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Exodus 29:38-39 Lamb Upon the Altar

Posted by adventbiblestudy on November 24, 2012


Study methods explained. Bible stories, studies with links between Old and New Testament texts.

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Exodus 29:38-39 KJV Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. (39) The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even:

We know the sacrificial lamb represents Jesus, but how many of us are able to show the actual texts from the Bible to others? One easy way is to search the word lamb through the Bible until we find the texts that clearly reveals the meaning of the symbol.

John 1:29 KJV The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:36 KJV And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

As a new believer I have to look back at the previous texts to understand how this text relates to the entire chapter. Jesus, the Lamb of God was sacrificed for the sins of the world. Jesus came to save all the people in this world through all generations. As I look at EXODUS 29, I see it is written as a summation of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Exodus 29:1 NLTse “This is the ceremony you must follow when you consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams with no defects.

I always asked, why does Aaron the high priest and his sons need a bull as a sacrifice while the rest of Israel requires a lamb? Does this some how indicate the responsibility of the priests are greater, or are their sins more severe? Is God using a bull and the priests as another symbol? When we study the word bull in the Bible we find another prophecy about Jesus that uses bulls as a symbol.

Psalms 22:12-18 NLTse My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in! (13) Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey. (14) My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. (15) My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. (16) My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. (17) I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. (18) They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.

The bulls in Psalm 22 point straight to the priests who put Jesus on the cross. Why were common people able to see this connection while the high priest who sacrificed the Son of God remained blinded to its true meaning? The evidence continues in even more stunning detail as Exodus 29 explains how the high priest is dressed.

Exodus 29:5 NLTse Dress Aaron in his priestly garments–the tunic, the robe worn with the ephod, the ephod itself, and the chestpiece. Then wrap the decorative sash of the ephod around him.

This tells us another prophecy about Jesus’ trial. If the high priest had the breastplate of judgment strapped across his chest, he could not have torn his clothes. This is true on the physical and spiritual level. If he had worn the breastplate, he would have received and answer from God. This is another illustration showing when people disobey God, He still has a way of making their choices serve His plan. The physical mistake made by the high priest is explained in the Gospels.

Mark 14:63-64 NLTse Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? (64) You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”

I can imagine people hearing stories of Jesus’ trial just after His ascension, and the Holy Spirit leading them to scriptures showing how the high priest should have been dressed. One additional text they would have found is: “Make the robe that is worn with the ephod from a single piece of blue cloth, with an opening for Aaron’s head in the middle of it. Reinforce the opening with a woven collar so it will not tear. (Exodus 28:31-32 NLTse). Everyone would have recognized this as a prophecy, seeing there is no way the high priest should have been able to ripe his clothing. God knew what the high priest was going to do and made it impossible for him to ripe his cloths if he followed the law. The high priest had to cut the ephod before the trial. This showed the high priest’s had a predetermined concept of the prophecies concerning the Messiah and condemned Jesus before the trial began. Everything pointed to one conclusion. The priests considered their opinion more important than listening to God’s Spirit.

Another prophecy in Exodus 29 points to the beginning of the priests prejudice toward Jesus. Then slaughter it, and apply some of its blood to the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons. Also put it on the thumbs of their right hands and the big toes of their right feet. Splatter the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar. (Exodus 29:20 NLTse). This is the same ceremony for a leper who has been healed. And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: (Leviticus 14:14 KJV).

When Jesus healed the leper in Mark chapter one, He told the leper to go to the priests. “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” (Mark 1:44 NLTse). Jesus told the leper to present the offering for a public testimony. We are not told if the priests conducted the public ceremony or not. If they had, at the very least they would have publicly endorsed Jesus as a prophet. But prophets do not heal, they only direct people to God who heals. After talking to the cleansed leper, the priests had every reason to investigate the situation. It was their role to protect their flock. What frightened the priests? Instead of investigating with an open mind, did they proceed with prejudice?

As a new believer I cannot help but wonder how deep the message is in the introduction and summation of this chapter really are. The beginning of the chapter lists the sacrifices necessary to ordain Aaron and his sons. The summary at the end of the chapter show us how God, and Jesus will walk among us. I can’t help but see the messages inside this chapter and wonder how others viewed this after seeing Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. It must have been very emotional to read the end of this chapter after considering all the details pointing to Jesus’ life, trial and sacrifice.

I will meet the people of Israel there, in the place made holy by my glorious presence. Yes, I will consecrate the Tabernacle and the altar, and I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will live among the people of Israel and be their God, and they will know that I am the LORD their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the LORD their God. (Exodus 29:43-46 NLTse).

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