Peter

Peter Wilson Ministries | Blog

Apr/11

18

Holiness: Law OR Grace Pt 2

Old Testament Priesthood

Ex 39:27-28 For Aaron and his sons, they made tunics of fine linen, and the turban of fine linen, the linen headbands and the undergarments of finely twisted linen.  (NIV)

We saw in our last Blog how God expelled man from His presence to protect man from God’s judgement against sin which brought instant death; However, because God desired relationship with man He initiated the ceremonial law of a tabernacle, priesthood and animal sacrifices so He could have a dwelling place amongst them.

Man’s approach to God in the tabernacle involved elaborate ritual to the most exacting of standards in order to meet the demands of God’s holiness. The priests who worked in the tabernacle had to wash their bodies in clean water and dress in garments of fine white linen (picture above). This symbolised their covering of righteousness & holiness before God.

The priests would also sacrifice animals as substitutes for man. Animals would receive the punishment for sin in the place of man meaning their blood temporarily covered mans sin; Failure to comply with such stringent detail brought instant death (Lev 10:1,2).

Ritual accomplished meant God could release His mercy and forgiveness upon man enabling fellowship to take place. But let’s remember, all this ritual is outward show and only temporary: The garments covering their bodies gave a resemblance of holiness and the blood of animals covered their sinful behaviour. It was just enough to get by.

THIS IS HOLINESS BY LAW. Law says, do the right thing and I will bless you, do the wrong thing and I will curse you. Sadly, many in the Church have carried O.T. holiness over into the N.T. and placed demands on Christians to live a righteous holy lifestyle by their own means that they cannot live up to. Hence we have a Church carrying a burden of guilt, condemnation, shame, rejection, and fear. Peace, joy and rest have spread wings and flown away. Defeat, hopelessness and failure have taken their place, and like the man in Rom 7:24 we cry:

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?   (NIV)

All this ritual without removing the sin of mankind. What was God up to, was He stuck with sinful man for ever or did He have a plan of salvation for the human race. Find out in the next Blog.

Meditation Point: Eph 1:4 He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.   (KJV)

Rom 8:30 And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them his glory.  (NLT)


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