I’ve been thinking and meditating on the word SACRIFICE lately. I’ve had a new perspective through worship recently. The Lord began to reveal a few new things I never saw before.
I had a conversation awhile back about how the Old Testament is always pointing to God’s redemptive work in us, Jesus, and the New Testament. They go hand in hand. We began talking about the Tabernacle. When God told Moses to build the Tabernacle, as you entered the Outer Courts there was the Brazen Alter. It was the first thing people saw when they entered God’s house. This alter was set up for all the burnt offerings for the Israelites. Here they slaughtered the animals, drained the blood, laid out every inside part of the animal, guts, blood, gore and all. Then the fire would consume this animal as a representation of the sins of the people. The smoke that rose became a sweet smelling fragrance to the Lord. He delighted in the sacrifices and burnt offerings these people brought to Him – DAILY!
The Lord showed me something here. These animals/burnt offerings, although a representation of Jesus on the cross for us, is also a representation of ourselves. WE too are laid out on this alter in the presence of our God – cut open, all the inside is revealed, guts, gore, blood, etc. we are very vulnerable, open and there is NOTHING to hide! When we lay ourselves on the alter in this way, God’s holy fire comes and consumes us from the INSIDE OUT! (Deuteronomy 4:24 tells us that our God is a jealous God, an all CONSUMING FIRE) He takes all of us, and the smoke that rises is a sweet fragrance to the Lord. There’s also mention of incense burning in the temple/tabernacle at all times which represents the prayers of His people (us). All of these things – everything about the tabernacle and what God intended it for, is all a representation of Jesus Christ, coming, living and dying for us, and we partake in all of it.
And the great finale came, of course, when God split the curtain, opened up the Holy of Holies so we may have complete access to Him!
When we lay ourselves on that alter, we’re truly sacrificing ourselves in an act of worship. He wants all of us. He will burn up our fleshly desires, those things that keep us from that closeness with God. But that burning, although painful, is a sweet fragrance to the Lord, and this is what can allow us a deeper fellowship with the Lord. He renews us, fills us with His Spirit and allows us to walk with Him without any barriers in between.
There’s an older song I used to sing that began, “Take me past the outer courts, into the holy place, Past the Brazen Alter, Lord I want to see your face…..” To enter the Holy of Holies, we must be offered as a sacrifice on the Brazen Alter to come into the place where we can enter the Holy of Holies with God.
We need to daily put ourselves on the alter and let the fire of God consume us so we can enter His Holy Place!
by Kayla Atkins