Exodus – God’s Way Out
The ceremonial sacrifices for the sins of God’s people and the ordination process of His chosen priests is all made holy by God’s glory. Only God can ordain and anoint holiness in humans. We are made holy only by God and His righteousness brought about by the final sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. Believing in Jesus, we are made holy. Following Jesus, we follow Him in being holy and living holy lives. We are not perfect, but we are perfectly forgiven and strive to live to please God.
Keep this in mind as we struggle through this new, seemingly complicated system of atonement for sins and ordination of His priests. The last message from God declares who God is and what He will do. It was important to God that His people remember…
The process for us is less complicated, but equally important, made simple by Jesus. The message from God is the same. I AM your God and you will be My people. Why is it so hard for people to see what God wants from us (complete faith in Him and love for Him) as He provides salvation, “a way out” for us?
Exodus 29, The Message
Consecration of Priests
1-4 “This is the ceremony for consecrating them as priests. Take a young bull and two rams, healthy and without defects. Using fine wheat flour but no yeast make bread and cakes mixed with oil and wafers spread with oil. Place them in a basket and carry them along with the bull and the two rams. Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water.
5-9 “Then take the vestments and dress Aaron in the tunic, the robe of the Ephod, the Ephod, and the Breastpiece, belting the Ephod on him with the embroidered waistband. Set the turban on his head and place the sacred crown on the turban. Then take the anointing oil and pour it on his head, anointing him. Then bring his sons, put tunics on them and gird them with sashes, both Aaron and his sons, and set hats on them. Their priesthood is upheld by law and is permanent.
9-14 “This is how you will ordain Aaron and his sons: Bring the bull to the Tent of Meeting. Aaron and his sons will place their hands on the head of the bull. Then you will slaughter the bull in the presence of God at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Take some of the bull’s blood and smear it on the horns of the Altar with your finger; pour the rest of the blood on the base of the Altar. Next take all the fat that covers the innards, fat from around the liver and the two kidneys, and burn it on the Altar. But the flesh of the bull, including its hide and dung, you will burn up outside the camp. It is an Absolution-Offering.
15-18 “Then take one of the rams. Have Aaron and his sons place their hands on the head of the ram. Slaughter the ram and take its blood and throw it against the Altar, all around. Cut the ram into pieces; wash its innards and legs, then gather the pieces and its head and burn the whole ram on the Altar. It is a Whole-Burnt-Offering to God, a pleasant fragrance, an offering by fire to God.
19-21 “Then take the second ram. Have Aaron and his sons place their hands on the ram’s head. Slaughter the ram. Take some of its blood and rub it on Aaron’s right earlobe and on the right earlobes of his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. Sprinkle the rest of the blood against all sides of the Altar. Then take some of the blood that is on the Altar, mix it with some of the anointing oil, and splash it on Aaron and his clothes and on his sons and their clothes so that Aaron and his clothes and his sons and his sons’ clothes will be made holy.
22-23 “Take the fat from the ram, the fat tail, the fat that covers the innards, the long lobe of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat on them, and the right thigh: this is the ordination ram. Also take one loaf of bread, an oil cake, and a wafer from the breadbasket that is in the presence of God.
24-25 “Place all of these in the open hands of Aaron and his sons who will wave them before God, a Wave-Offering. Then take them from their hands and burn them on the Altar with the Whole-Burnt-Offering—a pleasing fragrance before God, a gift to God.
26 “Now take the breast from Aaron’s ordination ram and wave it before God, a Wave-Offering. That will be your portion.
27-28 “Consecrate the Wave-Offering breast and the thigh that was held up. These are the parts of the ordination ram that are for Aaron and his sons. Aaron and his sons are always to get this offering from the Israelites; the Israelites are to make this offering regularly from their Peace-Offerings.
29-30 “Aaron’s sacred garments are to be handed down to his descendants so they can be anointed and ordained in them. The son who succeeds him as priest is to wear them for seven days and enter the Tent of Meeting to minister in the Holy Place.
31-34 “Take the ordination ram and boil the meat in the Holy Place. At the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, Aaron and his sons will eat the boiled ram and the bread that is in the basket. Atoned by these offerings, ordained and consecrated by them, they are the only ones who are to eat them. No outsiders are to eat them; they’re holy. Anything from the ordination ram or from the bread that is left over until morning you are to burn up. Don’t eat it; it’s holy.
35-37 “Do everything for the ordination of Aaron and his sons exactly as I’ve commanded you throughout the seven days. Offer a bull as an Absolution-Offering for atonement each day. Offer it on the Altar when you make atonement for it: Anoint and consecrate it. Make atonement for the Altar and consecrate it for seven days; the Altar will become soaked in holiness—anyone who so much as touches the Altar will become holy.
38-41 “This is what you are to offer on the Altar: two year-old lambs each and every day, one lamb in the morning and the second lamb at evening. With the sacrifice of the first lamb offer two quarts of fine flour with a quart of virgin olive oil, plus a quart of wine for a Drink-Offering. The sacrifice of the second lamb, the one at evening, is also to be accompanied by the same Grain-Offering and Drink-Offering of the morning sacrifice to give a pleasing fragrance, a gift to God.
42-46 “This is to be your regular, daily Whole-Burnt-Offering before God, generation after generation, sacrificed at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. That’s where I’ll meet you; that’s where I’ll speak with you; that’s where I’ll meet the Israelites, at the place made holy by my Glory. I’ll make the Tent of Meeting and the Altar holy. I’ll make Aaron and his sons holy in order to serve me as priests. I’ll move in and live with the Israelites. I’ll be their God. They’ll realize that I am their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live with them. I am God, your God.”
The work to be done was the consecrating of the persons whom God had chosen to be priests, by which they devoted and gave up themselves to the service of God. The Hebrew phrase for consecrating is “filling the hand”. This could mean that ministers have their hands full; they have no time to trifle, so great, so copious, so constant is their work.
It could also mean that they must have their hands filled. Of necessity they must have something to offer, and they cannot find it in themselves, it must be given to them from above. They cannot fill the people’s hearts unless God fill their hands; to God therefore they must go, and receive from His fullness. God equips those He calls to service. With great responsibility comes great provision from God.
God declared his acceptance of them; and the people were made to know that they glorified not themselves to be made priests, but were called of God.
Priests were distinguished from common men, sequestered from common services, and set apart for God, fully focused on doing what God told them to be and do.
All that are to be employed for God are to be sanctified to him. Sanctified means to be set apart, to be made holy. We do not do that for ourselves. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in us molding and shaping us to be all that God intended and created us to be. God’s gift of His Holy Spirit comes to live in us at our rebirth, our belief, acceptance, and repentance of our sins to Jesus, His Son. Again we are not perfect, but we are perfectly forgiven to live holy lives.
“This is the secret”, ways Paul to the church, “Christ lives in you!” “This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Colossians 1:27
Because of Jesus, our High Priest forever, we who believe have all been chosen to tell His story for His glory by His power working in us!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NIV
How royal do you feel this morning?
What does it mean to us to be chosen and set apart?
Who needs to know what you know about God? (God will provide the words when we open our mouths when prompted by His Holy Spirit.)
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have given all of us who believe, trust and follow you the same responsibility as Aaron and his sons at the first ceremony to be ordained, set apart priests. The blood of Christ saved us to be Your people, making us your chosen to tell others how to be saved. Help us to fully consider the wait and responsibility of the work while realizing it’s all YOUR work and in YOUR hands. Only Jesus saves. We just tell it. And live it. So others will know. Thank you for making it simple.
In Jesus Name, Amen