Exodus 40:1-15 (ESV)
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “On the first day of the first month you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. And you shall put in it the ark of the testimony, and you shall screen the ark with the veil. And you shall bring in the table and arrange it, and you shall bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. And you shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the testimony, and set up the screen for the door of the tabernacle. You shall set the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. And you shall set up the court all around, and hang up the screen for the gate of the court.
“Then you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture, so that it may become holy. You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar, so that the altar may become most holy. You shall also anoint the basin and its stand, and consecrate it. Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water and put on Aaron the holy garments. And you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests. And their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”
It’s all about the anointing. Until it’s anointed, this is all just a big tent and some furnishings. The Hebrew word translated here as “consecrate” literally means “set apart.”
And thou shalt take the Shemen [oil] HaMishchah [anointing], and anoint the Mishkan [tabernacle], and all that is therein, and shalt set it apart as kodesh [holy], and all the utensils thereof; and it shall be kodesh [holy]. – Exodus 40:9 (Orthodox Jewish Bible)
There’s nothing magical about the oil; it’s the act of anointing for the purpose of setting something apart that sets it apart. The temple, its furnishings and the priests are thus set apart for the LORD.
And this is permanent. Once consecrated, always consecrated. This applies especially to Aaron’s sons. And their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations. Their offspring are also, automatically, set apart. See how this fits with the idea of separation?
It’s like they’ve become citizens of another nation, so their children are born citizens too.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” – John 18:36a (ESV).
Peter said, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,” – 1 Peter 2:9a (ESV).
Confessing Christ as Lord means becoming holy, separated to God. We’re citizens of another world.
But we live in this one. We’re here as ambassadors of a better place – ambassadors sent to change things.
But how? It’s almost as if we speak a different language. Don’t ever think this is easy.
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