Exodus 29 Commentary
This chapter gives us details on processes required to make the priests ready for service. The details are directed at the priests and the temptation is to feel left out of the text. The chapter gains significance when you realize that the LORD had actually envisioned an entire nation as priests. Today every saint is a priest. The details therefore have significance today.
The last verse of this chapter is super important. The LORD tells us why Israel is here, in the wilderness. The reason for the exodus is given. It is actually the reason for this book. The LORD wants to dwell among His people. It is the reason for your salvation. The LORD wants to dwell within you. Christianity without the presence of God in someone’s life is not only vain but very frustrating. Continual communion with the LORD therefore becomes most important. But before the LORD dwells among the people consecration is a must.
To consecrate is to ordain or declare or more appropriately to make ready someone or something for service before the LORD. The last 3 verses of this chapter give us the entire picture. Firstly we learn that it is the LORD that consecrates both the ministers (priests) and the physical structure (tabernacle). Moses would perform a series of rituals but the actual consecration is done by the LORD for a clearly stated reason, that the LORD may dwell among the Israelites.
Again like all other rituals we have symbols everywhere whose importance can easily be guessed. The laying of hands on an animal is to transfer the priest’s sin onto the animal. In this way the animal becomes guilty and is killed to get rid of the sin. The original sinner remains clean. Transference of sin from man to an animal wasn’t the only reason for laying of hands.
The life or essence of the priest was transferred to the animal. Upon its death the animal provided worship by having its blood poured onto the altar. The life or essence of the priest, as represented by the blood, was to symbolically tell the priest how he walked, blood on the toe and how the priest interacted with God, blood on the ear. The priest needed to hear God speak.
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