Old Testament: Exodus 29:1-30:10
Exodus 29:1-9 Clean-up time
God demonstrated His holiness to His people by having elaborate cleansing ceremonies for His priests. They were to wash first. Then they were anointed with oil, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Then they were dressed in the special clothes described in the last chapter.
Exodus 29:10-17 No bull . . . yes, bull
A bull was sacrificed and the remains disposed of in a particular manner. The priests first laid their hands on the bulls’ head indicating the transfer of sin to the bull. Some of the blood was put on the altar and the rest of the bull was burnt outside the camp (Christ was crucified outside “camp,” meaning outside Jerusalem – Heb. 13:13 “So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach”).
Exodus 29:15-21 Ram On
The same ceremony is performed with a ram as with the bull.
Now it gets more icky. Another ram is sacrificed but the blood is put on Aaron’s and his sons’ right ears, right thumbs, and right big toe. The rest of the blood was sprinkled on the altar. Then some of the blood and some anointing oil was to be sprinkled on Aaron and sons’ garments to set them and their garments apart as holy to God.
Exodus 29:22-30 Do The Wave!
Should there be an organ in church? I don’t know but there sure were some in the Israelite’s ceremonies. They took the organs of the second ram along with a loaf of bread, a cake and a wafer and they were to wave it all between themselves and the altar to indicate it was being given to God. All that stuff was then burned on the altar.
Notice victuals were provided for the priests in that the breast of the ram were to be eaten by the priests.
The high priest’s garments were to be passed down to his succeeding son in a special seven day ceremony.
Exodus 29:31-46 The Cleric’s Cuisine
Direction is given on the sacrifice of lambs. Christ was the “Lamb of God.”
Offerings were made daily to purify the nation of sin. The priests were to eat of the sacrifices of the rams and lambs (v. 32 Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram and the bread that is in the basket, at the doorway of the tent of meeting.) Christians as ministers of God (1Pet. 2:9, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR [God’s] OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”) should partake of Christ’s sacrifice daily and eat and fellowship with Him (Rev. 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”)
Exodus 301-10 The Altar Smells
Not to be confused with the larger “altar of burnt offering” described in Chap. 25, the incense altar was about 1 1/2 feet square and 3 feet high. Incense from this altar was taken into the Holy of Holies by the High Priest once a year on the “Day of Atonement.” Aaron was to burn incense on this altar twice a day. Incense is often symbolic of prayer. Atonement (cleansing) had to be made for this altar once a year by sprinkling bull’s and goat’s blood on the “horns” of the altar (cf. Lev. 16:14-19). You can check a Bible Dictionary or look online to see what “horns of the altar” looked like. They actually looked like . . . horns.
New Testament: Matthew 26:14-46
Matthew 26:14-19 Let’s Make a (Bad) Deal
Judas sells Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus had earlier said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul” (Matt. 16:26)? Judas didn’t even get the whole world in exchange for his soul. What was he thinking? Bad deal. Thirty pieces of silver was the price to be paid for a slave (Ex. 21:32) and the amount prophecied by the prophet Zechariah (Zech. 11:12).
Jesus told his disciples to go to “a certain man” and tell them they were coming for dinner, specifically, the Passover meal.
Matthew 26:20-25 Not Passed Over
When Jesus was having the Passover meal with his disciples, He announced that one of them was going to betray Him. They all apparently had guilty consciences since they all said, “It’s not me, is it?” When Judas said it, Jesus replied, “You said it.” But this was not a good thing since Jesus said that man would have been better not to have been born.
Matthew 26:26-35 The First Communion
At dinner, Jesus broke bread, symbolic of His body about to be broken for them. They also drank the “fruit of the vine,” symbolic of Jesus’ blood being poured out for them. In fact, Jesus said it was the “blood of the covenant” by which He meant that the New Covenant had come. Jesus said He wouldn’t have this type of communion with them again until His Father’s kingdom was established.
Afterward, they sang a hymn (not a pop song!).
Jesus quoted the Old Testament (Zech. 11:12) that the Shepherd would be struck down and the sheep scattered. He said all the disciples would “fall away because” of Him. Peter said, “No way, that’s happening’.” Jesus told him before the rooster crows that Peter would deny him thrice. Peter said, “Ut uh.” All the other disciples chimed in saying, “Ut uh.”
Matthew 26:36-46 The Lord’s Prayers
Jesus took all the disciples with Him while He went to pray. He told them, “Sit.” He took Peter, James and John with Him to pray. He asked God to take the “cup” of suffering from Him (v. 42). By the cup of suffering, Jesus most likely meant the suffering of being separated from the Father. Since He became sin on our behalf (2Cor. 5:21) and the Father could have nothing to do with sin, He was separated from the Father for a time. The separation from the Father would cause Jesus worse suffering than simply dying.
He found the disciples sleeping. He asked again that the “cup” be removed. He conceded that if it couldn’t be removed that He wanted to do God’s will. The disciples were sleeping again. Jesus asked a third time. Contra some modern-day preachers, God does not always answer prayers the way we want, even if we make them in full faith. He didn’t answer Jesus’ prayer as He asked. Sometimes it’s that God’s will just has to be done.
Disciples sleeping again! “OK,” Jesus said, “let’s go, the Betrayer is here.” He meant Judas. That meant everything was about to kick into high gear.