Reflections at the Laver

The laver of the Tabernacle of Israel represents to Christians something of profound significance. (Exod. 30:18-21) The laver was made from polished copper and filled with water for the priests to wash and cleanse themselves before entering the Tabernacle and performing its services. “When they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to the Lord. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they will not die; ….”—vss. 20,21, NASB

We understand from scripture that this polished copper was made from the looking glasses, or mirrors, of the Israelites. Copper is a picture of human perfection, just as the copper snake that was lifted up in the wilderness to heal the snake-bitten Jews. This showed how Jesus took mankind’s place under sin’s penalty by giving his perfect human life as a ransom for Adam. (Num. 21:6-9; John 3:14; 1 Tim. 2:5,6) The water in the laver represented the water of Truth from God’s holy Word which the christian uses to cleanse himself.—Eph. 5:26

Antitypical priests, or spirit-begotten Christians, come to the laver of God’s Word to wash and thus, cleanse themselves from the defilements of sin in their fallen human nature. Like the Levitical priests, they strive to cleanse themselves in a process of sanctification, for the service to which they have been called.—1 Cor. 6:11; Heb. 10:22
When a spirit-begotten Christian bends forward to utilize the water of Truth for cleansing, they see the reflection of their imperfections from the water. However, because the laver itself was made from polished copper, they also see the reflection of Christ Jesus’ perfection and recognize how to better be conformed to his image. Through the process of continual cleansing, they hopefully will see a reflected image that looks more and more like Jesus, and less and less like the old creature they used to be. This is expressed in the words, “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” We are to humble ourselves and be obedient to the Word of God being “conformed to the image of his Son [Jesus].”—Phil. 2:5; Rom. 8:29 n