April 13, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 28

Today’s passage includes the command that Aaron and his sons would serve The Lord as priests.  Who were the priests of the OT? What was their purpose? How does that apply to us today? The writer of Hebrews gives us some insight into these questions:

Hebrews 5:1-4: For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

Essentially, priests were mediators between God and man. They acted on behalf of men offering the gifts and sacrifices necessary for God to forgive the sins of the people. The formal priesthood began when Aaron was appointed the first High Priest of The Lord. Every sub sequential High Priest and priest of any degree would come from his linage. We read the magnificent description of the formal robes God required Aaron to wear as he made his intercession for the people. The detail is exquisite and full of significance and meaning. I’m a pretty visual person and I found a diagram of what these garments would have likely looked like according to their description in Exodus 28:

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One of the primary things that the priestly system shows us today is the absolute Holy nature of God. Priests, especially the High Priest, had to be set apart and consecrated thoroughly to carry out their duties.  If they failed to do their job the proper way “the bell” stopped ringing and they got dragged out. Not a good day at the office!

The New Testament book of Hebrews is most important for us today in understanding the connection between the priesthood of the OT and the New Covenant system of grace by which we live. Here’s another passage to help us see this today:

Hebrews 4:14-16: 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus is our High Priest! We no longer need a man appointed to intercede on our behalf according to the OT Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law of God perfectly and now intercedes for us on the basis of His shed blood and righteousness.

Take time today to draw near to the throne of grace confidently, knowing that your great High Priest has made a way for you to personally approach God and petition Him for all your needs.

By: Matt Mofield


April 12, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 27

Jesus, the Light of the World

In our passage today we see some more instructions regarding the building of the tabernacle.  As all of us, I’m sure, have noticed, these instructions are detailed and clear.  And God expects them to be obeyed!

One of the reasons they should be obeyed is that it showed the people’s faith.  The proof of their faith was proven through the faithfulness of their actions.   These detailed instructions also show how much God cares about His plans.  God cares about the details.  But in addition to this, these details should be taken seriously because they point us to greater things!  These instructions…rules…are not an end in themselves.  They point to Christ!

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

At the end of our passage we see the instructions for the lampstand.  The people are instructed to bring olive oil, to be burned in the lampstand.  This is praiseworthy.

The people were to bring olive oil, as a sacrifice.  In addition to their other sacrifices.  The olive oil was a sacrifice.

The people weren’t supposed to bring any old oil.  They had instructions about the type.  The olive oil was to be pure.

The people were to get this oil out of the olives in a certain way.  They had instructions about how.  The olives were beaten.

The oil was burned for a reason.  There was a reason for the oil.  The oil / lamp was meant to be a light.  

The lamp that was meant to burn the oil wasn’t just placed anywhere.  They had instructions on exactly where to place it.  They lamp was to be placed in front of the veil.  The lamp was meant to light the path to the presence of God.

What an image!  The details and obedience of these rules and acts in the Old Testament was meant to point to Christ!  And so our acts and the “rules” we keep are not an end in themselves.  They are meant to point people to Christ!

Are the details of your life pointing people to Christ?

By: Sam Cirrincione

April 11, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 26

In today’s Scripture we read about the details of what needs to go into the temple. This includes a room called “the most holy place” that was separated from the rest of the temple with a veil. This room was where the mercy seat would be. The mercy seat was described in the last chapter. This is where God would meet you and give mercy to you or the priest who represented all who sinned and needed mercy and forgiveness from God. However there is no more vail or holy place that separates us from God. When Jesus died, the veil was torn, and God moved out of that place never again to dwell in a temple made with hands (Acts 17:24). God was through with that temple and its religious system and made a way to give us mercy once and for all in Jesus. In fact all of these things were just a foreshadowing of what Jesus was going to give us in the Gospel. Jesus is our true mercy seat as Hebrews 9 says:

1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 2 For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. 5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail…. 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. 23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.

It is through Jesus that we have mercy once and for all. Dwell upon this great truth as you listen to this deep worship song on that mercy seat that we read about today.

By: Erik Koliser

April 9, 2016

Today you should read: Exodus 25

One of the most profound truths of the gospel is that we are fully known by God, and fully loved by God. This idea of knowing God personally is one that is exclusive to Christianity. It is absolutely mind boggling to think that the God, who created us, became like us, lived among us, died for us, and made it possible to be with Him forever. While this concept is beyond our own human comprehension, scripture proclaims its truth and we believe it by faith.

This passage today gives us insight into the fact that God always desired to be with His creation. From the time Adam and Eve fell, God had been actively working to restore His people and be with them. The tabernacle that God instructed Israel to build would make a way for just that. God would have a dwelling place among men. This would only be a temporary dwelling of course, but it points forward to the permanent plan of God to dwell within the hearts of His people.

John 1:14: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Greek word used in this passage that describes Jesus coming to “dwell” among us, literally means to “abide in a tabernacle or tent.” Jesus came to dwell (tabernacle) with His creation. Just as God laid out detailed instructions for Israel to construct a tabernacle for Him to be with them, God reveals His detailed plans to have a relationship with us through Jesus in His Word. The fact that God fully knows us and fully loves us is amazing. But it doesn’t stop there. God desires to be with us in our hearts and it was through Jesus that He made it happen.

Get alone with God today and draw close to Him through His Word and in prayer. Praise Him for making a way for you to know Him personally through Jesus.

By: Matt Mofield