Leviticus 8 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence
The purification requirements for the priests who would serve in the Lord’s tabernacle were considerable. First, they had to be washed by Moses before they could put on their holy garments. Then they had to be anointed with oil in consecration to God. Afterwards, they needed to lay their hands on the bull of the sin offering while Moses cut its throat and spilled its blood and then follow the same procedure regarding the ram for the burnt offering. Then the ram for the ordination offering was killed and Moses took its blood and dabbed their right ears, thumbs and big toes with it. Then a wave offering was given on their behalf. Following these rituals, Moses took some of the anointing oil and the blood from the altar and sprinkled it on their garments consecrating them again. Only then were they allowed to eat some of the remaining portions of the offerings that were given. Once all of these rituals were complete, Aaron and his sons were required to stay at the entrance of the tent of meeting for seven days and nights in the open air remaining in this holy place continually wearing their holy garments and bearing the holy oils and blood on their bodies without washing and in plain view of all the people.
All of these things were to be done before the people of Israel. In fact, the Lord told Moses to gather Israel to see all these things taking place so that they would know what these men would have to go through in order to serve in God’s holy place and act as mediators between God and them. Certainly, the implication was that no man, not even a priest was clean in God’s sight. The Scriptures teach in Job 15:15 that not even the heavens are pure in God’s sight and that God puts not trust in his holy angels. So we should not be surprised by all of these requirements for Aaron and his sons in order to serve in the replica of God’s holy temple in heaven.
What should stand out for us then is the fact that God’s own son serving as the high priest on behalf of his people did not need to perform any of these rituals. For, although he is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses as a man, and who was tempted as we are, he did not sin (Heb. 4:15). The members of the Aaronic priesthood could deal gently with sinners because they themselves had sinned and needed to bring for their own sacrifices for sin just like their brothers. But Jesus brought no bull, ram or goat when he entered into the holy of holies in heaven. He brought his own body and blood as a sacrifice not for himself but for his people. Because he lives forever and is “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens,” he is the only high priest they we will ever need.
Indeed, the only spectacle that God’s people need to see concerning this great high priest is not all the rituals required of Aaron and his sons, but only his once and for all offering up of himself to save us from our sins, to appease the hot anger of God, and to grant us the freedom and boldness to enter into God’s presence in his name.