Read Leviticus 8
The Ordination of Aaron and His Sons
8 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Bring Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast, 3 and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” 4 Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the assembly gathered at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
5 Moses said to the assembly, “This is what the Lord has commanded to be done.” 6 Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water. 7 He put the tunic on Aaron, tied the sash around him, clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him. He also fastened the ephod with a decorative waistband, which he tied around him. 8 He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece.9 Then he placed the turban on Aaron’s head and set the gold plate, the sacred emblem, on the front of it, as the Lord commanded Moses.
10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. 11 He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. 12 He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13 Then he brought Aaron’s sons forward, put tunics on them, tied sashes around them and fastened caps on them, as the Lord commanded Moses.
14 He then presented the bull for the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 15 Moses slaughtered the bull and took some of the blood, and with his finger he put it on all the horns of the altar to purify the altar. He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. So he consecrated it to make atonement for it. 16 Moses also took all the fat around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, and both kidneys and their fat, and burned it on the altar. 17 But the bull with its hide and its flesh and its intestines he burned up outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses.
18 He then presented the ram for the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 19 Then Moses slaughtered the ram and splashed the blood against the sides of the altar. 20 He cut the ram into pieces and burned the head, the pieces and the fat. 21 He washed the internal organs and the legs with water and burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.
22 He then presented the other ram, the ram for the ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 23 Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 24 Moses also brought Aaron’s sons forward and put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. Then he splashed blood against the sides of the altar.25 After that, he took the fat, the fat tail, all the fat around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, both kidneys and their fat and the right thigh. 26 And from the basket of bread made without yeast, which was before the Lord, he took one thick loaf, one thick loaf with olive oil mixed in, and one thin loaf, and he put these on the fat portions and on the right thigh.27 He put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and they waved them before the Lord as a wave offering. 28 Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar on top of the burnt offering as an ordination offering, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord.29 Moses also took the breast, which was his share of the ordination ram,and waved it before the Lord as a wave offering, as the Lord commanded Moses.
30 Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments.
31 Moses then said to Aaron and his sons, “Cook the meat at the entrance to the tent of meeting and eat it there with the bread from the basket of ordination offerings, as I was commanded: ‘Aaron and his sons are to eat it.’32 Then burn up the rest of the meat and the bread. 33 Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for your ordination will last seven days. 34 What has been done today was commanded by the Lord to make atonement for you. 35 You must stay at the entrance to the tent of meeting day and night for seven days and do what the Lord requires, so you will not die; for that is what I have been commanded.”
36 So Aaron and his sons did everything the Lord commanded through Moses.
Our reading begins with “The Lord spoke to Moses”, describing the special consecration of the priests who would go before the Lord for His people. The specific instructions and detailed acts setting apart Aaron and his sons for a highly honored and significant duty reveal how God is providing a means for His sinful, unholy people to experience His presence. Leviticus gives a blueprint for the sinful Israelites, His chosen people, to enter His Holy presence and worship Him.
Through Moses’ obedient actions, the priests are consecrated for service to the Holy God. Each step reveals God’s purifying process from washing, clothing, anointing oil, to shedding the blood of animals. This blood was then applied to the earlobe, hand and foot of the priest and then splattered on the altar. More blood was sprinkled on the clothing of the priests. The blood shed through animal sacrifices was inadequate to permanently remove sin, but it revealed how horrific sin is and gave a powerful picture of the deadly price of sin. Without dealing with sin, the people could not approach God. The priesthood and sacrificial system were God’s provision for His people.
Honestly, reading this through our modern-day lens makes this difficult to comprehend. Our view of God may not include His holiness and our view of sin may not appreciate how deadly and destructive it is. We shudder at the description of so much blood. But as we read Leviticus, gaining clarity of our Holy God (and a realization of our unholy selves) should humble us. Recognizing the holiness of God exposes our desperate need for Jesus’ life and sacrifice. Our sin separates us from our Holy (perfectly pure, just, righteous, powerful) God.
The Good News is this: Jesus humbled Himself living among us as man, then sacrificed His perfect life by shedding His blood even to the point of death so that we might have fellowship with God. We now are invited to boldly go before our Holy God’s throne because the perfect High Priest, the risen Jesus, awaits and even intercedes on our behalf. What can wash away our sin? To put it succinctly, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
- How does your view of God influence your relationship with Him?
- How does a deeper understanding of God’s holiness increase your gratitude for Jesus’ life and sacrifice for you?
- What sin in your life desperately needs the cleansing blood of Jesus? Would you allow Jesus to wash it away? Share this cleansing with your Life Group
By the Way
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