Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Journey Through the Bible: Exodus 29

Exodus 29:35-37—“Thus you shall do to Aaron and his sons, according to all that I have commanded you. Seven days you shall consecrate them. 36 And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it. 37 Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and sanctify it. And the altar shall be most holy. Whatever touches the altar must be holy.” Once again the Lord is very specific and very detailed in what He wants. Much of it makes no sense to us, i.e., why he required certain things. Blood and water are fairly understandable—water for cleansing, blood, representing life, as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin. But why the blood is to be spread, sprinkled, etc. in various places is unknown to anyone but Jehovah. That doesn’t matter, though, and it’s a principle that men need to learn and most haven’t. For example, in the New Testament, God commands that men be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Why? Other than the symbolic meaning found in Romans 6, there’s no real rationale—to us—for being immersed in water. What does that have to do with forgiveness? About the same as cutting a bull and ram up and sprinkling their blood everywhere around the altar, and putting some of it on Aaron’s (and his sons) right ear, thumb, and big toe (v. 20). We don’t have to understand God’s will; are job is to obey it.

As verses 35-37 indicate, this process was to continue for seven days. Because of the “completeness” of the creation in seven days, that number became a sacred number in Hebrew lore. It’s found all through the Bible and here represents the perfect, total cleansing of priest and altar. “Whatever”—and whoever—“touches the altar must be holy” (v. 37). And God doesn’t accept anything less than holy worship today under the Christian dispensation. “Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16). Holiness means being like God, and the only way to do that is to be obedient to His commandments, because all His commandments are righteousness (holiness—Psalm 119:172). There can be no other way to approach His divine throne. Blood is needed today as well (the blood of Christ, I Jn. 1:7), but such is no excuse for presumptuous disobedience.

No comments:

Post a Comment