Sunday, March 20, 2011

Leviticus 8 - Consecration of the Priests and Tabernacle

LINK: Leviticus 8

BACKGROUND

In Leviticus 8, Moses did "just as the Lord commanded" in Exodus 28 and 29. I have provided links to the posts regarding those chapters:
Exodus 28 - The Priestly Garments
Exodus 29 - Instructions for Setting Apart the Priests 

Try to imagine how you would feel if you had been there at that first ordination ceremony and part of the congregation at the doorway to the tent of meeting. First, Aaron and his sons were washed at the bronze laver. Then Aaron was dressed in the high priestly garments. Then the dwelling place of God was anointed with oil and consecrated (see a word study for this word in the reflection section). Following this, the altar of incense was sprinkled seven times (the number of perfection). Then Aaron was anointed with oil and consecrated (Psalm 133).

Put yourself in Aaron's shoes as he looked on to see his four sons dressed by Moses for this holy work. Would you feel pride and a sense of holy destiny and purpose? I sure would.

Then . . . the blood . . . of a bull as a sin offering for atonement, a ram as a burnt offering for worship, and a second ram of ordination were slaughtered and blood scattered according to what was prescribed for each of these offerings. The last blood was smeared on Aaron's right ear, thumb and big toe. Then grain was waved with more oil and blood sprinkled on the heads and clothes of Aaron and his sons. They were to remain at the entrance for seven days of their ordination. All things were going just as God had ordained . . . until Leviticus 10. Stay tuned for the tragic turn of events.

Holy sacrifices in a holy place demanded a holy priesthood that did "just as the LORD commanded."

REFLECTION

We who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are called to be priests, consecrated for the Lord's service:


And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father. (Revelation 1:6; 5:10)
But they will be priests of God and of Christ. (Revelation 20:6). 
Paul said he was to be "a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:16)
I did a word study on "consecrate" tonight. It is the Hebrew word qadash, and it means to "set apart as belonging in the realm of the sacred in order to avoid the diffusion of the sacred and the profane." We have a high, holy calling to set our lives apart for the Lord because we have been sprinkled by the blood of Christ. Yet, I look at this verse in Romans, and Paul said that he was "ministering as a priest the gospel of God" to the Gentiles. As believers, we are to live a holy life but one that is able to relate to the world. What a balance.

APPLICATION

What is your commitment to holiness? How are you set apart for the work that He has for you to do? What does holiness look like?

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges is an excellent book for me to read when asking these questions.

PRAYER

Lord, set us apart for Your purposes! Amen.
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