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Jesus and Incense

In Jesus and the Altar of Incense we saw that the Altar itself is a type of Christ, pointing the way to Him.

censerAs the Altar of Incense fore-shadowed Christ, so too the incense offered on the Altar also fore-shadows Him.  This is how:

The Incense

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

 

God bless!

  1. Page 49, The Tabernacle of Moses, Kevin J Conner

 

 

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Jesus and the Altar of Incense

“The New is in the Old concealed, the OId is in the New revealed.”

The Tabernacle of Moses was built as an earthly copy of the true, heavenly Tabernacle. As the earthly, temporal priests ministered at the earthly Golden Altar, (or the Altar of Incense),on behalf of the Israelites, so too our eternal Great High Priest ministers at the true Golden Altar in Heaven, on our behalf.

In New Covenant Hope:Jesus Our Priest we saw that Jesus was made Priest by an oath:

God has sworn and will not relent: You are a priest forever, according to the Order of Melchizedek” Psalm 110:410-1_altar-of-incense

The ministry of the priesthood in the Tabernacle of Moses points to Jesus Christ’s ministry now as our Great High Priest. Understanding the principles concealed in the Tabernacle of Moses unlocks so many wonderful eternal treasures about the One we love, Jesus Christ. It also relates to us as believers in our ministry of prayer and intercession.

 

The Altar of Incense  itself is a type of Christ:

Old Testament Shadow New Testament Reality in Jesus The Church’s Application
It was made of acacia (or shittim) wood. Acacia wood was a very durable, non-decaying wood. Wood points to Christ’s human nature.Non-decaying wood points to His incorruptible, sinless humanity.
 It was overlaid with gold Points to Christ’s Divinity/Godhood
It had four horns on each corner of the altar. Horns are the strength and power of an animal. Points to all power given to Christ in heaven and earth. Points to the gospel of Christ going to the 4 corners of the earth under the authority of Christ’s Church
On the Day of Atonement blood from the Sin Offering was applied to the horns of the altar and sprinkled seven times. It is Christ’s blood that was shed on Calvary (or the Brazen altar) which forms the foundation of His ministry of Intercession. The blood of Jesus allows us to stand before a Holy God and gives power to the incense of prayer.
It had a crown (or moulding) of gold around it. Points to Christ being the King-Priest The Church joins Christ in His King-Priestly ministry as a kingdom of priests.
It was 2 cubits high, making it the tallest piece of furniture within the actual Tabernacle Points to the highest ministry of Christ now on behalf of the Church – prayer and intercession The highest ministry of the Church is also intercessory prayer
It was in the Holy Place, in front of the veil, before the Ark of the Testimony. It was the nearest piece of furniture to the Shekinah Glory of God. Points to Christ’s earthly life of prayer and His ascension to the presence of God in His High-Priestly ministry. Points to the place of prayer being the closest place to the presence of God.

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2

Next post….Jesus and Incense

 

 


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New Covenant Hope : Jesus our Priest

The New Covenant promises are there to be a foundation for our hope in the Lord.  This is the reason I would like to share below the comfort I have Heaven 4found in Jesus, Him being the High Priest of the New Covenant.  When “darkness hides His lovely face”, when we go through hard times, when we feel lost or lonely, then it is that this hope must be “the anchor of our soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 8:19, 20

The difference we have in the New Covenant with Jesus as our High Priest:

Old Covenant New Covenant
Moses was the mediator of the Old covenant Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New covenant
No oath was made to human priests by God.“for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath…” Hebrews 7:21 Jesus was made a priest by an oath:“God has sworn and will not relentYou are a priest forever, according to the

Order of Melchizedek” Psalm 110:4

The law appoints as priests men who have weakness. Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant because of the oath. The oath appoints Jesus as Priest, who has been perfected forever.
The priests were human. As such they were sinners themselves, bound to the earthly realm. Jesus is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and is not earth-bound, but rather He is higher than the heavens.
The priests needed to daily offer up sacrifices for both their own sins as well as the sins of the people. Jesus is sinless so does not need to offer up a sacrifice for Himself. At the cross He offered up a once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
The priests offered animals as sacrifices for sin Jesus offered up Himself as the sacrifice for sin.
The priests each eventually died, and so there were many different priests at different times. Jesus never dies so His priesthood is unchangeable. (What a comfort!)
The priests could only intercede for the people whilst they were alive, therefore their priesthood was LIMITED. Therefore, because our Priest never changes, because He always lives and is always interceding for us, He will save to the UTTERMOST those who come to God through Him. His Priesthood is UNLIMITED and NEVER-ENDING.

“His oath, His covenant, His blood

Support me in the ‘whelming flood

When all around my soul gives way

He then is all my hope and stay”

(lyrics from “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand”)

(This table is by no means exhaustive. There are so many more eternal truths about Jesus as our High priest. I have compiled this table from a study of Hebrews 6 & 7)

Blessings!