Take the Ram for the Ordination
and Cook the Meat in a Sacred Place

Exodus 29:31-34 and Leviticus 8:31-32

    DIG: Why were the priests the only ones who could eat the meal? Why couldn’t any of the food be eaten the next day? What kind of offering was it? What did the meal symbolize? What meal do believers celebrate today ratifies the New Covenant?

   REFLECT: What do you do to dedicate yourself for God’s work, either daily, annually or once-for-all? What part does ritual play in that? Does ritual draw you closer to the LORD, or does it hinder your ability to feel His presence? How? Why?

    At the conclusion of the seven-day dedication ceremony, the participants shared a sacrificial meal together. It was a covenant meal and ratified a pact, in this case the Levitical priesthood, in order to celebrate a new relationship between God and His people. Central to this meal was the food that had been sacrificed at the bronze altar.

    What was left of the second ram was to be cooked for the priests to eat at the gate of the Tabernacle. Aaron and his sons ate the sacrificial meal. They only ate the meat of the second ram and the bread that was left over in the basket, the offerings that set them apart at their dedication. But no one else was to eat them, because they were sacred. And if any of the meat of the second ram or any of the bread was left over till morning, it was burned up. It could not be eaten, because it was too sacred to be eaten at other times. This command was the same as the one given at the Passover (12:10).

    The second ram was a peace offering. A blood offering, in this case the ram, always preceded the peace offering, because the basis of peace between mankind and God is always a blood sacrifice. Of the three different types of peace offerings, this was the thanksgiving offering, because it was an expression of thankfulness. Along with the thank offering, cakes of bread made without yeast (to point to sinlessness and purity) were eaten by Aaron and his sons. This meal symbolized their peace with God during the time of the meal. But very shortly, their sin nature would demand another sacrifice.

    The Seder in the New Covenant is a meal of celebration. Jesus proclaims that this cup is the Renewed Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you (Luke 22:20 CJB). It is modeled after the Passover meal of the TaNaKh, which was also a covenant meal of celebration. Whenever believers partake in the Seder, they are sharing in such a meal of joy because they are in a New Covenant relationship with Christ, or the Messiah.

    John G. Patton, who was a missionary to the cannibals in the New Hebrides in the middle of the nineteenth century, tells the story of the first communion held on one of the islands. He said, “For three years we had worked and prayed for their souls. At the moment when I put the bread and wine into those dark hands, once stained with the blood of cannibalism but now stretched out to receive and partake of the Lord’s love, I had a foretaste of the joy of glory that almost broke my heart into pieces. I don’t think I will ever taste a deeper bliss until I gaze at the glorified face of Jesus, or Yeshua Himself.” May our hearts contain that kind of joy the next time we partake of the Lord’s Supper, or the Seder.648

 

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