The Sacrifice Outside the Gate
Sermon by Tom Trinka
 
 
Today’s message will center around Hebrews 13.10-13, where the Apostle Paul ties Christ's sacrifice to a specific altar and sin offering.
 
I will be presenting information from past sermons I have heard, as well as information from a book titled, The Secrets of Golgotha, by Dr. Ernest Martin. Dr. Martin was a former Ambassador College Professor at the College Campus in England, as well as Chairmen of the Theology Department in Pasadena during the 1960s thru 1970s.
 
Dr. Martin spent years researching ancient Jewish records and other early historical documents in preparation for writing this book. The information I will be presenting today is readily found on the Internet using the footnotes Dr. Martin referenced.

HEB 13.10-13 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

Paul in these verses ties Christ's sacrifice to a specific altar and sin offering. What altar is Paul referring too? What does Paul mean that Christ suffered outside the gate? What Gate? And what does he mean, we should join him outside the camp? 

Today I hope to clarify and expand on these questions. Notice in verse 10, Paul uses the term Tabernacle or tent instead to Temple. Paul is deliberately pointing out that what he is referring too relates back to the sacrifices God instituted thru Moses that were still being carried out by the Levitical priests in Jesus' day.

Paul reinforces this point in verse 8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God states in ISA. 46. 9-10 9 Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.

PSM. 33.11 says The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. In both cases "counsel" might more accurately be translated determined purpose, or simply plan. Gods plan stands forever and it will be accomplished. So keeping in mind that God's plan does not change, we find that God has established certain patterns, from which we can learn valuable lessons. 

HEB.9.1-5 1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lamp stand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All Verses 23-24 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

HEB. 8.1-2, 4-5 1Now of the things, which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such a high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."

1 CHRON.28.11-12

11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; 12 and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things;

Verse 19

19 "All this," said David, "the LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans."

So we see from all these verses, that the tabernacle and temple and all the instruments of service are all copies or physical types of what is in heaven. Copied by Gods faithful servants to teach us things.

One of the patterns that is important for our study today, is the manner and Direction that the tabernacle and later the temple were constructed and set up.
 
So with this in mind please turn to.

EZEK 47.1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced East; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 

Point number 1-

The temple and the tabernacle always faced EAST. The Holy of Holies, God's dwelling place with man was always on the extreme west side of the structure. God symbolically sat on the mercy seat looking east out through the ONLY entrance of the tabernacle or temple.

So God figuratively sat on the mercy seat, and from that location God facing East, could observe all of the sacrifices and worship services.

This same pattern of east and west is repeated in the Garden of Eden, God's first dwelling place with man. God doesn't change his plans or designs.

GEN.3.23-24

23 therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the East of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Notice just like the tabernacle and temple, the Garden of Eden, had only one entrance and it was on the east side. This drives home the fact that we cannot worship or even approach God any way we feel like. We must come to God His way on His terms. He is our Creator, and He loves us, but we must always treat God with the respect He requires and deserves.

And this is the very lesson we learn from Cain. Cain did not honor God with his offering and He did not repent, instead he killed his competition. So what happened? 
GEN.4.16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod on the East of Eden.

Notice the pattern that is developing. When Adam and Eve sinned they were removed from dwelling with God in the Garden. They were relocated east of Gods dwelling place, which was symbolized by the Tree of Life.

When Cain killed Abel, God moved him even farther away to the east. Now Cain was permanently removed from Gods presence. He was no longer allowed to even bring an offering to God.

You see the farther east you go, the farther away symbolically you are from God. And this pattern repeats itself throughout scripture. When Israel and later Judah were taken into captivity, out of God's sight, which way did they go? East from the Holy land to Assyria and Babylon.

This pattern again repeats itself with Abraham. God called him out of Ur, the area of Babylon, and told him to go West to the Holy Land. Towards God. Please remember this point of direction as we continue this study today. Since we are talking about Abraham, let's turn to GEN.22.

GEN.22.2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."

Notice God sends Abraham to the "Land of Moriah" This term Land is referring to a rather large geographical area. The bible uses phases like land of the Hebrews (gen.40.15) The Lords land (Hosea 9.3) Holy Land (Zeph. 2.5) and the Promised Land (Deut.9.28)

Notice something very important to understand. Moriah is more than 1 individual mountain peak. God says 'go to the land of Moriah, to 1 of the mountains. In fact Moriah is the whole range of mountains that comprises the whole area around Jerusalem, consisting of Mount Zion, the Temple Mount area and the Mount of Olives. I'll go more in depth on this point in a minute.

V.4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. Abraham saw the specific mountain peak where God told him to go. V.7-8 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" 8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself "THE" lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.

Brethren please notice these words carefully. God said He would provide THE lamb for a burnt offering. This is a prophetic statement, as we will see in a minute.

V.9-14 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!"  So he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

Notice Abraham sacrificed a ram not a lamb. The statement he made before is prophetic, as the next verse will confirm. 14 And Abraham called the (name of the place), The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided."

A more literal translation of the second phrase would be, "In the Mount of the Lord it will be Seen. As in "seen that it will be done" This is a very important verse. Notice this particular spot is called "The Mount of the Lord" Mount is capitalized to show possession.

We are told that on this specific spot the lamb will be provided. The Lord, that is the one who will later become Jesus Christ in the flesh of course is the lamb. Furthermore, the second phrase states that God the Father will oversee that it's done.

Just like God symbolically viewed the sacrifices on the Altar from the Mercy Seat inside the Holy of Holies. So another point to remember is that this SPOT where the Lamb will be provided must be in the line of sight, from west to east of the Holy of Holies, to fulfill this scripture and be congruent with the Temple sacrifices.

This place where Abraham symbolically sacrificed Isaac is God's Mountain. This spot is the location where Jesus Christ willingly laid down His life for you and for me.

Most bible reference books define Mount Moriah as the Temple Mount, based on 2 Chron.3.1- Lets read that.

Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

If Mount Moriah is just the Temple Mount, then Jesus must have been sacrificed there also. But as we read earlier in Heb.13.  Jesus was sacrificed outside the camp, outside the Temple gate. So armed with this information, we can now try to locate the exact spot of Christ's crucifixion and begin to understand what altar and gate Paul was referring too in Hebrews 13.

As we saw earlier in Gen.22, Mount Moriah is more than one mountain peak. Mount Moriah also includes the Mount of Olives. Lets look at some verses concerning the Mount of Olives. First let's see it's location in relation to the Temple Mount.

Zech. 14.4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. The Mt. of Olives is directly east of the Temple Mount area, separated by the Kidron valley. The Mount of Olives as I stated before is part of the range of mountains called Moriah.

The Mt. of Olives runs north to south for a distance of about 2 miles. The Mt. of Olives at 2900 feet above sea level is also higher in elevation than the Temple Mount area, which is about 2400 feet. So from the area opposite the Temple mount, near the top of Olivet you can look down onto the Temple area. This is important to understand, as we will see later.

The distance is about 1/2 a mile, between the two. This distance is also important to keep in mind, as we will see. Though it's not widely known, a specific area on the Mt. of Olives was considered Holy and a place of worship and sacrifice. This may explain why Jesus spent so much time there.

2 Sam.15.30

So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.

Verse 32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God.

Notice David traveled up, that is near the top of Olivet and worshipped in a specific spot. So we see that a specific location near the Ascent or Top of the Mount of Olives was an important location. What kind of worship service was conducted on the Mount of Olives. The answer to this is the key to understanding what Paul was referring too in Heb.13.

Let's go back there and read verses 10 and 11 again.

HEB. 13.10  We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. What altar is Paul referring to? How many altars did the Israelites use in worshipping God?

The answer is 3. The altar of incense inside the Holy place, near the 2nd curtain separating the Holy place from the holy of Holies. Number 2, the altar of burnt offering, also called the Brazen Altar located just outside the temple itself. And number 3 was called the Altar of the Red Heifer or the "Miphkad" Altar. Miphkad means numbering place. We will see the relevance to that name later.

In fact this is most important Altar of all. On this 3rd Altar, the most important offerings, the sin offerings were taken and burned. This spot was on the Mount of Olives, near the summit, directly opposite the Temple Mount.

It was in this location that Abraham symbolically sacrificed Isaac, The place where God said the Lamb will be provided. This important 3rd Altar was where the sin offerings were burned up. There were 3 types of sin offering. There was the regular sin offering, the sacrifices on the Day of Atonement, and 3rd, the Most Holy Sacrifice, that of the Red Heifer, which also pictures Jesus Christ.

All 3 of these different sin offerings were completely burned up on this Miphkad Altar on the Mount of Olives. Let's look at the sacrifices a little closer. First lets look at the connection with the Day of Atonement. LEV.16 To save time I'm just going to read a few verses that are most relevant.

Lev. 16.6-10  "Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. 7 He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 8 Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD's lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.

Jewish tradition states that this "scapegoat" was led East, away from Gods presence into the "wilderness." This term wilderness in verse 10, helps us to understand why. The word wilderness in Hebrew means desert or wasteland, a desolate and barren place. The term is symbolic of the place of abyss or place where Satan and the demons will be held for 1000 years when Christ returns. 

This desert area is located east of Jerusalem, on the east side of the Mount of Olives, in the area of the Dead Sea. The winds year round, normally blow to the east off the Mediterranean Sea, bringing rain to the Mount Moriah area.

But since the Mount of Olives runs north to south, most of the rain is deposited on the west side of the Mount of Olives. That is why; the east side of Olivet is desert.

So just like Cain, this goat was led east away from God into the Desert. O.K. let's see what they did with the other goat and the bull on Atonement Day. Lev.16.11 "And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself.

Drop to verses 14-16 14 He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. Notice the blood is sprinkled on the East side of the Mercy Seat, symbolically at God's feet with God facing the High Priest, looking eastward.

Continue

15 "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

These animals are killed outside the Holy place, just East of the door of the Temple in God's sight. Notice what they do with the dead animals.

Continue LEV.16. verses 25-27

25 The fat of the sin offering he shall burn on the altar. Notice the fat is the only thing that is burned on the Altar of burnt offering in the Temple Court.

What do they do with the rest of it?

26 And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp.  27 The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make Atonement in the Holy Place, shall be carried Outside the Camp. And they shall burn in the fire their skins, their flesh, and their dung.

This sin offering, picturing Jesus Christ making Atonement for the world, is was carried Outside the Camp and completely burned up on this 3rd Altar located on the Mt. of Olives.

The second kind of offering, was the regular sin offering found in Lev. 4

The bull or goat was killed as in the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement; the blood was again sprinkled, this time on the Altar of Incense inside the Holy place. And the rest of the blood was poured out on the Altar of Burnt offering in the Temple court. And also like the Day of Atonement the fat was taken off and burned on this same Altar of Burnt offerings.

But let's see some more details about the sin offering. Lev .4.11-12

11 But the bull's hide and all its flesh, with its head and legs, its entrails and it's dung 12 the whole bull he shall carry Outside the Camp to a Clean Place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned.

First think about the fact that if the sin committed required a bull to be sacrificed. The priests had to carry this large animal whole outside the camp and up to the top of the Mt. of Olives where it was completely burned up.  And as we just read, on the Day of Atonement a bull and a goat were carried whole to that 3rd Altar.

God commanded this to be done to teach the lesson that sin is a Heavy Burden on the Soul. Notice Moses twice in verse 12 identifies this place as "where the ashes are poured out". God had it recorded twice to make the point that it is One Specific Very Important Location.

This is the location where all the ashes from all the sacrifices of the altar of burnt offering were taken.

We read of that in Lev.6.10-11

10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen trousers he shall put on his body, and take up the ashes of the burnt offering, which the fire has consumed on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. 11 Then he shall take off his garments, put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.

This clean place outside the camp became known as the place "where the ashes are poured out" that we just read about in Lev.4.12

Ashes in scripture represent repentance and a yielded humble state of being. God required all the ashes from all types of sacrifices to be stored in this one specific location, outside the camp, near the Miphkad Altar.

If we understand that these physical sacrifices represent a Christians life, that of being a living sacrifice, we begin to understand the symbolism of storing the ashes in this clean place, near the Altar of the Red Heifer.

We symbolically die with our Savior at baptism, and through our yielded repentant spirit we are then a new creation. We are in the spiritual clean place in our Fathers sight. But just as Christ was rejected by the world, likewise we must symbolically dwell with Him outside the camp, as Paul stated in Heb. 13, bearing His reproach.

Remember what Jesus said in John 15.19  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

We are no longer of this world, our citizenship is now in heaven, and we are spiritually outside the camp, that is outside Old Jerusalem's city limits, being sojourners and pilgrims awaiting New Jerusalem.

And as we will see more conclusively, this location is very near the spot from which Jesus was not only crucified, but also the location from which He ascended to heaven that is recorded in Acts 1. Reinforcing the meaning of the scripture that as we died with Him at baptism, so likewise will be raised with Him in Glory.

As I stated before, this clean place was one specific location. Ezekiel refers to it as well. Ezek.43.21 21 Then you shall also take the bull of the sin offering, and burn it in THE appointed place of the temple, Outside the sanctuary.

The phrase "appointed place" is the Hebrew term "Miphkad. The place of the 3rd altar. Notice it's outside the Temple area. Miphkad (4662) means place of numbering. The root word is interesting. It means "to attend to with care" Recall the phrase in Gen.22 That the Lord will see to it.

The Theological Wordbook of the OT states- The basic meaning is to exercise oversight of a subordinate, either in the form of inspection or of taking action to cause a considerable change in the circumstances of the subordinate.

In other words from this location God the Father oversees the sacrifice for sin, their by causing a change to occur in his people. And of course by our excepting Christ sacrifice for our sins, we are given a new nature through Gods Holy Spirit.

Ezek. 43.1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the East. It was through this East gate that the priests were to travel with the animals that God instructed had to be burned on this Miphkad Altar. This was also the place where the ashes were poured out from the Altar of Burnt Offering.

Ezek. 44.1  Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the East, but it was shut. This gate is the outer gate that leads outside the Temple grounds, this area is said to be Outside the Camp.

This is the gate Paul was referring too in Hebrews 13. O.K. now let's look at this other offering that Paul was referring too. It's the most important of all sin offerings. The sacrifice of the Red Heifer.

Num.19.1-9

1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,

2 "This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying: 'Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a Red Heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come. 3 You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, that he may take it outside the camp, and it shall be slaughtered before him; 4 and Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood seven times directly in front of the tabernacle of meeting.
5 Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight: its hide, its flesh, its blood, and its offal shall be burned. 6 And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and cast them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer. 7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, he shall bathe in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp; the priest shall be unclean until evening. 8 And the one who burns it shall wash his clothes in water, bathe in water, and shall be unclean until evening. 9 Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of purification; it is for purifying from sin.

This sacrifice was different from all others in the fact that the High Priest led the Red Heifer ALIVE from the Temple to this 3rd Altar on top of the Mount of Olives.

I didn't mention this before, but in order for the priests to carry the dead animals, as well as lead the Azazal goat and the Red Heifer alive from the Temple area up to the Mount of Olives they build a double arched bridge called the "Bridge of the Red Heifer" This way the Priests did not defile themselves crossing the Kidron Ravine.

The East gate, which we just read about in Ezek.44 led to this bridge. On the other side of the bridge was a path called the Ascent to the Mount of Olives. That was the path David probably took, that we read of earlier in 2 Sam. 15.30.

Let's define what Paul means outside the camp.

As we went over in the beginning of this message, the Tabernacle and Temple were designed to mimic the reality in Heaven, which is New Jerusalem. The Jewish authorities in the first century wanting to fulfill the letter of the law, as they viewed it, tried to duplicate as much as possible the teachings in the Law of Moses concerning the Tabernacle in the wilderness.

This is why the Jewish authorities established a "camp area" surrounding the Temple and the old city of Jerusalem in the same circular fashion that Moses had ordained. This area called "The Camp" extended Eastward 2000 cubits or about 3000 feet, which extended to almost the summit of the Mt. of Olives.

They chose this radius of 3000 feet emanating from the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies after the reference in Joshua 3.4. Recall when Joshua lead Israel across the Jordan River, that the Israelites had to keep a distance of 3000 feet between themselves and the Priests carrying the Ark.

It was outside this 3000-foot radius, directly East of the Temple on the top of the Mount of Olives that this 3rd Altar was placed. It was symbolically outside the Camp of Israel. It was called the Clean Place where the Ashes were poured out.

The phrase, a Sabbath days journey, although having no biblical foundation was also derived from this same 3000-foot radius found in Joshua 3.

Let's see a reference to this in Acts 1.10-12 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey.

This sacrifice of the Red Heifer, more than any other sin offering represents Jesus Christ's sacrifice. The animal had to be perfect, virginal in every way. It was led alive by the High Priest to this Altar of sacrifice. Just like Jesus was brought alive to His crucifixion spot.

The Heifer was completely burnt up, along with cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet. Cedar known for its preservation properties, hyssop was used as a cleansing or purifying agent and scarlet was a scarlet dye, probably symbolic of Christ's blood.

This was all completely burned up on the Miphkad Altar, symbolizing Christ's sacrifice completely removing or purifying us of our sins and preserving us in newness of life for our Fathers service.

The reason Paul states that the priests have no right to eat of this sacrifice is because everything is burnt up, there is nothing left but ashes. Thus representing the fact that sin had to be destroyed completely burned up.

We can tie this into REV. 20 where all the unrepentant will be burned up in the Lake of Fire. These ashes of the Red Heifer were mixed with pure spring water flowing from the Gihon Spring and used in all the purification rituals, which of course are symbolic for Christ cleansing us of all unrighteousness. Allowing us to be pure in our Fathers sight.

From this site on the west side of the Mount of Olives, outside the camp, near the summit, the priests had a birds eye view of the Temple area directly to the west, in line of sight with the outer curtain on the east side of the temple.

Remember the Mt. of Olives is about 500 feet higher than the Temple area. How do we know that there was a direct line of sight?

Luke 23.44-47

44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'" Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, "Certainly this was a righteous Man!"

Matt.27.54

54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

From the spot of the crucifixion the centurion and those with him saw the outer veil of the temple ripped in two from top to bottom. Josephus records that the Temple's outer veil measured 80 feet high by 24 feet wide.

Recall that we read in Acts 1.12 that the Temple was a Sabbath day’s journey or about a 1/2  mile from the Summit of Olivet, where the disciples had seen Jesus go up into the clouds.

So in order for the centurion to see the veil split in two, their had to be a direct line of sight from the spot Jesus was crucified looking West to the door of the Temple which faced East.

Remember in Gen.22, we read that the Father will see the Lamb killed. The Mercy Seat symbolically is in a direct line of sight with this spot on the summit of Olivet.

Let's look at some more evidence that confirms that Jesus Christ was indeed sacrificed on the western summit of the Mount of Olives.

John 19.15-18

15 But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" 16 Then he (Pilate) delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they (the priesthood) took Jesus and led Him away.

Just like the High Priest led the Red Heifer alive up to the Miphkad altar, so likewise the Sanhedrin led Jesus to this same spot for the crucifixion.

Marvin referred to this point yesterday in ISA. 53.7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.

17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.

What and where was Golgotha? Recall from Ezek. 43 and 44 that the word Miphkad designated the East gate of the Temple as well as the Altar on the Mt, of Olives. Said simply, the road through the Miphkad gate led to the Miphkad Altar. This is why the gate was designated simply the Miphkad.

It's important to note that the term Miphkad actually means "to number" This place was called Miphkad for the fact that this was the location that the census was taken. Miphkad literally was the place of "counting heads"

Num.1.2  as rendered in the (J.P. Green Interlinear Bible) "Lift the heads of all the congregation of the sons of Israel. by their families, by their father's houses, according to the number of names, every male, by their heads"

There are two different Hebrew words, both translated as heads in this verse. The first one is in the phase lift the heads, this comes from the Hebrew word "rosh" It can mean a literal head, as in the head on the top of a body. Or it can mean a top, as in the summit of a mountain.

The phase "lift the heads" can be used both positively and negatively in scripture. In a positive sense, lifting one's head to give honor or grant favor.

Negatively it is used regarding to lift up or off with one's head. 
In Gen.40 this same term is used both ways. In Joseph's prediction of what would happen to the butler and the baker. 
The second term heads in Num. 1.2, is translated in the KJV as polls and in the NKJV as individually. The word is "golgolet" in the Hebrew.

It simply means heads. As in counting heads for a poll or a census. We might say today to take a head count. This is the word that is translated from the Greek into Gogotha, which is commonly translated regarding the crucifixion as the place of the skull. A better translation would be the place of the head.

When combined with Miphkad we see the true meaning is clear, the place where the heads were numbered or counted. In Jesus' day there was a census which was conducted annually based on Ex. 30.

In which every male Jew 20 years and older was required to be counted in order to determine the proper sum that was to be donated to the Temple. This came to be called the poll (head) tax or more commonly the Temple tax.

This yearly counting of all male heads, had to be done Outside the Camp, otherwise someone that might be considered defiled would have been excluded from the polling.

So in referring to Gogotha as the crucifixion site, the disciples were stating what was common knowledge at the time. Jesus was crucified on the Mount of Olives near the Altar of the Red Heifer where this yearly polling or counting of heads was conducted.

And there might also be a play on words here. For as I stated earlier the first word translated poll in Numbers 1.2 is rosh, which can mean either head or summit. As in the top of a mountain.

Recall 2 Sam. 15.30, which we read earlier, where David worshipped on top or summit of the Mount of Olives. In the Greek Septuagint, this same location is called the "rosh” God thereby giving us another clue to the true location of Gogotha.

As we have seen Jesus Christ fulfilled the roll symbolized by the Red Heifer, in being led alive by the priesthood outside the gate and outside the camp. Being crucified on the Mount of Olives and in all likelihood near the Altar of the Red Heifer.

However the bible shows that there is more we can learn from the symbolism between the Red Heifer and Jesus. In fact, the symbolism teaches us how God views our relationship this Him and His Son.

Let's briefly cover the requirements for the selection of the Red Heifer, and see how they apply directly to us today. And in doing so we will answer the question. How does Jesus being a male symbolically fulfill the requirements of the Red Heifer, which was female?

We read earlier in NUM. 19, there were 3 qualifications for the selection of the Red Heifer.

The Red Heifer was an animal that was required to be free (never yoked), unblemished and to be a female virgin.

The ashes of this sin offering were considered so holy, that even the most sacred items of the Temple itself were purified by pure water mixed with its ashes.

The Red Heifer symbolized purity and Holiness, being without spot, or blemish and virginal. The ashen waters were symbolically able to sanctify the priesthood and cleanse the nation of there sins.

Brethren these are the same identical qualities that are embodied by His Church. We are a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation.
Consider the term Ekklesia itself, which we know is translated as Church in English. It is grammatically feminine in form.

I believe God inspired this in order to help us understand how He views His relationship with us. The Church is called the body of Christ.

EPH.5.25-32

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.

God views us as apart to Christ's very body.

31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

2 Cor. 5.21 states- For He made Him who knew no sin To Be Sin For Us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The key point here is that Jesus became sin for us. He symbolically embodied our sins and when He died our sins died with Him, symbolized by the Red Heifer being completely burned up.

Brethren, keeping this in mind we come to see that in reality the Red Heifer pictures us also. We are His body, unspotted and unblemished, chase virgins, unyoked from the bondage of sin.

We died with Him at baptism; we are purified through His death and the gift of the Holy Spirit, which purifies our minds, just as the ashen waters purified the Temple and the priesthood.

ROM.8. 34-36 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

                           " For Your sake we are killed all day long;

                             We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."

We are to be living sacrifices, laying down our natural pulls and desires, willingly, as Christ was willingly led to the slaughter. And as Isaac willingly allowed Abraham to bind him on the altar on the Mount of Olives.

There is one more interesting point I would like to cover, that being the Roman legal requirements for crucifixion. In order to have a crucifixion make the largest impact or impression on the population, there were 3 rules regarding its location.

Number 1. -Crucifixions were to be performed at the site of the crime. #2- If it were not possible to return a criminal to the site of the crime, then the place of the arrest was to be used.

And since a crucifixion represented not only the most painful means of death, but also the utmost form of humiliation for the criminal, his naked body hanging in public display.

The 3rd rule was that if neither the site of the crime nor the arrest was deemed feasible, then an area of maximum visibility such as high ground and/or a main road was used to provide a maximum deterrent for the local population.

What is so interesting about these 3 laws is the fact that Jesus fulfilled all 3 of them. Without going into to much detail because of time, lets just briefly look at these important facts confirming the crucifixion site.

Jesus was arrested at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Matt. 26.36

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there."
Verse 44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand." 47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

The word Gethsemane means "oil press" It was located on the western slope of the Mt. of Olives. The Mount of Olives was a favorite spot for Jesus to pray and teach His disciples. In Jesus' day it was heavily wooded with Olive trees, hence the reason the oil press was located their and the reason the Mountain was called Olivet in the first place.

Jesus also "committed" the offense their. Throughout His ministry Jesus continually kept a low profile. Refusing to let evil spirits testify that he indeed was the Son of God, and often healing people and telling them to tell no one that He did it.

Let's look at one scripture confirming this point.

John 6.14-15 

Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."
15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

In contrast to with the rest of His 3 1/2-year ministry, when Jesus rode on the colt just days before the Passover of His death, He allowed the masses to Worship him.

Mark 11.1-2 now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethpage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; 2 and He said to them, "Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it.

Mark 11. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:  " Hosanna!  ' Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' 10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!" 11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple.

Hosanna means "save us I pray" It can be closely associated with the term Messiah, which means Savior. The place where His triumphal entry began was Bethphage, where Jesus mounted the colt. This town was located on the southern summit of the Mount of Olives.. From this spot He traveled west down the slopes of Olivet along the main road called by Luke the descent of the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem.

Luke 19.37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen.

Remember David traveled up this same road to pray in 2 Sam 15. This event, where Jesus allowing Himself to be proclaimed King, was the crime, the act of treason against Rome that caused Him to be crucified. Recall the sign that Pilate had hung above Jesus in John 19.19. JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

So we see that Jesus committed the crime, was arrested and crucified on the western slope of Olivet near or in the Garden of Gethsemane in clear view of the Temple Mount to the west.
This spot was along the roadway that led from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, fulfilling the 3rd requirement of public display in a highly visible location, and also in His Father's sight viewed from the Temple.

John confirms that Jesus was killed in the garden. John. 19.41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.

Let's conclude where we started, back in HEB.13.12-14. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

Paul here is referring to the faith chapter, Heb 11, speaking of Abraham waiting for a city to come and Moses choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin for a season.  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

In summation we have seen that Mount Moriah includes not only the Temple Mount but also the Mount of Olives. And that Abraham's symbolic sacrifice of Isaac foreshadowed the very spot that God our Fathers would later allow the sacrifice His Son for us.

And in all probability it is also the same spot Jesus ascended from to heaven and the spot where He will return. As God told Abraham on the Lord's Mount. The Mount of Olives.

Furthermore we have seen that the most Holy of all sin offerings, the sacrifice of the Red Heifer, fore shadowed Jesus Christ in every respect. And that thru His sacrifice we are indeed unyoked from the bondage of this world. We are without spot or blemish being considered by our Father chase virgins that will be wedded to His Son upon His return.

I want to leave you today with a couple of my favorite verses in scripture. 

EPH.1. 4-5

Just as The Father chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

Verses 10-14

10 That in the completion of the Plan, when time is fulfilled, He will gather together in one all things in Christ. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of God, who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 which is the Guarantee of our Inheritance into the Family of God.

Brethren we have this Guarantee as an Anchor for our souls. 
Brethren it's my hope that through this message today we come to realize even more that God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ have established a Plan. That Plan is the same from Genesis to Revelations.

For nearly 6000 years it has continued to progress. And now in these end of days, God has called you and I to have a very special part in the completion of that Plan. The Apostle Paul states in Romans, that the whole creation is waiting for the revealing of the Sons of God.

We are to be the very Bride of Christ. To have an intimate relationship with our Creator for all eternity. Of all the possibly 100s of Billions of souls that have lived on this earth.

You and I brethren will forever be set apart as Special and Precious in God's sight. Being First Fruits to God and the Lamb.
To truly become one with our Creator.

As we read at the Passover in John 17.20-21

20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

Let us use this Passover and Spring Holy Day season as a springboard to redouble our effort and commitment that we made at baptism, to complete the grand purpose for which we were created.

 

Thomas C. Trinka

April 2008

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