Then you shall take part of the blood that is on the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments, and on his sons and his sons’ garments with him. He and his garments shall be holy, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him. (Exodus 29:21 ESV)
Sin offering, burnt offering, food offering, cut up this bit of the ram, take that bit of the blood, throw the rest out of the camp, pour oil down the man. All that is rather alien to western culture. It’s a bit alien, it’s a bit weird. It’s a bit gross for some of our delicate tendencies. So what’s going on?
Throughout the past chapters God has gone into great detail about the place where He chooses to dwell and the garments of those that will serve Him as His priests. Living with His people is a big deal and the tabernacle and the way He engages with His people is no less of a big deal.
Yet because of their nature and His nature a gap has to be bridged. There must be some way that sinful, rebellious man can encounter and interact with His creator and right relations to be in place. God sets that up with the way His priests are set apart – consecrated – for service. Each aspect of the offering and each element of the consecration that was to take place over a complete week points to the whole way in which God will prepare His servants to serve and ensure right relations are intact between Him and His people.
One of the reasons why such elaborate methods of consecration are no longer needed is because those elements are fulfilled in the sacrifice that God was pointing to where He would make a way possible for man to interact and engage with Him and He could dwell in man.
Yet although we don’t necessarily have to go looking for rams, lambs, bulls and the like being consecrated to serve is something we should take just as seriously. For some that might involve external actions that align themselves wholly and exclusively to God. For all, however, it should be an ongoing attitude of the heart to commit our entire lives in service to Him.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden