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Ordination Service February 11 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today's Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Exodus 28, 29

Dedication for Service

We christen boats and dedicate buildings and other things for service. In church and business and even the military we confer honors on people. Dedications are usually done publicly. To promote people we congregate in special meetings or at events to explain new titles, positions and authority given to those whom we wish to honor. We may give honorees special garments or adornments to wear to distinguish them from others. We may give them an office with a name on their door and their own desk. We may even give them a secretary. By doing this we grant them dignity and respect in their new position. Although they may be accorded special respect and privileges of leadership, how they lead will win or lose the respect of their followers. The same is true of us.

In the Biblical record, anointing someone or something was a way of separating a person or thing apart for special service (also called consecrating). In the Old Testament, priests, prophets, kings, and sacred items used in worship were anointed. Most of the time this was done in a public ceremony by pouring oil on the head, or smearing or sprinkling small amounts of bovine blood on the recipient to set him or it apart for special service. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ was the spiritual “anointed one” (the Greek name for Christ). He was anointed or chosen of God for a special purpose—to serve and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Spiritually speaking, it is the blood of Jesus which does more than set us apart (consecrate)—he makes us holy (purifies or sanctifies us) for service (1Peter 2:9 and Hebrews 9:14).

In our Bible reading today, Moses is on Mount Sinai receiving instructions from God about how the high priests are to be clothed and set apart by anointing them. Special garments are to be worn to give them dignity and honor and to consecrate them for service to God as priests (Exodus 28:2, 39-41). A small square breast piece, an ephod (like a smock), a robe, a woven tunic, a turban, a sash, and linen undergarments (to reduce sweating) are to be made for the high priests and their sons (descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses). On each shoulder of the ephod, one onyx stone inscribed with the names of six of the twelve tribes of Israel is to be mounted and fastened. The small breast piece he wears over the ephod is to bear twelve jewels representing the twelve tribes of Israel. On their heads they are to wear a turban which has a golden plate with the inscription “Holy to the LORD”. The priests are to minister with holy (dedicated and purified) things and represent holiness to the people (for picture, see more…). The priests are not only holy representatives of God but are also representatives of the Israelites and bear responsibility for them.

How do we view our leadership? Whether we are the leaders of our family, business, church, or other organization, do we realize our character and what we stand for are all important? The Apostle Peter writes, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (1Peter 1:15,16, NIV). We represent those under our care in their concerns, and we bear responsibility for them. The jewels and stones on the vestments of the priests are visual reminders of whom they represent. Are there any visual reminders we could use to help us remember whom we represent? Although we may be accorded special respect and privileges of leadership, how we lead will win or lose the respect of our followers.

As in the Old Testament days of the priests and the New Testament days of the apostles, we Christians are also representatives of God. The Apostle Paul says, “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2Corinthians 5:20, NIV). Like the priests and apostles who were involved in reconciliation, we, too, need to be involved in it. We need to seek to reconcile people with their Creator, whether they are unbelievers, or believers who are out of fellowship with God. If you need forgiveness and peace with God, you can find it through our high priest, Jesus Christ (more...).

Lessons to Live By

  • Spiritually speaking, it is the blood of Jesus which sanctifies (purifies) us for service.
  • Although we may be accorded special respect and privileges of leadership, how we lead will win or lose the respect of our followers.
  • Try to reconcile people with their creator, whether they are unbelievers, or believers who are out of fellowship with God.

Focus Verse

1Peter 1:15,16 (NIV) “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”

praying hands Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

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A Look Ahead: Moses is on the mountain getting instructions for building a tabernacle and for making garments for the priests so the people can draw close to God in worship. Meanwhile, below, the people have lost faith and are following other gods. They break God' s trust. Perhaps we have done that or someone has done that with us. How can we Restore Broken Trust? Find out in our Next Lesson.

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