Grace and Truth

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Noah’s Ark: A Picture of Jesus Christ

noahs-arkJesus compared the days we are living in to the days of Noah. He said:

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:37-39

Just as in Noah’s day, there was a day appointed for judgment, so it is today. This time however, it will not be by flood, rather it will be by fire.

For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.… But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? “ 2 Peter 3:3-12

The day when the door will be shut on the Ark is fast approaching. There is not much time left. So what I say to one I say to all:

Get on board the Ark now! Take your friends and your family with you. Make sure you are safely within the place of refuge and flee from the wrath that is to come!

Of which Ark do I speak of nowadays? This Ark is not made of gopher wood, no it is Jesus Christ Himself. The Ark of Noah is a picture of Christ and points to Him as the refuge from God’s coming judgment.

The New is in the Old Concealed, the Old is in the New Revealed.

 

The Shadow of the Ark The Light of Jesus Christ
There was only one Ark. One boat.   One way to escape the coming judgment. Likewise there is only one way of salvation.Jesus said “I am the Way….no man comes to the Father but through me.” Forget religion, Christ is the only place of refuge from the coming Day of the Lord.
The Ark was planned by God not by Noah The plan of redemption was foreordained by God to meet the judgment of sin and to make provision for the safety of the elect
Whilst God planned and designed the Ark, He commissioned man to build it. This is a picure of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Saviour must have a human body and nature as well as the divine. God came in the flesh of man through the virgin birth.
Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” We are saved by grace through faith in Christ
Noah believed God’s Word that there would be a flood on the earth, even though there was no evidence of this.   Previously the earth had been watered by a mist coming up. Noah received God’s Word of a coming deluge by faith. We also received Jesus Christ by faith in God’s word. “…Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls”. 1 Peter 1:8
The Ark had only one door.   There was only one way in. Jesus is the only way in to the Father. Jesus said “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved….” John 10:9
The door had no dimensions given No matter how great a sinner may be, there is room for him through the door – Jesus Christ
The Ark had three levels This could be a picture of the Tri-unity of the Godhead.
There was only one window in the Ark.   It was in the flat roof of the boat and about 18”x18” and covered by a hatch. Noah and his family could only look Heaven-ward out of the window God wants us to be looking upwards to Him, rather than being overwhelmed by difficult circumstances.
God told Noah to “pitch (the Ark) within and without with pitch” Genesis 6:14. This is the only place in the Bible where “pitch”, a bituminous substance, is translated as “kapher”. “Kapher” everywhere else in the Bible translates as “atonement”. It means a covering. Lev 17:11 says “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls”. This word atonement  in this verse is the same as the word translated as “pitch” in Genesis 6:14 It is because of Jesus Christ’s atonement for our sins at the cross, that we have a way of escape from what is coming upon this world. He took our place on the cross and shed His precious blood in order to make atonement for us. Once we are in Him His blood covers us and keeps us safe. In Him there is perfect peace and safety which is apart from this world.
God invited Noah and His family into the safety and refuge of the Ark. “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark…” Genesis 7:1 God still invites us today into the safety of Christ, “Come unto me all who labour and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest…”
God told Noah to make rooms in the ark (Genesis 6:14). Rooms here is translated as “a nest”. God provided comfort as well as safety within the Ark. Jesus said: “In My Father’s house are many mansions:….I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
God Himself shut the door to the Ark“And the Lord shut him in” before the judgment began. Whilst the door is open all may enter in. However one day soon the door will be shut and the age of grace will finish. Then the time of judgment will begin.

 

“By faith, Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” Hebrews 11:7

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Jesus Christ and The Brazen Altar part 3

So far in our study of the typology of the Brazen Altar we have seen :

source: blingcheese.com

source: blingcheese.com

  • The word “altar” literally means “slaughter place”, “high” or “lifted up”
  • That it was made from Bronze/brass representing God’s judgment against sin; and acacia wood representing the incorruptible humanity of Christ.
  • That the Brazen altar is a picture of Christ Himself and His blood atonement

The Brazen Altar is Also a Picture of the Cross

A Place of Substitutionary Death

As we saw in the last post, the altar was a place of shed blood, a place of death. The place where God’s judgment on sin was poured out upon the innocent animal, whom took the place of the sinner. There the blood was poured out and the fire of God consumed the sacrifice.

Of course at the cross Jesus’ blood was shed and He took the judgment and wrath of God upon Himself for our sins. Jesus’ death upon the cross fulfilled all of the Old Testament sacrifices and did away with them once and for all.

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:12-15

Outside the Camp

cross-on-hillOnce an animal had been sacrificed on the altar, the remaining ashes and the offal were taken outside the Israelite’s camp to be discarded and burned.

And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen trousers he shall put on his body, and take up the ashes of the burnt offering which the fire has consumed on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. Then he shall take off his garments, put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.” Leviticus 6:10, 11

This also points to Jesus Christ who suffered “outside the camp”. Calvary was outside of the walls of Jerusalem in a place of shame.

For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” Hebrews 13:11,12

As followers of Jesus Christ we are to gladly bear His reproach too. Sometimes we are persecuted, shamed and rejected because we follow the Lord. This means we are following in the footsteps of our Master. Let us not try to court the world’s favour, instead “let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach” Hebrews 13:13

The Horns of the Altar

Horns signify the strength or power of the animal. The altar had one on each corner. The animal sacrifice would be bound to the Brazen altar by these four horns. So too was Christ nailed to the cross. Whilst the animal that was sacrificed had no choice in the matter, Jesus Himself did, and He willingly laid down His life for us.

““Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again….” John 10:17,18rickeyminor.org

The four horns of the corners of the altar speak to us of Christ’s sacrifice being for all of humankind – the power of His grace extending to the four corners of the earth. They also signify the power of the gospel going out to the four corners of the earth.

The Fire on the Altar

God Himself lit the fire on the Brazen Altar. It was a divine fire, sovereignly started by God, wholly initiated by Him. As we see in Leviticus 9:24 the fire came out from the Most Holy Place and consumed the burnt offerings on the altar:

Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” Leviticus 9:23-24

It was unacceptable for man to light his own fire, in fact it was a crime was punishable by death. We see this with Nadab and Abihu upon whom the judgment of God fell when they tried to offer profane fire (Leviticus 10). This is a very clear picture for us and one we do well to heed.

You see God has a proscribed way of worshipping Him. It is always on the basis of the blood of substitutionary atonement.

It is always and only the way of the cross.

fireGod sending the fire of judgment upon the Brazen Altar was His acceptance of the offering presented there. God’s fire of judgment falling upon Christ at the cross showed forth His acceptance of His Son as the perfect offering for sin. Our sin was judged at the altar of the cross by the divine fire and because of that we are able to stand before God. If we bypass the fire of that altar, then we are choosing to stand before God apart from the death of Christ and be judged according to our own works. Of course the judgment that has to fall on the flesh is death because “the wages of sin is death”.

God commanded that this fire was to never go out.

A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out” Leviticus 6:13

The fire was lit sovereignly by God but was to be maintained by man. It was to never go out and so it was the responsibility of the priests to bring the wood every day to keep the fire burning for the morning and evening sacrifices.

We saw previously that the fire signified God’s judgment on sin. However this fire also speaks to us of the Holy Spirit. When we accept Christ as the divine substitution for our sin, and subsequently lay down our lives for Him, God sends the Holy Spirit to live within us. The basis for the Holy Spirit coming to live within us is always the altar or cross of Jesus Christ. It can never be initiated by us and our fleshly good works. His divine life enters our spirit by His Spirit only when we have been to the cross, and suddenly a fire is kindled within.

Although God sovereignly ignites the spark it is our responsibility to maintain the divine fire every day, just as the priests did. We are to pray and read the Word of God daily. This is the way in which we keep the fire of God burning within.

 

Next Lesson… The Brazen Laver