Read to Read …Again
Daily Reading: Exodus 28-29
Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
In today’s chapters the Lord is giving Moses instruction concerning the priests that will perform all the rites and ceremonies in the sanctuary (Tabernacle). In these instructions there is a precious gem that aides in our understanding of the way the Old Testament sacrifices picture New Testament truths. This gem is found in the consecration of Aaron and his sons into the priesthood.
In the first step of this ceremony of consecration Aaron and his sons are to be brought to the door of the tabernacle and washed with water (29:4). To me, this foreshadows the necessity of New Testament preachers being first washed in the water by the Word in and through a local church. If a person desires to preach the Word they must first experience the washing of the Word (a clean life and mind), and know the Word inside and out.
In addition they (future preachers) willingly change the style and philosophy of their life to reflect God’s glory and greatness, not their own. This is indicated by the wardrobe change (29:5-9). One’s wardrobe style always speaks volumes. Always has, always will.
Then comes the rites of consecration. Herein a bullock is brought to the sanctuary, to the Lord, and sacrificed by the door of the tabernacle. The same place the priests were to be washed. The blood of that bullock (a young bull), the fat that covers the inwards, the skin, and the dung all are used in this sacrifice in various ways; it is a sin offering. Today the only sin offering is Christ, who also is the Door (John 10:7, 9).
Next a ram, a male sheep, is sacrificed and certain rites are performed on various parts of him as well.
Then the second ram (my mind wants to write that this pictures the second Adam but have no scriptural proof of this). Upon the second ram the priests are to put their hands on him and he is killed. His blood is then collected and put on the right ear, the right thumb, and the right big toe.
Herein is the hidden gem. The blood of this male lamb pictures the blood of Christ, the Passover Lamb. The right ear pictures the hearing of the Gospel. The right thumb pictures the receiving of the Gospel, and the right great toe pictures carrying the Gospel to others. First and foremost God’s preachers then and today are to hear, receive, and carry God’s tidings to others. Later in Leviticus this similar rite is performed for those who are cleansed of leprosy, picturing every believer in Christ. Yep, all the way back in the first books of our Bible we find story after story, illustration after illustration, and point by point descriptions of Christ and our lives in and through Him. These are not dry outdated things of which we read, these are things as current as tomorrow’s headlines.
William T. Howe Ph.D.