“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Here we are standing at the gate giving careful consideration as we enter the Outer Court. The first thing we see is a Brazen Altar upon which a sacrifice for sin was made. We identify ourselves with that sacrifice. Next, we see the Laver which is provided for our daily cleansing. There is an overwhelming appreciation that the shed blood was the only way in, and that it was necessary to be clean.
Imagine standing at the Brazen Altar or the Laver in the Outer Court and looking up at the Door. The brilliant colours of the fabric intricately woven together, the sunlight catching the light on the gold of the pillars holding up the fabric. Surely the beauty of that door would have caused the average Israelite to catch their breath and wonder what was beyond. The gold hinted at the beauty of the fellowship available to the priests beyond the door.
It is conceivable to think that a person would stay in the Outer Court, be a disciple and nothing more; but many today choose to remain there.
The five pillars on which the door was hung signify responsibility. The fact that they were made of acacia wood overlaid with gold indicates that they speak of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consistency of interpretation demands this. Acacia wood overlaid with gold is such a beautiful picture of Christ. The incorruptibility and earthliness of acacia wood signified His incorruptible (sinless) human nature and the gold signified His heavenly divine nature.
What is seen in the pillars is the One who fulfilled all His responsibilities to God and man. He kept the Law; He was obedient and prepared to go to death; He finished the work which was given Him to do. Entering in through this door there was an awareness that such a privilege was only enjoyed because of the One who fulfilled every responsibility which He was given to undertake.
The brass of which the sockets were made was also used for the Brazen Altar. It signifies that which can withstand the heat and flame of the altar. This the Lord Jesus did when He died on the Cross, and the brass, therefore, speaks of the One who purchased redemption when He went through the flame and heat of Calvary. Brass speaks of the work itself, and the silver sockets, which supported the boards of the Tabernacle and the pillars for the veil, of the price that was paid to accomplish that work.
Passing through the door was the act of entering into worship. The sacrifices on the Brazen Altar were indeed acts of worship, but passing through the door was moving further in. The purpose of the door was to permit priests to enter. The priests, moving from the Outer Court through the door, signify greater intimacy of worship.
But the average Israelite would never enter the Holy Place. The Door shut off the Holy Place from the Outer Court of the Tabernacle. While the Israelites were free to come into the Outer Court to bring offerings, it was only the priests who could enter the Holy Place to minister to the Lord and for fellowship with Him
Intimacy today is not limited to one priestly family. We now have the privilege of entering through the door into the presence of God for fellowship after having our sins atoned for at the altar of the cross. We have a door that is always open and we can worship and commune with the Lord at any time. Because Jesus is that door we can be assured that we are acceptable in His sight.
The nearer we approach to God, as His priests, the more intimate our fellowship with Him in heavenly places; the more we shall discern the glories of Christ, and realise his power, majesty and strength.
Once our relationship has been established through our faith in the finished work of Christ at Calvary (the brazen Altar) and we have been cleansed by the Word (the brazen Laver) we do not have to stay shut out in the Outer Court wondering about the beauty of the Holy Place.
We each have the privilege and responsibility of entering into fellowship with God in the Holy Place. We each have the joy of moving onward from the brass (judgement) of the Outer Court, where Jesus took the judgment for our sins, and into the gold of drawing closer to our wonderful Saviour.