Outside the Camp


When we come to Jesus, we come to him outside the camp, out of the city – out of the world – out of the way things are to a place where Jesus provides freedom new and lasting.  This is a contrast to the sacrifices of the tabernacle.  Jesus died in a place of disgrace…

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands—

3 “‘If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed.

11 But the hide of the bull and all its flesh, as well as the head and legs, the internal organs and the intestines— 12 that is, all the rest of the bull—he must take outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean, where the ashes are thrown, and burn it there in a wood fire on the ash heap.
Leviticus 2:1-3, 11-12

10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
Hebrews 13:10-14

The offering for sin was made on the altar in the tabernacle, yet the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp in a place which became a place of defilement for generations.

If someone could not be in he camp because of sin or defilement, they were made to go outside the camp.  Jesus was crucified in a place called Golgotha, which is outside of Jerusalem.  It was a place of disgrace.

And so we see in the writings of Hebrews 13 that in contrast to the fulfillment of Mosaic Law in the Old Testament, Jesus suffered outside the city gate in total disgrace.  His sacrifice was for all people by his own blood, and his altar was outside the camp.

We have an altar, we read in Hebrews 13:10, from which those who minister at the tabernacle – from which those who minister inside the camp – have no right to eat.  Not, at least, from inside the camp.  We all must come to Jesus at the cross – where he is.

He came into the camp to reveal himself to us.  He died outside the camp to draw us to himself.

The sacrifice of Jesus is greater than any sacrifice which happened inside the camp because it is eternal.  It was once for all. It did not have to be repeated next time.

And so, when we come to Jesus, we come to him outside the camp.  We come out of the city – out of the world – out of the way things are to a place where Jesus provides something new and lasting.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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