When the Cross is in its place with its full measure, everything else will be in order, and everything else will be given its meaning, and its value. I feel that I cannot say this too strongly. We are so often concerned about the outside of things, about the order of the House of the Lord, about the ministry of the House of the Lord, about the people who are related to the House of the Lord. We are always beginning on the outside. We are trying to set up an order of the House of God. We are trying to put the people of the House right. We are very much concerned about the ministers, and the ministries. But if the Cross was really in its place with its full dimensions, all those things would see to themselves. The people would be right if the Cross was in its place. The ministries would be living if the Cross was in its place. The order of the House would be right if the Cross was in its place. It just does work that way. if the cross is right at the center, in full measure, and note that it is a large altar, then everything else will come into its right place, and into a living relationship.
I think we are right in concluding that this altar was of brass. The altar in the tabernacle was of brass, and the altar in Solomon’s temple was of brass. Brass is the type of the righteous judgments of God. This great altar represents the fullness of the righteous judgments of God. This altar of brass is measured by the Man of brass, so that this altar represents God’s thoughts in judgment.
In this altar of whole burnt offering, the one unrighteous man is completely removed. That altar of brass sees one man brought to ashes. The ashes were taken from this altar and emptied onto the ground at the side of the altar. That is a picture of God’s Mind about the unrighteous man, or the natural man. He is consumed in the fire of God’s judgment, he is reduced to ashes, and he is poured out on the ground. That is God’s mind about the natural man. On the other side, it is only the righteous man that can stand here in the presence of this altar. Of course, those are the two sides of the person and work of the Lord Jesus. On the one side He was made sin for us, and in that capacity He was wholly consumed and brought to ashes. When He cried, “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me”, it was the cry of the ashes! He had been brought to ashes, and poured out on the ground.
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