Friday, March 09, 2012

120309 - Exodus 29 - Blood and Oil to Sanctify

Friday SOAP: Where are the songs about the blood today? They're almost absent from our worship. Hymns like "There is Power in the Blood," "When I See the Blood," "Are You Washed in the Blood," "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus" - we need to be sure we reconcile each next generation of believers with the understanding that sanctification is through Christ's blood. The High Priest's garments support such a picture of cleansing through the application of blood.

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S: Then you shall take part of the blood that is on the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments, and on his sons and his sons' garments with him. He and his garments shall be holy, and his sons and his sons' garments with him. (Exodus 29:21)

O: So here I can make a confession. Whenever I have read this passage, I have missed an important point. Apparently all the artists who have attempted to picture the High Priest's clothing have as well. Before they were ever worn in service, they were splattered with blood. Furthermore, whenever a High Priest was consecrated, was he sprinkled while in the garments of the previous High Priest? There may have been as many as 82 High Priests, (See 1 Chronicles 6:2-15 for a list to the Babylonian Captivity), so until the garments completely wore out, they would have at least been far more bloody than they're ever depicted.

A: This reveals a very great divide between the modern mind's picture of blood as a contaminant and the ancient Jewish picture of blood as a means of sanctification. What could look more unclean to us than a bloody butcher's apron? In fact, as proof of that, even with as many unclean images as the Internet contains, I couldn't find a photo of a genuinely bloody butcher's apron, as common a sight as it used to be. They were all obvious fakes.

The High Priest's garment was supposed to be a thing of beauty (Ex. 28:40) yet his work was bloody. The understanding that when God sees the sanctifying blood He passes over us (Ex. 12:13) carries through clearly. The anointing oil is also very significant to us: in yesterday's SOAP, I noted the story of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-12), centered around the oil which was to be kept burning. Without the oil, the virgins were not recognized. For us to be truly sanctified, we need both the blood of Christ's sacrifice and the oil of His Holy Spirit.

P: Lord, truly, my sanctification was a costly, bloody price. The gift of the Spirit, earnest of my inheritance, came at such great price to my Lord. Thank you for this reminder that it is washing in the blood of the Lamb that makes me clean to you.

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