The Consecration Service for the Priesthood (The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons)

Originally the entire nation had been set apart to be priests. God desired that each and every Israelite would have direct access to Him. Remember what the Lord first said to Moses about the priesthood?

 “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagle’s wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, IF YOU WILL INDEED OBEY MY VOICE AND KEEP MY COVENANT, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’” (Exodus 19:4-6)

The covenant-keeping God was looking for covenant-keeping people. But the prospects dimmed. All but one tribe, the Levites, were disqualified when they worshiped the golden calf while Moses was on Mount Sinai. The Levites alone demonstrated a dedication to obey the Lord. Now only a remnant would serve as priests. And among this remnant, only Aaron and his sons would be consecrated (Exodus 28:1). They would represent the only covenant-keeping, God-honoring qualified priest in human history, Jesus Christ.

Of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu were killed for offering strange fire to the Lord. His other sons were Eleazar and Ithamar.

Imagine attending this consecration ceremony. To help demystify the events, I have included a printed order of service.

The sequence is very important. To violate it would invalidate their ministry.

THE LORD GOD HAS SPOKEN TO MOSES

AND CALLED YOU TO ASSEMBLE AT THE TENT OF MEETING FOR THE CONSECRATION OF AARON AND HIS SONS AS PRIESTS

ORDER OF SERVICE

  1. THE PREPARATION- Moses officiating

1.The Washing of the Priests- indicating the necessity of Christ for our cleansing

  1. The Dressing of the High Priest- indicating the necessity of being clothed in Christ
  • Clothed with the tunic and sash
  • Clothed with the ephod and robe and girded with the ‘artistic band of the ephod’ (Lev 8:7)
  • Clothed with the breastplate with the 12 stones representing the people, and the Urim and Thummin (for guidance) placed in it
  • Clothed with the turban placed on his head, with the inscribed golden plate, the holy crown
  1. The Anointing of the Tabernacle for consecration- THE TABERNACLE SPEAKS OF THE FINISHED WORK OF REDEMPTION
  • The anointing of the tabernacle and all that is in it
  • The sprinkling of the oil on the altar 7 times
  • The anointing of the altar and all the utensils
  • The anointing of the basin and its stand

III. The Anointing of the High Priest (THE ASCENSION AND EXALTATION OF CHRIST, OUR PERFECT HIGH PRIEST, THAT MAKES POSSIBLE THE DESCENSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AT PENTECOST

  • The Anointing oil is poured on Aaron’s head (See Psalm 133)
  1. The Dressing of the Priests (the sons of Aaron) The beautification of the church
  • Clothed with tunics and sashes
  • Headgear bound upon their heads
  1. THE NECESSARY SACRIFICES- THE SIN OFFERING, BURNT OFFERING, AND ORDINATION OFFERING
  • Aaron and his sons lay hands on the sin offering (a bull). (The big problem of atonement for sin requires a big animal -the bull).
    • The bull is slaughtered (by Moses) and blood is applied to the four horns of the altar and poured out at the base, to make atonement for it.
    • The offering of the fat on the entrails and the lobe of the liver and 2 kidneys and their fat in the smoke on the altar.
    • The bull and its hide, flesh, and refuse were burned on a fire outside the camp.
  • Aaron and his sons lay hands on the burnt offering (a ram). (The Burnt Offering deals with the problem of acceptance before God).
    • The ram is slaughtered (by Moses) and blood is sprinkled around the altar.
    • The pieces of the ram are offered (head and suet in smoke).
    • Entrails and legs washed with water. The whole ram is offered for a soothing aroma; an offering by fire.
  1. THE CONSECRATION (APPLICATION OF BLOOD, FILLING OF HANDS, AND APPLICATION OF OIL)
  2. THE BLOOD (THE WORK OF THE CROSS)
  • Aaron and his sons lay hands on a ram of ordination (a second ram)
    • The ram is slaughtered (by Moses) and Moses puts blood on the high priest’s (Aaron’s)
      • Right ear (Redeemed to be consecrated for hearing)
      • Thumb of the right hand (for consecrated service)
      • Big toe of the right foot (for a consecrated walk)
    • Moses applies the blood in the same manner to Aaron’s sons
      • He invites Aaron’s sons to come near
      • Right ear (Redeemed to be consecrated for hearing)
      • Thumb of the right hand (for consecrated service)
      • Big toe of the right foot (for a consecrated walk)
      • Remaining blood sprinkled around on the altar
  1. THE FILLING OF HANDS SO THERE IS ROOM FOR NOTHING OTHER THAN WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN (v.25-29) (THE DEDICATION OF OUR LIVES -ROMANS 12:1-2)
  • Aaron’s hands are filled with:
    • The fat from the sacrifices (tail, entrails, lobe of the liver, two kidneys, and right thigh)
    • Unleavened cake
    • One cake of bread mixed with oil
    • One wafer
  • All in the hands of Aaron and his sons are offered as a wave offering before the Lord (representational offering on behalf of all) and then offered with the burnt offering
  • Moses himself takes his portion of the ram of ordination
  1. THE CONSECRATION WITH THE ANOINTING OIL AND THE BLOOD (v.30) The work of the Spirit applying the work of the cross
  • Sprinkled on the persons and garments of Aaron and his sons

VII. PARTAKING OF THE BREAD AND THE FLESH OF THE SACRIFICE FOR SUSTENANCE AT THE DOORWAY OF THE TENT OF MEETING AND FELLOWSHIP IN THE TENT OF MEETING FOR SEVEN DAYS AND NIGHTS

BENEDICTION- THIS HAS BEEN DONE TO MAKE ATONEMENT ON YOUR BEHALF (verse 34) 
GO IN PEACE

The solemnity of this invitation is underscored by the fact that obedience to the order of service is necessary so that we will not die (v. 35).

On the eighth day, once the consecration service is over, Aaron and his sons get busy offering the sacrifices as commanded by the Lord–the sin offerings, the burnt offerings, the meal offerings, and the peace offerings.

This was necessary, “that the glory of the Lord may appear to you” (Lev. 9:6). We will see that happen in our reading tomorrow.

ATTENTION: ROYAL PRIESTS. Before you can go out to minister to others, you must first be consecrated, that is, you must be identified with, and have communion with, Christ, in the Tent of Meeting. This means we are to not let our eagerness to serve our fellow man interfere with our first commitment of communion with God. It is only as we serve God in the holy place, yielded and worshiping in personal devotion, that we are able to serve in the congregation.

NEW TESTAMENT READING: MARK 3:31-4:25;

It may surprise you that Jesus had half-brothers.

Mark 3:32 32  A crowd was sitting around Him, and they *said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.”

Jesus was miraculously conceived by the virgin Mary (Luke 1:31,35; Matthew 1:20-23). Although married to Joseph, she and Joseph did not have sexual relations until after Jesus was born (Matthew 1:25). We know the names of some of their children. His brothers were James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas or Jude (Matthew 13:55). It is implied that he had sisters (Matthew 13:56). His brothers were not believing that Jesus was the Christ (John 7:5). His own people wanted to take custody of him saying, “He has lost His senses” (Mark 3:21). When Jesus was raised from the dead, He appeared to his brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7), who not only became a believer, but a leader in the early church (Acts 1:14; 15:13,19; Galatians 1:19; 2:9) and the author of the epistle of James.

But the good news is that you can be His brother, His sister, or mother. Jesus said to His disciples,

Mark 3:35 35  “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

Jesus was teaching a very large crowd (Mark 4:1). But He was not deceived into thinking that they all believed in Him. He gives a powerful illustration of this truth with the Parable of the Sower and the Seed.

In those days seeds were not planted in neat rows by machines. Seed was scattered liberally from a sower who threw the seed from a bag he carried on his shoulder. Some of the seed fell on the hard packed soil beside the road so the birds of the air were able to eat it; some fell on the rocky soil without depth and so when the sun scorched the plant it did not have sufficient root to survive; some fell among thorns and were choked by weeds, but some fell on good soil and graciously brought forth a crop yielding thirty, sixty and a hundredfold! Jesus said that in any large crowd, many will listen to His words but not hear, and therefore they fall short of having the Word’s life reproduced in them.

Jesus explains this parable.  It reminds us as we do the work of evangelism that not everyone who listens to our message will be saved.

The shallow hearer is one who is familiar with the Word, gives a polite nod, but proudly rebuffs it in his heart, not allowing it to penetrate, bring conviction and spur repentance and faith. Consequently, Satan takes it away.

Have you allowed Satan to take the Word away from you so that it has no life changing impact?

Then there are those who receive the Word with joy. By outward appearance it looks like they have been converted. They are enthusiastic subscribers to the Jesus channel. They attend meetings. They are on fire. But the seed was rooted in their felt needs, their emotions or their preconceptions. When they are tested in the hardships of daylight, with afflictions and persecution, they fall away, indicating that they did not have the life of the Word to stand up to the test.

Can we sing, “through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. ‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home”?  Is your profession of faith actually a possession of faith? His faith? (Galatians 2:20)

It is also possible that the Word is received among the many cares, worries and deceitfulness of riches. The seed is choked by human preoccupations. The Word will never be subservient to another god. Jesus will have no competitors.

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed causes us to appreciate the miracle and necessity of genuine conversion, and reminds us to be diligent hearers who continue with the Word.

John 8:31-32 31  So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

John 15:8 8  “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

READING FROM THE BOOK OF PSALMS- PSALM 37:12-29

Verses 12-22 remind us that the Day of Judgment is coming.

The Psalmist gives evidence (in verses 23-40) that the Lord is faithful to those who believe (those who are righteous, in a right relationship with God by faith in Christ) in contrast to those who do not believe and consequently are not right with God (the wicked).

He establishes and orders your steps (v. 23); upholds you with His hand (37:24); He does not forsake you (v.25); He graciously supplies your needs (v. 26); You will inherit what He has promised (v. 29); He will give you words that are wise and just (v.30); He will keep you from falling (v. 31); He will give you peace and a posterity (v.37); He gives strength and deliverance in times of trouble.

Not so the wicked. Their legacy will pass away, be cut off, and be no more. Their future is condemnation and destruction.

READING FROM PROVERBS:  PROVERBS 10:5

PLAN WISELY AND ACT DILIGENTLY FOR THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE GOOD OF OTHERS

Proverbs 10:5 5  He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.

PRAY FOR ARMENIA

While Armenia is a small country with a population of just over three million people, it has experienced a great deal of turmoil. In 1915, the Ottoman Empire committed the Armenian Genocide, which involved the deportation and systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians. This tragic event eventually led to the coining of the term “genocide” in 1943.

Evangelical Christianity has thrived among the Armenian diaspora of up to eight million, with many congregations in the Middle East, North America and elsewhere. Most Armenians retain close links with their homeland even after many generations away. Since 1988, a host of Armenian churches and ministries have given generously and invested in reaching their homeland, with remarkable results. Pray for the world to be blessed through this global people.

Christian help ministries. Pray for:

  1. a) Relief work. The legacy of the communist era includes economic depression, widespread poverty and unemployment. These heighten the value of a number of ministries (Tearfund, Elam Ministries, Love Armenia) that focus on enabling Armenians to provide for themselves economically, especially believers.
  2. b) Youth camps in the summer provide an excellent opportunity to communicate the reality and power of the gospel to young people. Thousands each year are reached and discipled through the ministry of AMAA, which runs such camps in Armenia and several other nations.
  3. c) Student witness is fruitful. CSUA(IFES) has groups in eight universities and colleges; others work among students, especially through summer camps (SU, Baptists). Pray for openness within students as well as permission from campus and government authorities to minister.
  4. d) Bible distribution. Bible reading is very rare in this culturally Christian nation, but a modern Armenian version of the NT has recently been released, which may help change this. A modern-language OT is in progress. The Bible Society has an established ministry with a well-used Bible Centre in Yerevan and is reaching into schools. EHC focuses on literature distribution, often to mixed reception.
  5. e) The JESUS film is widely used in four languages.
  6. f) Christian Radio. TWR in Albania broadcasts in Kurmanji and Armenian. TWR also broadcasts from Armenia to nine Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries – 60 of the least-reached mega-peoples are within range of the station.

PRAYER: You are The Holy One, O Lord! We ascribe to You the greatness of Your Name! Gracious Father, Precious Redeemer, Life-Giving Spirit, You are a Holy Trinity! Lord Jesus, Your faithful ministry as our Great High Priest and Your once-and-for-all sacrifice, has secured our right standing and blessed privilege of communion. Your shed blood has turned the Judgment seat that should have condemned us into a mercyseat, where we are seated above in heavenly places identified with You. May we be faithful to sow the seed of Your Word abundantly, even as we purpose to embrace it, abide in it, and continue in it ourselves. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.