February 7, 2015

Leviticus - 8-10 - God spoke to Moses: He said, “Take Aaron and with him his sons, the garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the Absolution-Offering, the two rams, and the basket of unraised bread. Gather the entire congregation at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.” Moses did just as God commanded him and the congregation gathered at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting… Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water. He put the tunic on Aaron and tied it around him with a sash. Then he put the robe on him and placed the Ephod on him… Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed The Dwelling and everything that was in it, consecrating them... 

Moses brought out the bull for the Absolution-Offering. Aaron and his sons placed their hands on its head. Moses slaughtered the bull… Moses presented the ram for the Whole-Burnt-Offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram…. Moses then presented the second ram, the ram for the Ordination-Offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the ram’s head…Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the Altar and sprinkled Aaron and his garments, and his sons and their garments, consecrating Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments…

Moses spoke to Aaron and his sons:… Your ordination will last seven days. God commanded what has been done this day in order to make atonement for you. Stay at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days. Be sure to do what God requires, lest you die. This is what I have been commanded.”  Aaron and his sons did everything that God had commanded by Moses.

On the eighth day, Moses called in Aaron and his sons and the leaders of Israel. He spoke to Aaron: “Take a bull-calf for your Absolution-Offering and a ram for your Whole-Burnt-Offering, both without defect, and offer them to God…They brought the things that Moses had ordered to the Tent of Meeting. The whole congregation came near and stood before God. Moses said, “This is what God commanded you to do so that the Shining Glory of God will appear to you.”  Moses instructed Aaron, “Approach the Altar and sacrifice…Aaron lifted his hands over the people and blessed them. Having completed the rituals of the Absolution-Offering, the Whole-Burnt-Offering, and the Peace-Offering, he came down from the Altar. 

Moses and Aaron entered the Tent of Meeting. When they came out they blessed the people and the Glory of God appeared to all the people. Fire blazed out from God and consumed the Whole-Burnt-Offering and the fat pieces on the Altar. When all the people saw it happen they cheered loudly and then fell down, bowing in reverence.

 That same day Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, took their censers, put hot coals and incense in them, and offered “strange” fire to God—something God had not commanded. Fire blazed out from God and consumed them—they died in God’s presence.

Moses said to Aaron, “This is what God meant when he said,  ‘To the one who comes near me,    I will show myself holy; Before all the people,    I will show my glory.”  Aaron was silent…

Moses then said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “No mourning rituals for you—unkempt hair, torn clothes—or you’ll also die and God will be angry with the whole congregation. Your relatives—all the People of Israel, in fact—will do the mourning over those God has destroyed by fire. And don’t leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting lest you die, because God’s anointing oil is on you.” They did just as Moses said.

God instructed Aaron: “When you enter the Tent of Meeting, don’t drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons, lest you die. This is a fixed rule down through the generations. Distinguish between the holy and the common, between the ritually clean and unclean. Teach the People of Israel all the decrees that God has spoken to them through Moses.”…

 

Hebrews - 4:1 - 5:10 - For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified.  

We received the same promise as those people in the wilderness, but the promise didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises of faith...Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient.  

God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original instruction...and so, this is still a live promise...The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people.  God himself is at rest.  and at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God.  

So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience....Now that we know what we have---let’s no let it slip through our fingers.  

We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality.  He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all--all but sin.  So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give.  Take the mercy.  Accept the help!

Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins should be able to deal gently with their failings, since he knows what it’s like from his own experiences.  But that also means that he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the peoples...

While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up his priestly prayers to God.  Because he honored God, God answered him.  

Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting obedience by the way he suffered, just as we do.  Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.