Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Year: Ex 29-31 for Jan 25

Buried, but not really buried, in the details of Aaron's garments, was the narrative of his priesthood function before God in Ex 28 (28:4,12,29,30,35,36,38,41,43).

Now, if we look at 29:1ff. as the hard part, the skip-over part, we'll miss some of the greatest things the passage has to teach us, even to help understand Christ.

The sprinkling of blood (29:21) on Aaron's garments, which were constructed "for glory, and for beauty" (28:1), is INTENTIONAL. All the gold we read about. All the precious gems and rings and musical sounds on his garment -- sprinkled with blood before any service was done, i.e., in the consecration.

Similarly, the representation of the twelve tribes is described with objects. In the previous chapter, it was "before the LORD," 28:29. Here, regarding the sacrifice, the ram of ordination, "Aaron and his sons shall eat those things by which atonement was made." Let us not squirm at this, because otherwise how can we understand Jn 6:51ff, which in turn made others squirm?

29:42ff. is not only explanatory, but shows the wisdom of the function of the priests, who serve "continuously" (29:38). For God to "dwell" among the sons of Israel (29:45), is due to a meeting. This meeting is described in 29:42, and it is at the place of offering. How incredibly sad that those who were His own did not understand a verse like Mt 12:5, which not only is a good New Testament comment on the work of the Old Testament priest as here, but on Jn 5:16. To work on the Sabbath was the privelege of the priest.

Why so? The sacrificial system had not only a "continual burnt offering," but a reminder of the continual presence of God, in the anointing oil and the incense, which are physical, olfactory reminders the persistence of the presence of God, and the reminder was for the priests alone (30:37-38). The priest alone was the one who bore the anointing oil, and who alone dealt with the incense. The presence of God is mediated by the continuous work of the Priest, who is sprinkled with blood, and has names on His heart.

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