I’m not sure what grade I was in, but I recall the first time I learned about what foreshadowing meant. I thought it was the coolest thing! Since then, when I watch a movie or read a book, I’m looking for clues of what’s to come.
This part of Exodus is a foreshadow of what God had planned. It’s the hint at the beginning of the book for what was going to happen later. Yes, reading Exodus isn’t always the greatest, but when I look at it in this sense, I am encouraged and empowered. And since we have the whole story, it’s fascinating to tie the strange customs to their eternal purpose and meaning.
S – Scripture: Exodus 28-29
- 28:3 – ” Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom. Have them make garments for Aaron that will distinguish him as a priest set apart for my service.”
- 28:29-30 – “In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the sacred chestpiece over his heart when he goes into the Holy Place. This will be a continual reminder that he represents the people when he comes before the LORD. Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the LORD’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the LORD’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the LORD.”
- 28:35 – “Aaron will wear this robe whenever he ministers before the LORD, and the bells will tinkle as he goes in and out of the LORD’s presence in the Holy Place. If he wears it, he will not die.”
- 28:36-38 – “Next make a medallion of pure gold, and engrave it like a seal with these words: HOLY TO THE LORD. Attach the medallion with a blue cord to the front of Aaron’s turban, where it must remain. Aaron must wear it on his forehead so he may take on himself any guilt of the people of Israel when they consecrate their sacred offerings. He must always wear it on his forehead so the LORD will accept the people.”
- 29:9 – “Then the right to the priesthood will be theirs by law forever. In this way, you will ordain Aaron and his sons.”
- 29:19-21 – “Now take the other ram, and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head. Then slaughter it, and apply some of its blood to the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons. Also put it on the thumbs of their right hands and the big toes of their right feet. Splatter the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar. Then take some of the blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his sons and on their garments. In this way, they and their garments will be set apart as holy.”
- 29:35-37 – “This is how you will ordain Aaron and his sons to their offices, just as I have commanded you. The ordination ceremony will go on for seven days. Each day you must sacrifice a young bull as a sin offering to purify them, making them right with the LORD. Afterward, cleanse the altar by purifying it; make it holy by anointing it with oil. Purify the altar, and consecrate it every day for seven days. After that, the altar will be absolutely holy, and whatever touches it will become holy.”
- 29:42-46 – “These burnt offerings are to be made each day from generation to generation. Offer them in the LORD’s presence at the Tabernacle entrance; there I will meet with you and speak with you. I will meet the people of Israel there, in the place made holy by my glorious presence. Yes, I will consecrate the Tabernacle and the altar, and I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will live among the people of Israel and be their God, and they will know that I am the LORD their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the LORD their God.”
O – Observation:
- God instilled special wisdom in the craftsmen so that they could create the sacred garments for Aaron and his sons.
- The stones representing the twelve tribes and the Urim and Thummin were worn by Aaron to 1. as a reminder that he represents all of the people of Isreal and 2. to determine God’s will, respectively.
- Aaron had to wear the robe in order to go into the presence of the Lord or else he would die.
- A medallion was crafted and to be worn as a symbol of the High Priest taking on the sins of all of the people.
- The priesthood was limited to only members of the line of Aaron.
- The ordination of Aaron and his sons into the priesthood began with the sacrifice of rams. The blood was placed on their earlobes, thumbs, big toes, and sprinkled on the alter and the garments. This was the way of making everything holy and consecrated.
- Aaron had to place their hands on the animal that was being sacrificed. This, I’ve learned, is how the sins were transferred to the animal from the people.
- This would continue for seven days. After each sacrifice, the alter had to be purified by anointing it with oil. When the week was finished, the alter would be considered holy, and everything they touched would become holy as well.
- Sacrificial offerings were to be made daily, once in the morning and the evening. God would speak to the priest and meet the people there.
- God promises to live among the people and that they would know him.
A – Application:
I needed a vocabulary lesson to get me started here. A lot of times, these words are used interchangeably.
Anoint: verb (used with object)
1. to rub or sprinkle on; apply an unguent, ointment, or oily liquid to.
2. to smear with any liquid.
3. to consecrate or make sacred in a ceremony that includes the token applying of oil.
4. to dedicate to the service of God.
Consecrate: verb (used with object), consecrated, consecrating.
1. to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity: to consecrate a new church building.
2. to make (something) an object of honor or veneration; hallow: a custom consecrated by time.
3. to devote or dedicate to some purpose
Sanctify: verb (used with object), sanctified, sanctifying.
1. to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.
2. to purify or free from sin: Sanctify your hearts.
3. to impart religious sanction to; render legitimate or binding: to sanctify a vow.
4. to entitle to reverence or respect.
5. to make productive of or conducive to spiritual blessing.
1. the act of committing or entrusting a person, group, etc., with supervisory power or authority.
2. an authoritative order, charge, or direction.
3. authority granted for a particular action or function.
Like the craftsman and Aaron with is descendants, we too are set apart for holy work and given divine wisdom. The Holy Spirit is the anointing that God gives to us. It allows us to do incredible things beyond our natural ability for God’s purposes.
“It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” 1 John 2:27
Stones were placed on the robe that Aaron had to wear as a reminder that he represented all people as well as determining God’s will. To be a witness to the world, we first need to carry God’s Word in our hearts. We need to choose to set our minds and hearts on things above, not here on earth. We need to know what his voice sounds like so that we can follow it.
“I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. I cling to your laws. LORD, don’t let me be put to shame! I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. Teach me your decrees, O LORD; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.” Psalm 119:30-35
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
Aaron had to wear a medallion on his head to represent how he carried the sins of all of the people. He was anointed in order to be able to make the sacrifice that cleansed the people from their sins. This had to be done daily.
Jesus was anointed and commissioned for an even greater purpose: to pay the ultimate price for the sins of the whole world, one time. He came with all authority to heal and free those in need.
“Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.” Mark 1:10
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Initially, only the line of Aaron would be able to serve as priests. Now we have become his royal priesthood to serve God and others. We are commissioned by God to go out and preach to everyone around us. Wherever God has called us to be, we can be a light. The same authority that Jesus had is now given to us.
“For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.'” Matthew 28:19-20
I know, there is so much information here. The main thing that I got out of this section is:
That because of what Jesus did on the cross I am sanctified, made clean and new. God has anointed me with the Holy Spirit, giving me supernatural wisdom and power to carry out amazing purposes for him. He has commissioned me to spread the Good News to those closest to me, in my community, and around the world.
The choice is mine on whether or not I tap in to that power or draw myself close to God’s Spirit. He now lives in me! I must decided daily to dig into his Word, worship and pray in the Spirit for guidance, and serve others. I must cling to the belief that God has given me all that I need and he is always with me. When I do this, great things can happen, beyond my hopes and imagination.
This is true of you too!
Let’s go out, in the full power of God’s Spirit, and change the world!
P – Prayer:
God, your Word is so powerful. Your story is constant and true. Thank you for sending your Son to take on my sin once, and for all. Thank you for using the old system as a foreshadow of something better to come. You are so good!
Father, I pray that you would use all of us in mighty ways. That your Spirit would be so strong in us that it we can boldly go about doing your will. I pray that chains are broken and people are healed because of the power that you have given us. It’s in your matchless name that I pray, Amen.