Followers of ‘the Way’ – The Altar of Burnt Offering
The Sanctuary is a continual theme throughout Scripture. It pops up everywhere. Some time ago I discovered that the book Steps to Christ is organized around the Sanctuary. Revelation’s images are clustered around the Sanctuary, and I recently discovered the gospel of John is the same.
The book of Acts identifies the Disciples of Christ as followers of ‘the Way’ (Acts 9:2). Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (Jn 14:6). And the Old Testament also gives us this insight, ‘Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary’ (Ps 77:13).
Christ Himself is the way. He is the fulfillment of all the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish temple service. The sanctuary and its services show us the way of salvation through Christ alone, but salvation from what? When speaking to Mary, the angel said Jesus would ‘save His people from their sins’ (Mt 1:21). What is it about sin that destroys? The Bible says ‘your iniquities have separated you from your God’ (Isa 59:2). Jesus says ‘this is eternal life: that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’ (John 17:3), but if our sin has separated us from God, it has separated us from Life.
It was to rectify this problem that God instituted the first sacrifice. Christ Himself would feel the separation that sin brings between man and God, and from the cross we hear the cry from Jesus’ lips, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ (Ps 22:1).