The Consecration of the Priest
Verse 1 – God’s original intention was for His chosen people to be a “Kingdom of priest.” As a nation and individually they would be able to deal directly with God. Always remember God’s intention is to give us His best. But instead God had to appoint individual priest from the tribe of Levi to set up a system of sacrifices to help the people approach Him. He promised to forgive the people’s sin if they would offer certain sacrifices through these priests and their work. God was preparing the people for the coming of Jesus Christ, who would be able to have a relationship with them through His son Jesus. But for now, before Christ, priests were the ones representing them before God. Through this Old Testament system we can better understand the great significance of what Christ did for us (see Hebrews 10:1-14).
Verse 10 – Some may wonder why God was so detailed in giving these instructions. God’s chosen people were about to go into the promise land Canaan and God didn’t want them bringing these Canaanite pagan religious practices when they worshiped the One true God. This also showed the Hebrews how serious God was with His relationship with them. By God instructing Aaron and his sons to place their hands on the bull, it transferred the people’s sin onto the bull.
Verses 12, 13 – While the blood represented life, the fat symbolized abundance and was characteristic of an animal that had been well fed and cared for; it was considered the best part. The kidneys were associated with the inner life along with the heart.
Verse 14 – This offering was sometimes called a “purification offering,” its purpose was to atone for sin or ceremonial uncleanness in order to restore communion with God. Most of the animal had to be burned outside the camp (Hebrews 13:11, 12).
Verse 18 – The first ram was given as a burnt offering. It went up in its entirety as a tribute to God that would make a pleasing aroma signifying God’s acceptance of the offering and the worshiper (Leviticus 1).
Verse 20, 21 – No reason is given for placing blood on the right ear, thumb on right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot. But here’s what comes to mind for me when I read this. After Christ ascension, He sat down at the right hand of the Father. Honor and life everlasting are two of the promises in the Fathers right hand. Maybe by placing the blood on the right ear it would be an opening for the priest to hear better from God. Most people are right-handed, so maybe this right thumb represented that the hand would do no harm. When we walk, we are guided and keep balance by our big toes. If they (priest) heard right, did right by their hands, then maybe they would walk upright. I’m not saying this was God’s intention for sure, but this is what I received out of these verses.
Verses 22-25 – The sacrifice of the second ram is the one of the fellowship sacrifices. This included a shared meal.
Verses 26-28 – Now remember, God has been talking to Moses, God told him the breast of the ram would be his portion because he was the officiating priest. Later on it would go to Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 7:34-36).
Verse 37 – Notice the overwhelming emphasis on the holiness of God. The priest, the cloths, the tabernacle, and the sacrifice had to be clean and consecrated, prepared to meet God. This is in contrast to how some today treat a time of worship. We worship the All Mighty Creator and sustain-er of the universe. We need to remember who He is with reverence (not like a funeral though; our God is alive and so should we act like it).
Verses 38-42 – After the instructions for the seventh-day consecration of Aaron and his sons and altar in verses 1-37, instructions for regular sacrifices to be offered on normal days were given.
Verses 43-46 – Do you see now that God’s desire was to protect and provide for His chosen people? Throughout the Bible God showed that He was not absent. How sad that some people chose to exclude God from their entire life because they think they know better. But all this that God has just spoken to Moses will become jeopardized by the Israelite’s actions in chapter 32.