The Tabernacle, The Brazen Laver, Exodus 30:17-21, Part 2 - Lesson 44
One of the great declarations of Jesus Christ is His statement to his disciples that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
When Jesus said this He defined what way He was talking about for he added: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
In adding this He told us that He is the Way to the Father.
In other words when a person yields to that truth and takes the hand of Christ at salvation that person expects to be brought to the Father.
The Father then is the destination of the Way.
In saying this we can easily see that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that which was given to the Israelites when God commanded Moses to build the tabernacle.
For the tabernacle is the Way to the Father given to us in physical form.
The tabernacle then is a picture of Christ.
Look at the Way to the dwelling of the Father, that place we know of as the Most Holy Place, which is a representation of Heaven.
How does one get to the Father, how does one get to His dwelling place?
Well the starting point is the altar, the place of sacrifice where the innocent must die for the guilty.
Then one must go to the place of sanctification, the brazen laver where one is made clean, then onto the Holy Place where devotion is given, where growth takes place, where one walks in the light, eats the bread of life and seeks the intercession of the Son to reach the ear of the Father.
And lastly the Way brings one though the veil into the Most Holy Place, finally into the presence of the Father.
This last step of course is the destination of the Way, the reason for the Way.
Without the Way the Father cannot be found.
The ultimate destination of the Way is to the Father’s heavenly home where the child will dwell in a place prepared by the Son who is the Way.
So the tabernacle provides in physical form a picture of salvation, cleansing, sanctification, devotion, translation and eternity.
We have reached the last of the furnishings in our study of the tabernacle, that piece that is of utmost importance when fellowship with God is considered, that piece called the Brazen Laver.
The Brazen Laver was the place that demonstrated a need for cleansing.
It was that place where the necessity for the sanctification of the believer is established.
Now the word sanctified means to be set apart, separated to God’s service.
God is Holy and God intends that you and I also be Holy.
To be Holy is to be set apart.
We are set apart from sin for divine service through Christ our high priest.
This process of sanctification was so clearly illustrated when the Priests were to physically sanctify themselves and the house of the Lord as recorded in:
2 Chronicles 29:5,15,16, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now
yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry
forth the filthiness out of the holy place. …………….And they gathered their
brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of
the king, by the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord. And the
priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and
brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into
the court of the house of the Lord.
That which is taught concerning the physical life in the Old Testament is fully expressed in the spiritual life in the New Testament.
The temple in Jerusalem is gone but in this dispensation we are the temple.
As God commanded the Levites to carry out the filthiness of the temple in Jerusalem God so expects you and me to rid ourselves of the filthiness of the house in which His Spirit dwells.
We read of this in 1 Corinthians 6:11, And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Sanctification is described in three ways.
First, we are sanctified positionally.
We are eternally sanctified to God the moment we accept the atoning work of God for our justification.
Hebrews 10:10,14, By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
When you are born again you are set apart.
Instantaneously we are separated from sin unto salvation.
It is called positional sanctification because it signifies a position or standing before God that does not depend on our daily walk for its maintenance, although this position should lead us to holy living.
Secondly, we are progressively being sanctified, a process whereby we are daily sanctified as we walk in obedience before God, separating ourselves from sin and allowing the Holy Spirit to cleanse us through the truth of the Word of God.
Aren’t we careful every day to wash the outside.
We spend much time taking care of our appearance.
But God expects us to submit ourselves to a daily wash in the word so as to provide a clean dwelling for His Spirit.
Believers progress in sanctification as they appropriate and apply the Word of God to their lives.
II Timothy 2:15 tells us this, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
How important study is in the process of sanctification.
Think about study in a school setting.
Study sanctifies a student for study sets a student apart.
Study show a student where he or she is deficient and brings that student to a place where approval of the teacher will come because of the study.
Every time an A is passed out there is a setting apart.
The honor role is an indication of sanctification in the academic setting.
So God who desires you to be Holy tells you to study His Word which will continually set you apart, ie, bring you to holiness.
The washing of the Word is designed to make you clean!
Thirdly, we will be perfected in sanctification.
Believers are promised an ultimate sanctification.
We will be perfected when we receive our new body at the Coming of the Lord.
Ephesians 5:27, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
At that time, we will be fully conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, for we shall be like HIM.
1 John 3:2, Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be
like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Hebrews 13:12, Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the
people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
God has given us a beautiful illustration of the need for purification in our
Rising from the Passover table, Jesus took a towel and a basin of water and began to wash the disciples' feet.
John 13:4-10, He rises from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter said unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do you do not know now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter said unto him, Thou shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus said to him, He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
Every time I read this passage my memory goes back to my childhood.
The older I get the more that memory dims but certain events seem to stay very clear in my memory.
My mother belonged to the Seventh Day Adventist church and I of course was taken to Sabbath school and church when I was a little boy up until my teen age years when I drifted away from her church which never became my church.
One of the distinctives of her church was the sacrament of foot washing following the pattern of Christ when He washed the disciple’s feet.
I remember those days when this sacrament was carried out, being taken by the hand by my mother down into the church basement and witnessing ladies bending down in front of seated ladies with towels and a basins filled with water.
It was not really a washing of feet but instead a symbolic act of pouring water over the feet and then wiping them dry with the towel.
Little did I know what was going on but I just accepted it as a normal thing, for children do not have much of a frame of reference to discern or compare.
It was just something that ladies did on a regular basis and it was part of my young life.
I don’t know what the motive of the foot washing was in that church for I was too small to understand deep things but Jesus was teaching several things here, the secondary lesson being the performance of a humble act but the main lesson was that we need to be cleansed on a daily basis.
Not wholly cleansed for that took place at salvation but a cleansing from this world’s filthiness that anyone who lives in the world will gather.
So when Peter blurted out that Jesus would never wash his feet, Jesus' reply was that Peter could not have intimacy and communion with Him unless he washed Peter's feet.
That lesson was also taught at the tabernacle for without the washing of the hands and feet of the priest he could not enter the Holy Place, the place of devotion and communion with God.
The words "washed" and "wash" in verse 10 have different meanings.
The word "washed" (Gr. louo) means to "bathe one's body completely."
It speaks of the complete cleansing that takes place when we are declared justified at the moment of salvation.
The word wash (Gr. nipto) is used of those who wash their hands and feet, symbolizing sanctification.
The picture is of people returning home from a public bathhouse.
Their bodies being completely bathed, they need only wash the dust from their feet to be clean when they enter into houses.
By washing the disciples' feet, the Lord taught that we who have been thoroughly cleansed through His blood must still be cleansed in our daily walk with Him.
Daily sins must be confessed to God in order to maintain unbroken communion and fellowship with Him.
John reiterated this in his first epistle:
1 John 1:8-9, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the
truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We have already seen that brass typified Christ in His ministry of judgment.
The mirrors spoke of the Word of God, which reveals and reflects our sinful purposes and intentions.
The writer of the book of Hebrews put it well when he wrote:
Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than
any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
John 12:48, He that rejects me, and receives not my words, hath one
that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the
Paul said, "For if we would judge OURSELVES, we should not be judged."
1 Corinthians 11:32, If we refuse to judge our own sins, the Lord will chasten us back to communion and fellowship so we "will not be condemned with the world."
The chastening process is not enjoyable; in fact, it can very grievous, but it produces righteousness and holiness.
If Christians persist in their sins after being chastened by the Lord, He may bring further judgment on them in the form of weakness, sickness or even premature death (1 Cor. 11:30).
The Word of God, appropriated and properly applied, prevents us from falling into sin, keeps us in our walk with the Lord, and makes our fellowship sweet in Him.
1 Corinthians 11:30-32, For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
David summed up the believers' standing before the Lord very clearly when he wrote:
Psalm 24:3-5, Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
The brazen laver sat before the entrance into the Holy Place.
Before the Priest could enter even into the HOLY PLACE and do service they had to be cleansed.
If they pierced the veil inside the Holy Place dirty and dusty God would strike them dead on the spot.
We must be washed today in the name of the Lord Jesus!