“He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” (Exodus 38:8)
A mirror tells you what you look like on the outside, but the gospel mirror tells you what you are on the inside. One mirror may flatter you the other may disgust you.
Remember the Wicked Queen who looked into the magic mirror and was so horrified when she discovered that her scullery maid Snow White was more beautiful than she.
But before we look in the mirror that tells no lies, let’s take a look at the Tabernacle, the prefab church building that the Israelites carried with them through their forty-year wilderness journey. Like a stained glass rose window in a church, it was not much to look upon from the outside but on the inside it was far more impressive.
The Tabernacle was very costly and very beautiful.
The entranceway was made of boards of acacia wood set in sockets of silver. The curtains between the boards were purple and scarlet and blue. The candlestick (Menorah) in the Tabernacle, with its shaft and branches was of solid gold. The Mercy seat that sat over the Ark-of-the Covenant with two Cherubim kneeling on top was of solid gold. The candlesnuffers were gold; the tongs to remove the coals were of gold.
After the Ten Plagues devastated Egypt, the Egyptians begged the Israelites to leave their land; and to speed them on their way, that they gave them much of their gold.
But I wish to focus the light of scripture upon one piece of Furniture in the Tabernacle, the Laver. It was not made out of gold it was made out of highly polished brass. The Laver was a great washbasin in which the priests washed before entering into the Holy Place. The bronze mirrors that it was made out of reflected the image of those who washed there. So we see that the laver in the Tabernacle did double duty; it not only held the water in which the priests washed but its smooth surface showed the dirt on their face as well as the dirt on their hands.
I want to take this Laver made out of highly polished brass and show you how it becomes a looking glass that reveals to us our sins and how we may be cleansed from them.
Most of us have been in a ‘House of Mirrors” where we are made to look like Frankenstein and his bride, tall and wide and as ridiculous as possible. You usually had a good laugh at yourself for you know you don’t really look like that. The Word of God, however, is a mirror and the only mirror in the world that enables you to see yourself as God sees you
As soon as the priest looked into the Laver and saw the reflection of himself therein he knew he needed to be cleansed. And that is the purpose of the Laver of the Scriptures, they show you your need of divine cleansing, “All have sinned,” “There is none righteous, no not one.” “All our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”
The world does not like to use the word “sin” it prefers to call sins, defects, imperfections, eccentricities, erratic behavior; but the Gospel calls them sins, short comings before God, things that God hates. The apostle Paul looked in the mirror and cried out; “O wretched man that I am…” King David looked into it and cried out; “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean.” Martin Luther looked into it and cried out; “My sins, my sins!”
By sins I am not referring to misdemeanors, minor offences, I am referring to acts that people do in bold face defiance against God. Actions that say, “I don’t care what God thinks, I’m doing it my way.” These sins are legion; they are encamped all around us. –
We’ve all met people who personify them, scatological (excuse my English) brains that after you have listened to them for two minutes you want to go home and name your commode after them. Their pride, their perfidious imaginations know no bounds. They prefer to wallow and drink from the mud puddles of the world rather than drink one drop from the well of God’s salvation. Like Gulliver pinned down from head to toe by a thousand Lilliputians their sins like chains hold than in cruel tyranny. Upon talking to them you soon discover ingratitude that is sharper than a serpent’s tooth. It is hard to believe but they’re people who have lived on this planet for fifty-years yet cannot remember one day when they bowed their knee before God to thank him for his goodness.
If a man holds out a glass of cold water to you on a hot sultry day, you say: “Thank you;” a dog will even wag his tail in humble gratitude. But for the ten-thousand mercies that many receive from the good hand of God everyday, week after week; for the health and strength and food and sleep and sound mind and clothing and sunshine, many do not so much as give him as much as a tip of their hat. They’re as thankless as maggots.
Paul teaches us that the Word of God is like water. As we read it and take it to heart we are “washed“ and “cleansed” by its teachings. It has a purifying and cleansing effect on us. James compared a man reading the Bible to someone “observing his natural face in a mirror.” It reveals to him the progress he is making-or not making in his spiritual life. Every day you commit sins, either of omission or commission. So you must daily seek God’s forgiveness for these sins.
Secondly, I want you to notice that this Laver made of bronze mirrors that the priest washed in, this laver that revealed to the priest his shortcomings, was filled with fresh water every morning. So it is with God’s forgiveness and mercy, it must be new every morning.
Lamentations 323 says;
“ They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.”
If you could catch a glimpse of your natural heart before God, and see your moral deformity you would cry out in amazement and alarm. That is what the Mirror of God’s word does, it helps you see yourself in the light of God’s holiness and thus run to Christ for cleansing.
There is much said today about loving yourself, about self-esteem, about “I’m ok and you’re ok;” so much that you wonder what Christ died for. It makes little difference if you have royal blood running through your veins or if you can trace your ancestry back to the Mayflower, you need the daily cleansing of God’s Word. The Laver was made of burnished brass to show the priest his faults and then he was to wash in it. That laver symbolizes the cleansing stream that flows from the smitten rock Christ Jesus
Thirdly, I want you to notice in regards to the Laver, that the priest was to wash both his hands and feet.
Hands and feet are the extremities of the human body. They represent everything that you do. Christ does not want you to compartmentalize him. Lord, you can have control this area of my life, and that area of my life, but this area is mine, all mine. Christ will have none of it! It’s all or nothing with him. That is why you call him The LORD Jesus Christ. When you buy or rent a house, you don’t possess 90% of it you possess 100% of it. Every room and every key to every room is yours. God demands no less. The Bible says “You are not your own.”
Some times you hear people say, “He’s a good Christian but as a lawyer he has to screw his socks on every morning.” “He’s a good Christian but as far as a politician is concerned he’s a mountebank.” He’s a good Christian but as far as a businessman you cannot trust his past his own self-interest. If the gospel doesn’t touch the extremities of your moral life it is as useless as sunlight to a blind man. Christ wants full possession or he will walk away and take no possession. He wants to possess every room in your house from the attic to the basement and every closet in between.
It was so large that it looked like a sea of glass. This one gigantic Laver became a reservoir for the ten other lavers that were strategically placed throughout the courtyard for the priests to wash in. This is suggestive of the fact that all must wash themselves clean from the dust and din of the world during their daily walk with God.
The fountain of God’s mercy is a far vaster sea than any laver. It is a laver not upheld with the power of bulls and oxen but with the power of the old rugged cross. It is adorned not with cherubim and seraphim but with the faces and outstretched hands of peoples and races from every nation tongue and tribe.
There is the beautiful story in the Old Testament of brave men who risked their lives to bring King David a fresh drink of water from the Well of Bethlehem. He was so deeply moved by their devotion to him that he could not drink it. He poured it out on the ground as an oblation before them because it represented their blood and sacrificial love for him.
Jesus gave his life for you and for all mankind so that you might drink deeply from his well of salvation. His laver is a wider than the earth, deeper than the deepest sea and higher than the heavens. “Whosoever will may come” and drink freely and deeply.
The New Testament has a remarkable comparison. John 13 contains the account of the Last Supper, the Feast of the Passover. After the Passover meal was finished, Jesus arose, took a towel and a basin of water, and began to wash the disciples’ feet. What was he doing? He was fulfilling the type of the laver! The feet represent the daily walk, during which we come in contact with the dirt and grime of the earth. We also encounter daily corruption from temptation and sin. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Lastly, I want you to notice that it was Imperative for the Priests to wash in the Laver made of brass or they would Die.
There was no alternative way for them to become clean before God. The priest could not say, “But I will wash at home.” The command was clear, there was no other way, lest they die.” So it is with the Blood of Jesus Christ; only he has the power to cleanse us from all sin. There is no other way. You might say, but that is so narrow, so exclusive, why wouldn’t God make many ways to be cleaned from sin? Jesus himself says, there is no other way, “I am the way.” There was only one ark to save; there was only one cross on Calvary that day that could save; there was only one sufficient sacrifice, not many. There is only one road that leads to heaven, not many. Do not tie your brain into a gordian knot over it; be thankful that there is one name given among men whereby all might be cleansed from their sins.
As a loving parent you stand before your child with a gift behind you back and say, “In one hand there is a present for you, in the other there is nothing. Which hand do you chose? “ You child makes a blind guess. But Christ does not do that to us. He holds out both hands to you and says, “In one hand there is pardon and the treasure of heaven. In the other there is sorrow and woe ” Which do you choose! “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
Do not be insulted for me telling you the truth; but without Christ you have no pardon; without him you are a lost soul. There is no other way.
I Choose Christ!
When I see his hands spiked so hard to the Cross but outstretched to the world, I see someone who loves the world. When I see his feet spiked so cruelly to the
Cross I see someone who is not willing that any should perish. I cannot understand why so many do not love him. He did it all for you.
That Laver of Cleansing is still flowing today. Plunge in and be cleansed.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”
His Forgiveness Is Only A Prayer Away.
Be Blessed and Receive Him Into Your Heart Today.