Outside the Camp.

If you were to ask  an average Christian what some of the elements of the Jewish Old Testament ritual typified and foreshadowed in the New, very few would be able to explain much about them..

Alfred Edersheim in his book on the Temple in the time of Christ ,points out that even the Jews themselves were at a loss to explain the meaning of certain elements in the offerings and services.

Despite having the Tabernacle and then the Temple and the grand and glorious ritual  within its sacred precincts, some of the most vital sacrifices in the Jewish calendar did not take place in the temple at all: two of these being the “Scapegoat” and the “Red Heifer”. These were “outside the camp”, so to speak. The Goat being taken away to a wilderness place, while the Red heifer was burned completely well away from the Temple grounds.

Edersheim sees the significance of this in the fact that the most important sacrifice of all was offered outside the walls of Jerusalem and away from the Temple on Golgotha’s hill.

He also reinforces the impossibility of the mere offering of sacrificial animals to really deal with sin They were offered as a mere “covering” of sin till the time when the great Sacrifice was offered once only by the Great High Priest, to fully and finally deal with sin.

It is only by our understanding the absolute sinfulness of sin and the infinite worth and price paid by our Saviour that we can come near to fully value our salvation and Saviour.

Outside the Camp.

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