Holy worship (artifacts and priests)

21 02 2011

DAY FIFTY-TWO : Exodus 29 v. 1 – 30 v. 38; Mark 6 v. 6b-29; Proverbs 5 v. 15 – 23

Consecrating the Priests : bull, two rams, bread, cakes and wafers offered; Aaron and sons washed with water (ritual cleansing), then dressed with the ephod, breastpiece, turban, diadem; anointed with oil and established as priests.

Aaron and sons lay hands on the bull before it is slaughtered at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting; the blood is put on the altar; the fat is burned on the altar; the rest is burned outside the camp. All this as a sin offering.

Aaron and sons lay hands on one of the rams before it is slaughtered; the blood is put on the altar side; the entire ram is burnt on the altar. All this is a burnt offering (‘a pleasing aroma’).

Aaron and sons lay hands on the other ram before it is slaughtered (the ordination ram); the blood is put on Aaron’s (and sons’) right earlobe, right-hand thumb and big toe (Eek!), then sprinkled on the altar-sides; oil and blood sprinkled on Aaron’s (and sons’) garments; the fat and some bread, cake and wafer is a wave offering (‘wave them before the Lord’) before being a burnt offering (‘a pleasing aroma’); the ram’s breast is a wave offering too (these bits, breast and thigh, are a regular share for the priests).

The sacred garments are to be passed down to Aaron’s offspring for their ordination.

The ordination ram, and the bread, are to be cooked and eaten by Aaron and his sons (no-one else can eat them, and nothing can be left to the next day)
Ordination is a seven day celebration, with a bull sacrifice offered every day (as an atoning sin offering).
Every day, two yearling lambs are to be offered – a pleasing offering.
This is laid down for generations to come.

“There I will meet you and speak to you; there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory.”
“I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God…”
Altar of Incense : a gilded acacia wood altar, with poles etc. for carrying; to be situated in front of the curtain covering the Ark; so, only Aaron is permitted to offer incense (daily) on that altar; nothing else to be offered on this altar (except for a once-a-year atonement sprinkle of blood). “It must be holy to the Lord”.Atonement Money / Tabernacle Tax : a census count will yield money from each Israelite (as a ransom for life); 1/2 shekel from each person over the age of twenty (whether rich or poor); it is to be used to service the Tent of Meeting.

Bronze Lavar / Basin for Washing : situated between the Tent of Meeting and the altar; Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet every time they enter or sacrifice, as the priests need to be cleansed before entering the presence of God.

John Wesley wrote of this verse:
“They then had a laver for the priests only….but to us now there is a fountain opened….an inexhaustible fountain of living water, so that it is our own fault if we remain in our pollution.”

Anointing Oil
 : the recipe for the anointing oil (myrrh, cinnamon, cane, cassia and olive oil) is specific and not to be duplicated; it is a sacred, holy oil, and is to sanctify all the artifacts and Aaron and his sons;

Incense : spices (gum, onycha, galbanum, frankincense) blended together, pure and sacred, powdered, in front of the Tent of Meeting; again, holy and not to be duplicated.

I have loved the precision of the recipes etc., the consecrated furniture and garments, a holy presence.

Sending out the twelve :
sent out two-by-two, with authority over evil spirits, from village to village; taking nothing for the journey (except a staff – like Moses?); they are to depend entirely upon God and on the hospitality of others; ‘shake the dust off your feet’, at places they’re not welcomed; the disciples succeed in driving out demons and healing the sick.

The disciples are beginning their ministry, before fully comprehending who it is they are serving; sent out in twos, learning to share ministry in little teams.

Baptist beheaded :
Jesus is being spoken of as John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet; Herod, himself, believes Him to be John risen from the dead (and so we get the story of the beheading, at the hands of Herod’s wife and daughter); Herod is upset, and has not really found fault with John (similar to Jesus’s death under Pilate).

The blessings of water;
“May your fountain be blessed….
  a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths.”


Twelve times table ?

21 02 2011
DAY FIFTY-ONE : Exodus 27 v. 1 – 28 v. 43; Mark 5 v. 21 – 6 v. 6a; Psalm 24 v. 1 – 10;


he Altar for burnt offerings : squared acacia wood, with a horn at each corner; bronze plated; all the utensils made of bronze; poles to make it transportable;
The Courtyard : a rectangle area (100 cubits x 50 cubits) screened off with curtains and posts; an elaborate entrance with blue, purple and scarlet yarns finely twisted;
Oil for the Lampstand : clear olive oil to be used for the lamps; keep the lamps burning outside the Holy of Holies, the lamps are to remain lit from evening to morning;

The Priestly Garments :
Aaron and sons to be set apart as priests and to wear sacred garments; using gold, blue, purple and scarlet yarn;
The Ephod :
this is a multicoloured apron-like garment to cover the lower part of the body; two onyx stones containing the engraved names of the twelve tribes to be fastened to the ephod’s shoulder straps;
The Breastplate :
this is attached to the ephod, and its purpose is to aid making decisions; multicoloured yarns; precious stones inlaid, twelve engraved stones to represent the tribes of Israel; gold rings and fasteners to link to the ephod; Aaron will bear the names of Israel’s sons when he enters the Holy Place; the Urim and Thummin (sacred dice-like items for casting lots) and also built into the breastplate, over the heart (‘bearing the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.’) 
Other Priestly Garments :
the ephod robe made of blue cloth – I like the idea of the pomegranates and golden bells along the hem of the robe – so you / God can hear Aaron going in and out of the Holy Place; a gold plate engraved with “HOLY TO THE LORD” to be worn over the turban on his forehead (Aaron will ‘bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate’); tunics and turbans of fine linen, and embroidered sashes for Aaron and his sons, who are to be anointed, ordained and consecrated;
Oh, and don’t forget the underwear, covering modesty and avoiding any guilt !!  

(Check out the paintings of the life of Jesus on the website for Prof. M. M. Ninan :
this one’s called ‘Talitha Koum’)


Jairus’ daughter and the woman with bleeding
On the lakeside again, a large crowd is pressing in around Jesus.
Synagogue ruler, Jairus, comes and begs Jesus to visit his sick daughter, believing He could heal her.
Jesus starts towards Jairus’ house.
The woman, who has been bleeding for twelve years (and has tried all the doctors and treatments under the sun (except the Son !!)), touches the hem of Jesus’ cloak (she is undoubtedly ashamed of her ‘uncleanness’, and doesn’t want any attention drawing to herself). Jesus recognises ‘power has gone out of Him’ and stops the crowd to ask who touched Him. The disciples think the question is bizarre since so many are crowding Him.
The woman falls at Jesus’ feet and tells her story. She has her faith commended by Jesus, and is blessed as she goes, healed.

The news arrives that Jairus’ daughter has died, but Jesus presses on, stating, “Do not be afraid, just believe”.
Taking his inner circle of disciples and Jairus and his wife, he pushes through the grieving crowd, claiming the girl is simply sleeping (Jesus is mocked for this claim), and speaks over the girl, “Talitha Koum – Little girl, get up”. The girl is revived, gets up and walks about – Jesus sees it has been hungry work for her, and asks them to get her some food – He thinks of everything.
I don’t know quite how He expects them to keep this one quiet though – there’s a grieving crowd just outside the door.

I was intrigued by the woman’s twelve years of bleeding, and the twelve year old girl revived through Jesus’ healing; both stories show that the power of Jesus is sufficient when human resources fail

A Prophet Without Honour – back in His hometown, Jesus realises that all those who’ve known Him as He’s grown up amongst them struggle to be taught by Him, to accept His miraculous works. “Isn’t this the carpenter ? Isn’t this Mary’s son ?” (although his brothers and sisters are mentioned, there’s no Joseph by this stage in Jesus’ life).
It’s in His hometown that a ‘prophet is without honour’, and there’s a distinct lack of faith.

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”
“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord ?
 Who may stand in His Holy Place ?
 He who has clean hands and a pure heart..”
A psalm of praise to the King of glory, and a desire for His holiness, His life in ours. A need for our purity and holiness, only possible through Him, the Lord Almighty…

My recreated thoughts :

Twelve sons of Israel
Twelve years of bleeding, healed
Twelve year old daughter, revived
Count to twelve…….
God is always blessing His people,
healing and reviving.
Lord, bless, heal and revive us today.