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Blood on Our Hands

Exodus 40:12-13 &15b
“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. … And their anointing shall admit them toa perpetual priesthood throughout their generations."

That Aaron is the recipient of this holy commission after he sullied his hands with that golden calf is a remarkable act of divine mercy. But what if someone objects to this coronation in the days and weeks to come? What if someone walks up to Aaron in private, spits at his feet, and says, “How dare you use those hands that fashioned that idol to light these candles and clean these holy vessels and mop these floors! What gives you the right to stand here after what you did?!” If Aaron is still unrepentant, he might retort back a list of credentials: “Well, you’re forgetting a few things: these hands also threw a staff down in Pharaoh’s palace that turned into a serpent, and these hands also lifted Moses’ arms all night long enabling us to defeat the Amalekites! That’s more than your hands will ever accomplish!”

But if Aaron finally realizes that he’s draped in these sacred garments by God’s mercy alone, if the thought seizes his heart at this very moment when the holy garments touch his skin that “I am unworthy of such honor!”, just as it rushed through the hearts of men like Isaiah in his heavenly vision and Paul on that Damascus road and Peter before the Sanhedrin, then he’ll only have but one reply when hell thunders its most penetrating accusation, “You don’t belong here in this holy place! You don’t deserve to wear this cloth!” “Yes, you’re right—I don’t!”, he’ll say. “But God has consecrated me for this purpose just the same!”

Friend, we, too, are members of this perpetual priesthood in Christ Jesus, and we, too, are just as unworthy of the honor as Aaron. So I pray that when devils come to us today with accusations, reminding us why we don’t belong in such high standing, flashing before our minds the idolatries of our past, screaming, “There’s blood on your hands!”, we’ll respond in humble reverence, “Yes—and it’s Christ’s!”