Consecration of the Priests and the Altar (Exodus 29)

Chuck CainOn Sunday, July 19, 2015, the Adult Sunday School Lesson completed a review of Exodus 29 regarding consecration of the priests and the altar.

Three animal sacrifices are identified as part of the ceremony. In each case the blood of the animal is applied in various ways to the altar.

The first sacrifice is a bull for the sin offering. Curtain organs are burned on the altar. The remainder is burned outside the camp. Hebrews 13:11-12 identifies this practice as a foreshadowing of Jesus being crucified outside the city as a sacrifice for our sin.

The second sacrifice is a ram for the burnt offering. This offering represented full commitment of the priests and the people.

The third sacrifice is a ram for the fellowship offering. This offering is also identified elsewhere as a peace offering or wave offering. In this case after specified organs are burned on the altar, the breast and thigh are eaten by the priests symbolizing a fellowship meal between them (and the people) and God.

The order of these three offerings differs in Leviticus as identified by J. A. Motyer. In Exodus 29 the order highlights individual need for being forgiven. In Leviticus 1-5 the order is burnt offering (1:3), fellowship offering (3:1), and sin offering (4:2-3) highlighting the order of divine desire. In Leviticus 6-7 the order is burnt offering (6:9), sin offering (6:25), and fellowship offering (7:11) highlighting the order of priestly ministry.

Exodus 29 states that the consecration ceremony for the priests was to last seven days.
The chapter closes with the highly important and oft repeated statement, “I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.”

Listen to “Consecration of the Priests and the Altar” (Exodus 29) at mcopc.org.

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