In the altar of whole burnt offering, the one unrighteous man is completely removed. That altar of brass sees one man brought to ashes. The ashes were taken from this altar and emptied onto the ground at the side of the altar. That is a picture of God’s Mind about the unrighteous man, or the natural man. He is consumed in the fire of God’s judgment, he is reduced to ashes, and he is poured out on the ground. THAT IS GOD’S MIND ABOUT THE NATURAL MAN. On the other side, it is only THE RIGHTEOUS MAN that can stand here in the presence of this altar. Of course, those are the two sides of THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE LORD JESUS. On the one side HE was made sin for us, and in that capacity He was wholly consumed and brought to ashes. When He cried, “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” – it was the cry of the ashes! He had been brought to ashes, and poured out on the ground.
But then there was the other side of the Cross “He knew no sin.” In Himself, there was no unrighteousness, and, therefore, He can go through the altar, He can live after the fire! “Thou wilt not suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.” Because in Himself there was no sin, He could not be holden of death. His Holy Nature could overcome all the righteous judgments of God! This is the meaning of the great altar: one man is brought to an end, and Another Man stands in his place. Everything had been judged at the altar. Everything IS judged in the Cross.
We have been judged in the Cross of the Lord Jesus, and in our own selves we have been brought to an end. Everything of the natural has been judged and brought to an end in the Cross of the Lord Jesus. It is a very important thing to recognize that. You see, that makes anything possible. That is why if the Cross is in its place, everything else would be right. The House will be right; that is, the Church will be right. The ministry will be right. The order will be right. You will not have to go to work to try and bring about a right order. It spontaneously comes out of the work of the Cross.
You may meet disorders in the House of God. You may meet the natural man in the House of God. You may meet conditions which are all wrong in the House of God. How are you going to deal with them? You can only deal with them by the principle of the Cross. You cannot deal with the people themselves, you cannot deal with the things themselves; but if only you can bring the Cross into that situation, you have solved the whole problem. Everything is judged by the Cross.