Introductory Note: We get a bit of a break from reading, but as a chronological freak I am still unsure as to why we skipped Leviticus 8-10 last week. Spend more time on it? Probably. But we could have just done Leviticus 8 & 9 and then done 10 in another week.
Summary of passage: The Lord told Moses to anoint Aaron as the high priest and his sons as priests in an elaborate ceremony in front of the entire people at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Aaron’s descendants (the tribe of Levi) would forever have religious duties for the entire nation of Israel.
Moses put the ephod on Aaron, the Urim and Thummim and the turban (link to picture HERE) and then anointed him with old and consecrated him. He then anointed Aaron’s sons as well. Moses anointed and consecrated the tabernacle. Then Moses offered up a sin offering, a burnt offering, a wave offering, and a ram for ordination for Aaron and his sons. The ceremony lasted 8 days, which including eating some of the meat and bread from the offerings.
3a) Believers in Christ
b) Washed–John 13:10; Hebrews 10:22: We are cleansed from our sins and guilt.
Dressed–Romans 13:14; Revelation 3:4, 16:15: Clothed with Christ and his righteousness
Anointed–Isaiah 61:1; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11: Anointed with the Holy Spirit and able to preach the good news, bind up the broken-hearted, and proclaim freedom from sin for those who believe in Christ. The Holy Spirit offers up different gifts for the Lord such as wisdom, healing, prophecy, etc to do His work.
4a) According to Webster’s Dictionary, ordination means “the act or instance of ordaining (to invest officially with ministerial or priestly authority)”.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, consecration means “the act or ceremony of consecrating (to induct a person not a permanent office with a religious rite; to make or declare sacred; to devote irrevocably to the worship of God by a solemn ceremony)”.
b) It meant to hear the Lord (ear), to do the Lord’s work (thumb), and to walk in the ways of the Lord (toe). To be different– of God instead of of man–after the ceremony. The right side was considered the stronger side as most people are right-handed and thus the better side.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Not sure. I know I fail most days in doing God’s work, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t consecrated it to Him. It just means I’m human. So, I’m trying in my walk.
5a) They sacrificed a bull each day as a sin offering to make atonement. They purified the altar every day by making atonement for it, and anointing it to consecrate it. Then the altar and whoever touches it will be holy.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Jesus made the final sacrifice of himself in order to be our High Priest and make us holy before God. He meets our every need. My response is eternal gratitude for Christ paying the price for my sins.
Conclusions: I know BSF’s point is to show how Christ has nulled and voided all of these rituals God’s people were required to perform; hence all of the looking up of New Testament passages. However, I would have liked to dive deeper into the meanings of these rituals as most of us (including me) really don’t understand the meaning behind them. I believe understanding what exactly was required of God’s people BEFORE Christ came will give us a deeper appreciation and love of Christ in terms of our living AFTER he came.
End Notes: With the tabernacle complete, it is now time to follow God’s commands from Exodus 29 and consecrate the priests. The purpose of the ceremony was to consecrate (set aside) the priests for God’s work. After Jesus, we too are set aside with the power of the Holy Spirit.
First, the priests had to be cleansed and there is debate about whether this was by full immersion or not. Either way once cleansed, only the feet and hands had to be cleansed henceforth. We too are washed by the cleansing work of Jesus on the cross.
Second, they were clothed as we are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus through faith.
Third, they were anointed with oil as we are with the Holy Spirit to walk in Him.
After the physical cleansing, next came the spiritual cleansing by the sin offering of the bull and the burnt offering of the ram which took our sins as the substitution. Finally, a wave or fellowship offering as the priests are now the Lord’s.
Moses took the blood and oil and stained the priests clothes as a reminder of the ceremony, which was to be repeated with all new generations of Aaron’s family.