Chapter 25 The Laver

Thou shalt also make a laver of brass (Exodus 30:18).

God calls us to Himself as a redeemed people to offer up spiritual sacrifices. But we are afraid to approach Him at times because of some present defilement. It is because of this that much due worship and praise is withheld from Him and intercession not made. But there is set before us a laver which is a very vivid picture of the Lord Jesus as the One who can cleanse from all defilement, make us fit for God’s holy presence, and make possible the performance of our function as priests before Him.

Note the material of the laver. Being in the outward court, it was all of brass. Brass represents God’s judgment upon sin. There must be moral purity in His saints before approaching Him with a priestly ministry. Thus Christ is set before us as a Laver to make His people thoroughly clean for that service.

But from whence did this brass come? Whose hands supplied it? It was furnished by the offering of the women. They gladly gave their personal mirrors, which were polished brass in those days, for this holy usage (Exodus 38:8). Let us not forget, in this connection, that the Lord’s body prepared for Him was “made of a woman” (Galatians 4:4). The Gift of all gifts came by means of a woman. So here we see women bringing their mirrors, which perhaps had once been used as instruments of personal vanity to express self-love, now to reflect the beauties and glories of our Lord as the heavenly Laver.

The place of the laver should be noted. It stood between the brazen altar and the door into the holy place. No priest was to pass by the altar of atonement without identifying with it, nor was he to pass into the holy place as a priest until his hands and feet were washed. This speaks a stern warning against defilement in those who are redeemed. But He who demands such purity also provides in His beloved Son the Laver of cleansing waters. The Lord God who says, “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord,” is Himself the cleansing Laver. It is only such cleansing by our Lord which can fit us to enter a priestly ministry. The laver cries, “Wash, and be clean!”

If then this laver would cleanse, it must contain waters which have more than human or angelic power. These waters must be divine and have in them all the properties and attributes of God.

It is thus we are to view the Laver, Jesus Christ. He holds a remedy for defilement which can meet every need. He whose blood was once shed in atoning sacrifice, now applies His resurrection life to us to cleanse away every stain however vile in its uncleanness. There is a cleansing flow until no taint of corruption is found. The soul becomes as white as wool and whiter than driven snow. No defilement can live to torment the soul of those who wish to go on with the Lord. But the Psalmist reminds us it is only those with clean hands and a pure heart who can ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in the holy place.

The effectual cleansing of our Lord as the Laver can be seen when He Himself washed the feet of His disciples (John 13:4-5). It may well have been that these feet were defiled as they walked through the lanes of this world in coming to feast with the Lord, or that their inward lives were also defiled as they argued by the way as to who should be the greatest. But cleansing there had to be before they could sit down to feast with Him. Whatever is not in accord with divine holiness necessitates washing. We must be clean before the Lord. There was no other cleansing fount. No other but the Lord Jesus Christ can cleanse our souls. He must wash and He alone.

Nothing between, Lord, nothing between:
Let me Thy glory see,
Draw my soul close to Thee,
Then speak Thy love to me—
Nothing between.

Nothing between, Lord, nothing between;
Thus may I walk with Thee,
Thee only may I see,
Thine only let me be—
Nothing between.

Nothing between, Lord, nothing between;
Till thine eternal light,
Rising on earth’s dark night,
Bursts on my open sight—
Nothing between.

Author unknown