“Now, this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.”
That’s the first verse in an entire chapter that is set aside for God to give instructions to Moses about how to consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve as priests. Well, this word consecrate is really important. It’s here in the very beginning of the chapter, all the way down in the end. The chapter closes with, “I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar.” God says to Aaron also and his sons, “I will consecrate to serve me as priests.” The picture is to consecrate something is to make holy or to set it apart as holy, to purify.
The picture is to consecrate something is to make holy or to set it apart as holy, to purify.
This is something that would be obviously necessary for Aaron and his sons to serve in this role as priests. To come before God, orchestrate the worship of God’s sacrifices before God, to represent sinful people before God, they needed to be consecrated. They needed to be made holy, which is why we have specific instructions here in Exodus about everything, from what they wear to what they do and the exact details of where they work and how things are set up. All of this is designed to reflect the holiness of God. Everything needs to be consecrated. That’s why verse 44, which I read just a minute ago, says, “I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. I’m going to make these places holy. I’m going to make these people holy, who are serving in this way. Aaron and his sons.”
Now, when you fast forward in the Bible, you get to a place like 1st Peter. It talks about the church as a royal priesthood. The picture that we see in the New Testament is actually priesthood for every believer, meaning a lot of things, namely that every person who trusts in Jesus. So, just let this soak in for every single person listening right now, no matter who you are, no matter what your background is, no matter how young or old you are, you have the role of priests, meaning that you are able to enter into the presence of God, obviously only made possible by the blood of Jesus, our great high priest who has made this way available for us.
We’ve prayed, as we’ve prayed through Exodus many times about this privilege we have, to come into God’s presence. Even as we prayed in Exodus chapter 28, this privilege to intercede in a priestly role on behalf of others, but what I want to highlight right here is this picture of consecration of how God has set us apart, you and me apart, to be holy, to be pure. This is what Jesus, our great high priest, has done. He’s died on the cross for our sins so that we could be purified from all our sins, forgiven and empowered to live with victory over sin, to live holy lives, to, in the words of 1st Peter, be holy as God is Holy, and the Christian life in a sense, when we hear Jesus’ words, if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. It’s a daily consecration. It’s a daily dying to ourselves and dying to sin and living in the holiness that Jesus has made possible for us.
So, we pray. Oh God, today, consecrate us anew, afresh. We pray that you would make us holy. God, I pray that you would make me holy as you are holy. I pray that over every single person who’s listening right now, that you make them holy as you are holy, as we confess our sins, Oh God, that you would cleanse us from all unrighteousness just like you say you do in 1st John 1:9, and God, that you’d keep us from sin. God, you would help us to live pure lives.
Help us to think holy thoughts. Help us to desire holy desires. We pray for holy affections. We pray that you would help us to speak holy words, God, that you would help us to do holy deeds, pure, God-glorifying, others honoring, selflessly loving deeds. God, we pray that you would make our lives inside and out holy. You got to make us more holy today, make us look more like Jesus today.
We pray. God, I pray in my life. I pray for everybody who’s listening right now that we would look more like Jesus at the end of today than we do right now and more like Jesus tomorrow than we do today, more holy like Jesus, more set apart for your purposes as a reflection of your character, of your love and your mercy, and your goodness, and your justice and your kindness and your faithfulness and your gentleness. All the things that we know are the fruit of your spirit in us. God make us more and more holy by your spirit, by your Holy Spirit in us, we pray.
God, consecrate us every day. Set us apart in deeper and deeper and deeper and greater and greater and greater ways as holy pure vessels for your spirit to empower, use, deploy for your glory. Consecrate us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.