Following on from Jesus Christ and the Brazen Altar, we will now look at the Brazen Laver. As we have been discovering in this series, every item of furniture in the Tabernacle of Moses was a type or a shadow of the reality that is now available to us in Jesus Christ.
The Brazen Laver is a wonderful picture of two things:
- the Word of God; and
- sanctification, (or separation)
The Laver was Made From Bronze Mirrors
“He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” Exodus 38:8
Mirrors in those days were made from highly polished bronze, not glass. Bronze is always a picture of judgment in the Tabernacle. And wow – what a picture it is. Imagine moving forward from the Brazen Altar, where the blood of an innocent animal has been shed for your sins, to the Brazen Laver where you now wash your feet and hands. As you do so, you are confronted with your reflection in both the water of the Laver and the bronze mirrors holding the water.
“…. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 (emphasis mine).
Once you are at the Laver you cannot escape the confrontation of your own reflection.
You are exposed.
This is exactly what the Word of God does. As we read, study and meditate on it we behold ourselves as in a mirror. We are exposed for who we truly are and we cannot hide from it because it is “alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12)
We see where we fall short of the standard of God’s Word and we are convicted and pierced by it “even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. (Hebrews 4:12)
This work of the Sword of the Spirit is so close, so intimate, even to the division of joints and marrow. The marrow is inside the bone-joint. How sharp is that Sword and how dextrously is it handled by the Spirit that it exposes those hidden, secrets places in our souls that contain even our innermost intents of the heart!
The priest in the Tabernacle would cut up the sacrifice for the offering with a sharp knife. This is God’s intention for us. That He would be able to work in us in order to conform us to the image of His Son through the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). He wants to expose and cut away all that is soulish and instead fill us with the life of the Spirit.
Justification Vs Sanctification
Once we have been to the Brazen Altar, a type of the cross of Jesus Christ, we are justified before God.
“We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10).
Whilst the Brazen Altar is a picture of our justification, the Brazen Laver is a picture of our sanctification. This is the second aspect of salvation and it is to do with separation.
The penalty for sin is dealt with at the Altar, the cleansing from sin at the Laver.
The Word of God Cleanses
Just as “Aaron and his sons…wash(ed) their hands and their feet in water from (the Brazen Laver)” (Exodus 30:19), so too the Word of God cleanses us.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” Ephesians 5:26
As the priests came into the Tabernacle their feet would have been dusty. Their hands would have needed cleansing after their work. The Brazen Laver had two washing basins, one for the hands and one for the feet.
- Hands speak to us of our service for God.
- Feet of our walk with God.
Daily we need to be washed by the water of the Word of God. Even though we are saved, as we go about life in this sinful world we pick up dust and dirt along the way. In order to fellowship with the Lord and come into His presence we need to be separated unto Him daily by the cleansing of the Word. The Laver shows us that whilst sin has been dealt with once for all at the cross, we need to come daily confessing our sins so that we may be cleansed from any defilement of the world.
The Word of God Brings us to Maturity
The Laver also speaks to us of going on to maturity in Christ. At the Altar we have been born again, but at the Laver we grow as we look into the mirror of the Word of God. Those heart-motives and intentions that were exposed by the mirror of the Word are also cleansed away by the water of the Word.
We must remember that the priests regularly came to the Laver to wash. We are now “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9) and we too must come regularly to the Word of God to be convicted, cleansed and sanctified.
The Word of God is integral to maintaining our life in Christ. The Brazen Laver could not be avoided in the Tabernacle on the way into the Holy Place. The priests were required to stop there and take the time in order to be convicted, cleansed and set apart. So too must we take the time to spend with our wonderful Saviour in feeding on His Word.
God bless! 🙂