In Jesus and the Altar of Incense we saw that the Altar itself is a type of Christ, pointing the way to Him.
|Old Testament Shadow||New Testament Reality in Jesus||The Church’s Application|
|It was made of a delicate blend of four different spices. Each spice had to be of equal quantity, exactly balanced.||Jesus Christ is the One in whom is perfectly balanced grace and truth, holiness and love, righteousness and mercy.||Christ lives His holy life through the Church, as His Body. “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”|
|Each spice had to be crushed to a fine powder before it was added to the incense.||Christ was “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities”. He was smitten, stricken, crushed. His perfect, sinless life poured out.||This points to “death to self”, the humbling of the believer.|
|Salt was added to the incense – salt is a seasoning and a preserver||Salt points to the holiness of Christ and the flavor of His life.||The Church is the salt of the earth –a preserving agent.|
|The incense was burned on the altar in front of the Ark of the Testimony.||Christ went through the fire of affliction in His sufferings and ultimately His death on the cross.||Our faith is tried by the fire of affliction and suffering.|
|The incense sent up a sweet perfume which entered the veil into the Holy of Holies, surrounding the Ark of the Testimony.||Christ’s sinless life of obedience was as a sweet perfume unto God. Christ has entered the veil and has made the way open for us too through His shed blood.||We are now able to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”|
|Aaron was to burn the incense in the morning and the evening when he also attended the lamps.||“As Christ ministers to the Church interceding for His own, He trims the wicks of the lamps and supplies the oil of the Spirit.”(1)||We are to pray in the Holy Spirit. “Prayer is the key for the day, the lock for the night” Corrie Ten Boom|
|No strange incense was to be offered on the altar, nor was anyone to make for themselves the incense. It was to be holy to God.||Points to Jesus being the only Way to the Father, there is no other Name under heaven whereby man can be saved.||It’s only through faith in Christ that we are saved. We are to have no other gods before Him. We are to pray in Jesus’ Name.|
|The incense was to be “perpetual…before the Lord”.||Points to Jesus as our High-Priest “who ever lives to make intercession for us.”||We are commanded to “pray without ceasing”. Our life is to be a perpetual prayer unto the Lord.|
The Golden Censer
“Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die” Leviticus 16:12-13
|Old Testament Shadow||New Testament Reality in Jesus and the Church|
|On the Day of Atonement the High Priest brought a golden censer full of fire and a handful of incense into the Most Holy Place. He put the incense on the fire in front of the Ark so that the cloud of incense covered the mercy seat. He then sprinkled the blood of the sin offering upon the mercy seat.||The mercy seat is a picture of Christ Himself. The sprinkled blood points to Christ’s shed blood. The censer of incense is significant of Christ taking the prayers of His people within the veil to God’s presence, on the basis of His shed blood. Read also Revelation 8:1-5|
Incense is simply an Old Testament shadow or type of prayer and intercession. God is no longer interested in the shadows or types, but rather in the eternal realities to which these shadows point.
He is extremely interested in the prayer and intercession of His Church. For the life of a believer to be truly saturated in prayer is well-pleasing to God.
“Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:18
- Page 49, The Tabernacle of Moses, Kevin J Conner