38 Then he made the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood, five [a]cubits [b]long, and five cubits [c]wide, square, and three cubits [d]high. 2 He made its horns on its four corners, its horns [e]being of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with [f]bronze. 3 He made all the utensils of the altar, the pails and the shovels and the basins, the flesh hooks and the firepans; he made all its utensils of bronze. 4 He made for the altar a grating of bronze network beneath, under its ledge, reaching halfway up. 5 He cast four rings on the four ends of the bronze grating as holders for the poles. 6 He made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with bronze. 7 He inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar, with which to carry it. He made it hollow with planks.
8 Moreover, he made the laver of bronze with its base of bronze, [g]from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
This altar was for offering animal sacrifices, and many of these were in atonement for sins committed. It is unlikely that the sacrifices were a pretty sight, and the altar was accordingly made of bronze instead of a precious metal like gold or silver. Fast forward a couple thousand years and we find another “altar” that was not very pretty, the cross. On that altar, Jesus didn’t just take care of past sins. He paid the price for all our sings for eternity with His own sinless life.