Friday, January 13, 2023

2023.01.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 29:35–46

Read Exodus 29:35–46

Questions from the Scripture text: How many times do an ordination day’s sacrifices have to be repeated (Exodus 29:35)? What does the sin offering gain (Exodus 29:36)? What is done to the altar? In order to do what for it? With what results (Exodus 29:37)? Once the altar is consecrated, what is done with it, and how often (Exodus 29:38)? When are each lamb to be offered (Exodus 29:39)? What will be offered with each lamb (Exodus 29:40, Exodus 29:41)? By what are these offerings to be made, unto Whom? Where are these offerings to be made (Exodus 29:42)? What else will He do there? And what else (Exodus 29:43)? What will ultimately sanctify the tabernacle and the children of Israel? What else will He consecrate (Exodus 29:44)? And whom will He consecrate? What, ultimately will God do (Exodus 29:45)? Who, ultimately will God be? What shall the children of Israel know about Who God is (Exodus 29:46)? And what God has done? Unto what purpose? 

What does God do through the sacrifices and what the sacrifices point to? Exodus 29:35–46 looks forward to the p.m. sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these twelve verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the intricate and continuous sacrifices were to point to the fact that it is God Himself Who actually makes His people holy so that He may not only be their God, but redeem them, and dwell among them, so that they may enjoy forever being His and having Him as theirs.

The priests need cleansing, Exodus 29:35-36a. Not just one day, but for seven days the sacrifices of their consecration are offered. The quantity and repetition drives home to them that in themselves, they are such sources of uncleanness that cleansing from God is continuously needed. The number seven, indicating completion or perfection, drives home to them that God is more able to provide cleansing than they are needy of it.

The altar needs cleansing, Exodus 29:36-37. Nothing creaturely has inherent holiness. Even the altar must be atoned for and anointed. This too is done for seven days. 

The people need cleansingExodus 29:38-42. For the people, two lambs will be offered each day, each with its grain offering and drink offering. This will have to be done “continually,” since the Lord will meet with them and speak with them. What a marvel that the Lord meets with us! What a marvel that the Lord speaks with us! What a marvel that the Lord also hears us! 

The tabernacle needs cleansingExodus 29:43-44. In this case, we get the true sanctifying power: the Lord Himself. There actually isn’t anything any ability to make holy in any of the things that are being offered or applied. But they are sanctified by God’s glory, a word that literally means weight or weightiness. He has the infinite worth to consecrate them, an indication already of the sacrifice that will ultimately have to be made to consecrate the church (cf. Acts 20:28). 

Why the Lord gives the cleansingExodus 29:45-46.

  • So that they may have His presence: “I will dwell among the children of Israel.” Here is the Immanuel principle. The Lord has existence inherent to Himself, so that it is impossible for anything to exist except that it exist in His presence, but He makes His presence to be more intensely known in some places and times than others. Wondrously, He will actually take on the attribute of location when He enters the world as a man with the Name “Jesus,” because He will save His people from their sins. Matthew tells us that this is a fulfillment of the Name “Immanuel” (“God with us,” cf. Matthew 1:21–23). 
  • So that they may posses Him: “and will be their God.” He gives Himself to them in His dwelling among them.
  • So that they may perceive this: “And they shall know that I am Yahweh their God”

This was the great reason for redeeming them to begin with. That He might wed them to Himself and dwell among them: He as theirs and they as His! The same principle continues: God has delivered us in Christ so that we might be with Him, and might be wed to Him, but in order for this to be completed, He must finish producing in us that holiness without which no one can see the Lord.

How do you know how great your need for cleansing is? How was God’s greatest way of showing this also a way of showing how completely Christians have been cleansed? For what was this cleansing a preparation?

Sample prayer: Lord, thank You for saving us so that we might be with You and know You. Thank You for taking us for Your own special treasure, and for also giving Yourself to us that we might belong to one another in this way. Keep doing Your cleansing work in us, we ask, so that we may dwell with You forever, which we ask in Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP51B “From My Sins, O Hide Your Face” or TPH275 “Arise, My Soul, Arise”

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