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February 16: Exo 27 | Psa 81-82 | Mark 12

Reading 1 - Exo 27:1

"Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits [about 4 1/2 feet] high; it is to be square, five cubits [about 7 1/2 feet] long and five cubits wide" (Exo 27:1).

The position of the altar of burnt offering, directly in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, teaches plainly that no man may approach unto God except via the shedding of blood, in sacrifice.

The bronze altar symbolizes Christ in sacrificial manifestation: "We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat" (Heb 13:10).

All who touch this altar are made holy (Exo 29:37). Correspondingly, all who touch Christ in baptism -- coming into contact with his blood by being "crucified with him" -- are thereby made holy (Rom 6:1-3).

Reading 2 - Psa 81:16

"With honey from the rock I would satisfy you" (Psa 81:16).

"The wild bee is most common in lonely ravines, where it makes its nests in the clefts of precipitous rocks, often [only] with great difficulty accessible to man" (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible). Here, honey symbolizes wisdom (1Sa 14:27,28; Psa 19:10; 119:103; Pro 24:13; Eze 3:3; Rev 10:9,10). Such wisdom is obtainable only from God the "Rock" (Psa 18:31,46; 28:1; 61:2; 78:35; etc).