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AM Bible Study Archives
"Set Apart for Service"
Wednesday AM Bible Study
July 26, 2006
Theme: Moses, in obedience to God, public ally consecrates the priesthood for service in His tabernacle.
Chapters 8-10 deal particularly with the priesthood. The sacrifices—and the laws concerning them—having been established by God, it was now necessary to establish Aaron and his sons as the priestly line that would administer these sacrifices in a way that would be acceptable to Him. As Matthew Henry writes, the tabernacle without a priesthood would be “as a candlestick without a candle”.
In Chapter 8, we see the actual consecration of Aaron and his sons for the priesthood. In Chapter 9, the actual commencement of their ministry is described. In Chapter 10, the dreadful holiness with which this ministry is to be executed is established. Together, these three chapters show the holy priesthood to be that which was established by a holy God to serve as His servants to His people, and as a sinful people's representatives to this most Holy God. Aaron serves as a picture of Jesus Christ, our High Priest who renders service to us in the heavenly tabernacle; and Aaron's sons serve as a picture of us as Jesus followers, sanctified with Him (John 17:19) and made for Him into “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9).
In Chapter 8, Aaron and his sons are “consecrated”—that is, their “installation” or “ordination” unto service. This is a picture to us of the “better priesthood” of Christ (Hebrews 8:1-6).
I. THE PREPARATION TO CONSECRATE (vv. 1-5).
A. It was to be done with full provision made (vv. 1-2). Christ is the provision made of a better priesthood (Hebrews 10:5-7).
B. It was to be done publicly (v. 3). All the congregation was present to see it—though perhaps not all at once, since it was a week-long period of consecration. It may be that the congregation was represented by the presence of its leaders. In any case, this was not done in secret; but done very publicly. The people needed to see that a priesthood had been established for their hope and joy.
C. It was done at the command of the Lord (vv. 4-5). No priesthood that was established by men had any authority with God. Only that which He had established would be acceptable to Him.
II. THE PROCEEDURE OF THE CONSECRATION (vv. 5-32).
A. The washing (v. 6). The washing was the first step that preceded all the others. Jesus Christ lived a holy life and therefore was fit to be our high priest (Hebrews 7:22-28). Before He puts us to use, He washes us clean (John 13:10).
B. The vesting (vv. 7-9). These were the outer garments that identified the priesthood and showed forth its glory. The sons of Aaron wore the same basic garments as he did; but he was vested with more, because he showed forth the glory of a greater “High Priest”.
C. The anointing (vv. 10-13). All the articles were anointed with the oil. But Aaron was anointed without measure (see Psalm 133:2), as a picture of Christ who had the Spirit without measure (John 3:34).
D. The offerings (vv. 14-32).
1. The sin offering (vv. 14-17). The priests were sinners. They needed first to be cleansed of their own sins before they could approach the altar for others (Heb. 7:27).
2. The burnt offering (vv. 18-21). This was the offering of dedication.
3. The “consecration” offerings (vv. 22-32). These were particular offerings for the consecration of the priesthood.
III. THE PERPETUATION OF THE CONSECRATION (vv. 33-36).
A. They were to remain in the tabernacle of meeting for a seven-day period of consecration
(v. 33). They were to be separated from the rest of the congregation; because they held a unique office.
B. They were to do so as a command from the Lord (vv. 34). They did not make themselves separate; but were consecrated for this ministry by God.
C. They were thus to “keep the charge” (that is, the office) “of the LORD” (v. 35-36). They were to hold their office in esteem as a sacred trust from God for the good of their people.