The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread. And assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting.” And Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Leviticus 8:1-4
The people who gathered for Aaron’s ordination must have thought, “Isn’t this the same guy who made the golden calf? And told that ridiculous lie about throwing the gold in the fire, and the calf jumped out?” Maybe they didn’t, but I would have.
It is quite a thing to contemplate; that God makes us holy. It is not our own doing. Indeed, this may be the very reason Aaron was chosen. In Hebrews 4:15 it is written, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…”
We are now part of the priesthood of all believers. We are here to proclaim the good news that Christ has taken the sin of the world, and we do it as grateful co-beneficiaries. We are heirs of salvation telling sinners they have been written into the will!
Let is not forget what we have been saved from.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
“This is the law of the guilt offering. It is most holy. In the place where they kill the burnt offering they shall kill the guilt offering, and its blood shall be thrown against the sides of the altar. And all its fat shall be offered, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the long lobe of the liver that he shall remove with the kidneys. The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering to the Lord; it is a guilt offering. Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place. It is most holy. The guilt offering is just like the sin offering; there is one law for them. The priest who makes atonement with it shall have it. And the priest who offers any man’s burnt offering shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering that he has offered. And every grain offering baked in the oven and all that is prepared on a pan or a griddle shall belong to the priest who offers it. And every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall be shared equally among all the sons of Aaron.
” Leviticus 7:1-10
A portion of the sacrifice was to be given to the priests. It was the way the priests were compensated for dedicating themselves to the ministry. This would last until the last sacrifice, Jesus. The scriptures would tell us later how Jesus would enter into heaven, offering His own blood and become our great high priest.
I don’t know how long it took the ramifications of Jesus’ sacrifice to kick in, but at some point the believers must have been preaching that these sacrifices were no longer needed. This would have an impact on a ministry model that had it’s priesthood kicked off the payroll. It is no wonder it was so fiercely resisted.
Throughout the old testament, however, there were clues that this system was temporary.
And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:6-8
The law was an imperfect covenant put in place to create a longing to know God. It was a burden placed because of sin. It would only be removed when a perfect solution arrived in due time.
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “If anyone sins and commits a breach of faith against the Lord by deceiving his neighbor in a matter of deposit or security, or through robbery, or if he has oppressed his neighbor or has found something lost and lied about it, swearing falsely—in any of all the things that people do and sin thereby— if he has sinned and has realized his guilt and will restore what he took by robbery or what he got by oppression or the deposit that was committed to him or the lost thing that he found or anything about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it in full and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to him to whom it belongs on the day he realizes his guilt. And he shall bring to the priest as his compensation to the Lord a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent, for a guilt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things that one may do and thereby become guilty.” Leviticus 6:1-7
Restitution is a mixture of punishment and forgiveness. The guilty party suffers loss, but it is proportional. It fits the crime. It is not vindictive. The plaintive gets his stuff back with a 20 percent premium on top. It allows the two parties to get on with their lives and be restored in their relationship.