Oh, How Worthy is Christ!

Back in Exodus 28:42–43  – You shall make for them linen undergarments to cover their naked flesh. They shall reach from the hips to the thighs; 43 and they shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they go into the tent of meeting or when they come near the altar to minister in the Holy Place, lest they bear guilt and die. This shall be a statute forever for him and for his offspring after him. 

As we read through the Law, we can see that through each element, God is pointing to His holiness, to Man’s sinfulness, and how Man’s relationship with God can and will be restored.  

The priest would be the representative of the people before God, and he could only do that if he was, himself, counted holy, and he could only be counted holy, if he followed the Law, perfectly.  Following the Law for the priest, included making sacrifice for his own sin, before he could make sacrifice for the sins of others.  

God tells Moses how he will establish the priesthood.  

Ex.29:1 1 “Now this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. Take one bull of the herd and two rams without blemish2 and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers smeared with oil. You shall make them of fine wheat flour. 3 You shall put them in one basket and bring them in the basket, and bring the bull and the two rams. 4 You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 5 Then you shall take the garments, and put on Aaron the coat and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastpiece, and gird him with the skillfully woven band of the ephod. 6 And you shall set the turban on his head and put the holy crown on the turban. 7 You shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. 8 Then you shall bring his sons and put coats on them, 9 and you shall gird Aaron and his sons with sashes and bind caps on them. And the priesthood shall be theirs by a statute forever. Thus you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.

God said that all this was necessary to consecrate them (to make them holy, so that they could be separated for God’s use.  Then notice, God said, 

10 “Then you shall bring the bull before the tent of meeting. Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the bull. (symbolizing the transfer of sin) 11 Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting,

15 “Then you shall take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram16 and you shall kill the ram ….

19 “You shall take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram20 and you shall kill the ram….

This was not to be a callas and mindless ceremony, the priest was to acknowledge his own sin, as he laid his hands on the live animal.  He was to acknowledge that these animals were going to be killed because of his personal sin. 

God goes on the tell Moses of how to handle the blood and remains of each sacrificial animal.  Keep in mind that all this is just to make the priests worthy of offering sacrifice on behalf of the people.  The priests had to first make sacrifice of their own sin.  

Did you notice the connection to the Passover meal, the manna from God, the statement from Jesus, that His followers must eat of His flesh, and of His Last Supper, when He said, “This is my body, eat of it.”?

31 “You shall take the ram of ordination and boil its flesh in a holy place. 32 And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram and the bread that is in the basket in the entrance of the tent of meeting. 33 They shall eat those things with which atonement was made at their ordination and consecration, but an outsider shall not eat of them, because they are holy. 34And if any of the flesh for the ordination or of the bread remain until the morning, then you shall burn the remainder with fire. It shall not be eaten, because it is holy.

And notice that these sacrifices for the sin of the priests was not a one-time affair—

35 “Thus you shall do to Aaron and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you. Through seven days shall you ordain them36 and every day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement.

And all this had to be done for the priests before even one sacrifice could be made for the people.  

38 “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day regularly39 One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight. 40 And with the first lamb a tenth measure of fine flour mingled with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and a fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering. 41 The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it a grain offering and its drink offering, as in the morning, for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord. 42 It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there43 There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory.

A daily sacrifice had to be made for the people, so God could dwell among them.  

44 I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve me as priests. 45 I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God46 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. 

Ex.30

1 “You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood.

10 Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year. With the blood of the sin offering of atonement he shall make atonement for it once in the year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”

And in Ex.31, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments—

18 And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God

So, God gave Moses the Law to give to the people.  The Priestly Law, by which there could be men to represent the people before God, and offer sacrifice for their sin.  The Sacrificial Law, whereby the blood of animals would temporarily satisfy Man’s sin-debt to God.  And the Ten Commandments, to which obedience, alongside sacrifice, would count men righteous, until they sinned once again.  

This was all a great mercy of God to Man, that Man could know God’s Law, that Man could have a way to see his need for a perfect Sacrifice, a worthy Savior that could, once and for all, deliver them from the bondage of sin and death.  

And then, we come to Matthew 4, where we see Jesus is Himself, tempted to sin, and by the word of God, and the truth of Scripture, He casts away the Devil.  

After Jesus calls His disciples to follow Him, and as He is teaching a large crowd how to live in a way that is pleasing to God, a teaching known as the Beatitudes, Jesus reveals an amazing truth about the Law in Ch.5.

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

In this chapter, Jesus goes on to teach an understanding of the Law that was not previously understood, a standard of righteousness that could never be attained.  And concludes by stating, in v.48, You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  

God gave Man the Law, in order to point to the holiness of God, the sinfulness of Man, and Man’s need of holy and righteous Savior.  Every inadequacy of the Sacrificial system, every imperfection of priest’s mediation between God and Man, every flaw known to God and unseen by man, was all satisfied by Jesus the Christ, as he did not come to abolish the Law, but came instead, to fulfill it on our behalf.  

Let’s pray with David—

Ps.70

4 May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” 5But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay! 

Ps.71

18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. 19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?

Amen

From FBCP Bible Reading #27

~ by James M. Winslow on 2021/04/12.

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