EXODUS 28: 1-3

“Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron's garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.


The book of Exodus recounts the saving acts of God and the forming of His people. It portrays Moses, the first of many prophets, and Aaron, the first high priest. As Christ followers, Exodus should move us as we clearly see Jesus fulfilling its great themes. The book of Exodus helps us understand who God is and who we are more clearly.

So much of what we see in our reading are types, meaning persons or items that represent something in the future, here specifically pointing to Christ. There are so many details and directives that all point to Christ, but for the sake of time we will focus in on a few main points. I would encourage you on your own to further study the section for today that we will be covering.

As He is calling a people who have lived in very pagan surroundings for the past 400 years, He is shaping them to display His glory to the surrounding nations by causing them to be different; separate. He is giving them laws and rituals to live by, and to live this out they would need a representative. God provided this representative through the high priest.

The Need for a High Priest

The high priest would stand before God on behalf of all the people. When he offered a sacrifice, he would follow all the directives that had been laid out, dressed in the correct clothing, his body washed clean, anointed for his duties. Yet there was a problem, he was still unclean underneath it all. He was a sinner just like all the people he was representing. There was still a need for a better high priest. 

All of this is pointing us to Jesus, who the book of Hebrews explains to us is our High Priest. When we see the high priest in the Old Testament, we see that it is a type pointing us to the greater High Priest, Jesus. It is His holiness, His anointing and His righteousness that enables us to go boldly before God and call Him Abba Father. Our salvation is through Jesus and because of Jesus. 

Our salvation is through Jesus and because of Jesus

His Spirit in Us Makes Us Priests

God has provided salvation in Christ.  He has washed us clean, clothed us in His righteousness, anointed us with His Spirit, and atoned for our sins. In the Old Testament God did all these same things on a much more physical level for the ordination of the priests. So the question is why He would do this for us? For one very important purpose, to ordain us as priests for His Kingdom. 

The New Testament takes the word priest and applies it to everyone who has been saved from sin by the atoning work of Jesus Christ. In the New Testament we are called a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). Martin Luther uses the term “the priesthood of all believers.” We have been called into his holy work. A work where we “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called” us. 

You and I as followers of Christ, adopted into His Kingdom and anointed for His service, have been set apart.  Not by what we do, but by what He does through us. As we continue to trust Him with all of our lives, He continues to show Himself through us.   

He Provides Rest for Us

He doesn’t only make our work sacred, He also makes our rest sacred. God has built into us some very natural rhythms for our own good and for His glory. We show our trust in Him when we set down our work for His rest. The pattern we see in creation is the same pattern we see here, six days of work and one day of rest. Not just any rest, but a rest that causes us to spend more time with Him. Jesus made the statement, “the Sabbath was made for man, not the man for Sabbath.”  Sabbath is created for us and for our health. 

God, the creator of heaven and earth, who set all the laws of nature in motion, was and still is forming a people to Himself to proclaim the greatness of His name to the world around Him. Those He has redeemed through His life, death and resurrection, He calls sons and daughters. He anoints each child of His with His Spirit. This anointing brings them into a priesthood who proclaim the excellencies of His name to the world around them. May we always see all our life, from our rising to our sleeping, from our working to our recreating, as glory to Him.

May We Work and Rest Holy Unto Him


IN COMMUNITY

This week, as you reflect on the message, utilize this section to help you apply what has been taught to your life. Think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing to discuss the implications of the message.

BLESS RHYTHMS

This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the expression of that commandment in loving your neighbor (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.

Bless
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.

Listen
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.

Eat
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.

Speak
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.

Sabbath
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.

 
 

An Examined Life

As we continue to reflect on the sermon, allow these questions to guide your discussion with others concerning the conviction points and what you sensed God’s Spirit was doing in you through the preached Word. Jot notes to help you remember.

What was God doing in you through the message on Sunday?

Describe how you’ve grown in your understanding of the Gospel (good news of Jesus)?

How are you going to respond to God’s Word in your life?