paid for by death and blood. This sign was pointing to Jesus who would come to earth to lay down His life, once and for all, and die for every sin in the world.

Because the blood of Jesus washes every sin from our hearts (1 John 1:7), we no longer need to sacrifice animals for the forgiveness of our sins, and so we don’t need an altar (see Hebrews 10:1-7).

Once we are forgiven, the good we do and the good words we say become our sacrifice—a sacrifice of praise that God will accept because Jesus has made us pure (Hebrews 13:15-16).

Verse for today

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5