Man, it’s crazy reading through the Old Testament. Honestly, reading through all these decrees and jobs that God gave Moses and Aaron is quite tedious. In Exodus 25-30, God outlines to Moses the different altars, garments, and structures he needs to make in order to properly venerate and communicate with Him. Each object is outlined in meticulous detail complete with its size, instructions for building, required sacrifices, and type of material to be used. It is truly astonishing to think about the seriousness with which the Lord required man to adhere to his guidelines. Worshipping and communicating with God was no laughing matter back then: God is Holy and He had to be treated as such.
What was the purpose of the bronze basin? That priests might be clean before we enter the presence of the Lord, so they wouldn’t die (Ex. 30:20). Why did priests have to wear bells on their robes? Because if they weren’t clean, they’d die in the Holy Place before the Lord, and that way people could hear them when they collapse to the floor (Ex. 28:35). Why was there an altar of incense? So Aaron could make atonement for the unclean generations (Ex. 30:10). Do you see a pattern? No, it’s not imminent death before the Lord. It’s our dirtiness. Our uncleanliness caused us to be utterly separated from the Lord, and he made sure to let us know how much work it would take for us to properly worship him in the Old Testament. There was a clear distinction between a Holy God and wretched, unworthy sinners.
I often fail to realize how much Christ accomplished on the cross for me. From a redemptive view of history, the examples in the bible of all the rules the Israelites had to abide by helps me see how much Jesus actually did for me. You see, Jesus’ death on the cross altered the way our heavenly Father looked at us: no longer would God place barrier after barrier between Him and us, no. Now we can run into our Fathers’ arms to embrace him whenever we please. We can pray to our Father in Heaven and plead with him for blessings. We can worship him through singing and dancing, we can read his words and be convicted by his Spirit. It’s all because Jesus redeemed us that we are unhindered by Old Testament tradition. There’s a stark contrast between the before and after of our relationship with God.
So, thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank you for taking God’s wrath upon yourself for my sake. Thank you for bringing me back into a right relationship with my Father.