READ EXODUS 29
God has given His people a design for holy, glorious, and beautiful priestly garments. These garments would remind God’s people that they were never forgotten by God and that one day He would walk among them, just as the priests were walking representations of the Tabernacle.
Chapter 29 outlines for us what is to happen once the garments are created. The garments that they wore were to be holy, but the priests themselves were to be consecrated, or set apart as holy, to be useful in service to God.
Read Exodus 29. What was involved in the consecration ceremony?
What did the priests specifically have to do?
What was to be sprinkled on the garments?
Does anything surprise you about this?
The garments may have been designed to be holy, but a problem remained: the priest wearing them was not. Even though his garments were designed to fit the glory of the Tabernacle, the man donning them was still riddled with deep, inherent sin.
Throughout the entire Tabernacle design we’re reminded of God’s holiness. How do you see the separation between sinful men and a holy God in the design of the Tabernacle?
What element in the Tabernacle design made a way for men to approach God? What were they to do there?
We are reminded from the very days of the garden fall: sin brings death. God promised Adam and Eve that death would result from their sin, and indeed it did. The first man and woman looked down on the nakedness of their shame and knew that everything they experienced of God’s presence had changed. And as they covered themselves with the first animal pelts ever in existence, they knew: sin brings death.
We can only imagine how real this promise was in the experience of the consecrated priests. As they bore on their shoulders and guts the names of every tribe in their nation – representing all their brothers and sisters before God – we are sure they felt the weight of God’s holiness and the burden of man’s sin. And as they placed their hands on the head of each animal to be sacrificed, and as they felt the rush of warm blood spill over their other hand and watched the animal slump on the ground they knew: sin brings death.
But God’s promise didn’t stop there. God didn’t just promise that sin would bring death and declare it the end of the story. He also promised that one day, one death would bring life. He promised that one day there would be a perfect sacrifice that would not be the result of separation between God and man, but would be the means by which man and God would be reconciled. Death, one day God promised, would bring life.
The priestly garments were beautiful reminders of the men God had chosen to represent the people before Him. The priests who donned them had followed God’s commands down to the letter, and they literally wore the result of their obedience before God. But it wasn’t jewels or linen or precious metals that carried them into the presence of God: it was the blood of the sacrifice. The garments were incomplete without the mark of the blood of the sacrificed animals.
Friends, you and I, just like Israel, can be tempted to approach God with our best and most righteous traits in hand. We can wear all of our obedience, displaying it proudly before God; we can remind God of all the ways we have followed His call or obeyed His prompting. But that is not what gains us access to God. We approach Him, not with even the most precise obedience in hand, but with the blood of Christ. The only righteous garment God delights in seeing approach Him is the one covered by the blood of the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ. His blood – the blood of the perfect sacrifice, rolls back the curse of death. His blood, in the upside down way of the Kingdom of God, brings life.
How do you see the Gospel in this?
PRAY & REFLECT
Thank God that He has made a way for you to approach Him by the blood of the perfect sacrifice, Jesus. Confess to God that there is no other way for you to approach Him but through the blood of Jesus.