Anointing of the High Priest

Wendy Blight

Day: 11 | Plan: Leviticus-Hebrews

Today's Reading: Leviticus 8

Leviticus 8:10-12 (NIV) “Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him.”

In Leviticus 8, the time had arrived for Moses to perform the consecration and ordination of the priests established in Exodus 29. Since God’s holy presence resided within the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle, it was critical that the tabernacle and all who served in it be holy as well. 

At God’s request, Moses brought Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, a bull, two rams and a basket containing unleavened bread (without yeast) before the Israelite community. They all came together as one to observe and celebrate this most sacred occasion.

Moses brought Aaron forward and dressed him, piece by piece, in his priestly garments, just as the Lord commanded. (Exodus 27 and 28)

When the time for the much anticipated anointing arrived, Moses brought forth oil specially prepared by a chosen perfumer. The perfumer created this sacred blend for this sacred purpose in accordance with the recipe set forth in Exodus 30. 

Moses first anointed the tabernacle and everything in it: the ark of the covenant, the altar of incense, the candlestick, table of shewbread and its furniture, the altar of burnt offering and its furniture, and the basin and its pedestal. Sanctifying each piece and setting it apart for its particular use. 

Moses then poured the anointing oil on Aaron’s head, creating a beautiful image of God’s Spirit pouring forth to equip and empower Aaron for service as God’s high priest. In both the Old Testament and New Testament, oil often symbolized God’s power being transferred to one called by God: Saul (1 Samuel 10:1, 6); David (1 Samuel 16:13-14); Jesus the Messiah (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38). 

The beauty of this anointing is that it not only set Aaron aside as God’s holy representative to the people but also transformed him into a beautiful channel of grace and mercy. Through his hands, heart and prayers, God forgave the people of their sin and restored their fellowship with Him.

This is exactly what Jesus, our Great High Priest, did and does for us. Yes, He came as God’s representative and walked the earth. 

But through His death and resurrection, and by the anointing and filling of His Father’s Holy Spirit, Jesus became the channel through which we receive God’s gift of grace. And He is the vessel through which we continue to receive God’s power through the indwelling presence of His Spirit.

And when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we too are anointed and filled with God’s Holy Spirit. We, too, become vessels of God’s grace and power. What a glorious gift, an honor and a privilege. Let’s commit to live in the fullness of that anointing today, pouring out His love, mercy and grace wherever He leads us. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me the gift of Your Spirit, for choosing to plant a piece of Your heart in mine, and for filling me with the fullness of Your love.Allow me to be a beautiful vessel of that love. Bring someone across my path who needs Your touch, Your love, Your mercy, Your grace. I step into this day with an open and expectant heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

Read Leviticus 8:22-24. As part of the ordination ceremony, Moses placed the blood of the... Read More

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