2 Chronicles 4:1—Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.
Solomon made the bronze altar a square of about 30 feet and 15 feet high. The priests had to go upstairs to offer upon this altar. There is no record of the thickness of the brass but it is guessed to be about 3 inches. That would make the weight of this structure over 200 tons! Brass is the metal that symbolizes judgment. Imagine walking into the temple court and seeing this gigantic altar with the smoke ascending as the priests laid out the sacrifices. The altar Moses had constructed was only a fraction of this size. The nation had grown. With that growth came the need for the greater area of sacrifice. With the experience of life and testimonies of those who had gone before, one would hope that the people were more faithful to sacrifice in recognition of their need for forgiveness. This dominant feature of the temple is also the dominant feature in the living temple. The living stones that make up the temple today look out upon our area of worship, and the thing that should fill our view is the cross. Bigger than any other physical thing is the place where the judgment was met. It fills our vision. We imagine what is on the other side, but we can’t really see it. All we need to really see is that our sin debt is paid. There is our peace of mind and our release from guilt. Thank God that it looms so large before us. Some people think there is too much talk of the cross. They think it is too dominant. Imagine the enormous altar Solomon built at the directions the LORD gave to his father David, and think again.