I wrote the following on pages 179-183 in Looking Glass, The City God Loves:
You may have already figured out the purpose of the second bronze mountain. Let’s continue to walk through the heavenly tabernacle. First, we visited the altar of sacrifice where we saw blood and water pour out from the Lord’s side into the bronze bowl. You may remember how Moses placed half of the sacrificial blood in bowls, while the other half he splashed against the altar. In the picture, we see blood and water pouring into the first bowl and then flowing out around the altar.
Next, we arrive at the laver (KJV), also known as the bronze basin (NIV). After sacrificing the animal(s), the priests would wash their hands and feet at this basin before entering the holy place. If they did not wash away the filth, they would die in God’s presence (Exodus 30:19-21). This is symbolic of salvation. We must find cleansing from the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus before we can enter Heaven’s eternal tabernacle. Blood represents life taken, while water represents life given. Therefore, the altar of sacrifice points to Jesus’ death, while the laver points to His life.
Only the priests could use the wash basin. When they were consecrated for service to the Lord, the priests were washed all over by someone else at the laver (Exodus 29:4; Leviticus 8:6). This, of course, represents the Lord Jesus cleansing His people for service in His kingdom. The initial washing was only one time, much like being born of the Spirit (John 3:5). From that moment on, the priests had to wash their own hands and feet at the bronze wash basin each day. Their hands got cleansed from the work at the altar of sacrifice, while their feet were cleansed from the dirt of the earth.
The apostle Paul gives some important instruction to husbands and wives. He says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing [laver] with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27). The word “washing” can be translated “laver” in verse 26. As we spend time reading and studying the Bible, which is the Word of God, it will cleanse us from the world. Like the priests at the bronze wash basin, we prepare for service to the Lord each day through the study of His Word.
Aaron and his sons were also given special clothing to serve in the Lord’s temple. In Revelation 7:13, the beloved disciple sees people wearing white robes. One of the elders explains that “these are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (v. 14). You may wonder, as I have often wondered, “How can you wash something in blood and have it turn out white?” Blood, of course, stains. The pictures, however, give us an idea of what is taking place. I believe the water from the Lord’s side is overflowing from the bronze bowl into the bronze basin (the laver). The two basins have a close connection. First, they are bronze, which represents God's judgment of sinful man. Secondly, the blood and water fill them with God's forgiveness. We find cleansing in the Lord Jesus before we enter His eternal presence. Otherwise, we would die in our sins.
The bronze wash basin and its stand, interestingly enough, were made “from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting” (Exodus 38:8). The word “mirror” is also translated “looking glass” or “lookingglasses” (KJV). When a priest would look at his reflection, he would see his need for cleansing. Therefore, each time we read the Bible, it is like a mirror, although it is a mirror for the soul. When we apply the Word of God to our lives, we get washed by the living water.
In Revelation 22:14, Jesus says, "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city."
The tree of Calvary is how we partake of the tree of life. The New King James Version says that “the God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree” (Acts 5:30). The good news is that “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13, KJV). The punishment we deserved, our Lord Jesus suffered for us. It is through the cross, the tree of Calvary, that we receive righteousness instead of sin, and we receive life instead of death.
As we will see in the next chapter, the white spot in between the two bronze basins represents the presence of the Lord.
I discovered the people below on the edge of the bronze bowl near the white spot. They are bowing in the Lord’s presence. Psalm 95:6-7 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” In Psalm 5:7, King David says, “But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.”
A man wearing a purple turban is bowing on the left.
The one in white may also represent an angel.
Copyright © 2016 Heidi Rabe