Exodus 29:37—Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.
There is a principle here that Jesus referred to in the New Testament. Some things were dedicated to God in such a way that they could not be defiled from without. If someone brought an offering and placed it on the altar, and they later found the offering was defiled, there was no need to purify the altar a second time. The altar made the gift holy. We see that principle displayed in the life of Jesus. Whatever He touched or touched Him became whole. Normally, if a leper or person with a bleeding tumor touched someone, the person they touched would need to go through a cleansing ritual. Not so with Jesus. Instead of defiling Him, the one who touched him was healed. The Most Holy object purifies the defiled one. Jesus is our altar. He is the One upon Whom we cast our lives. We place ourselves upon Him on the cross, but instead of defiling Him, we are raised with Him, whole, cleansed, and holy. The altar has sanctified the gift, for it is Most Holy. It doesn’t matter how defiled you are, if you present your body a living sacrifice upon the altar of Jesus upon the cross, you will be made holy. His holiness is more powerful than any defilement or impurity because of His blood shed in your place. Have you placed yourself upon the Most Holy Altar? Once you have, then you are to go out into the world transformed (Romans 12:1,2) to bring that transforming touch to all who come into your life. The holiness imparted to you should also transform, not be conformed to, the world around you.
Exodus 28:35-37—And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy placebefore the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not. And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
Once a year the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies with the blood of the Atonement Lamb. There he would sprinkle the blood before the Lord. Around the bottom of his robe were bells that sounded as he walked so that he would be identified by God as the priest that brought the atonement blood. A tradition says that the other priests would tie a rope around his ankle in case they had to drag out his dead body. If the priest was not right with God or did not function according to God’s command, he might be struck dead! On the turban and over the priest’s forehead was a gold plate that read ‘Holy to the LORD’. As the priest entered, he would be in the presence of the glowing ball of light, the Shekinah Glory, that hovered over the ark. It was a visible manifestation of the invisible God. The great curtain that the priest went through to enter this place was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died. We now have free access to God. We do not need to fear sudden death because of our sin in the presence of a Holy God, for the atonement blood of Jesus is over us. That blood is the blood all the other sacrifices looked forward to. Our minds are dedicated to God as His instruments, and so, God sees the same golden sign over our foreheads, ‘Holy to the LORD’. We are made priests unto God (2 Peter 2:5).
Matthew 8:25-27—And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
In a recent low water level of the Kinneseret Lake, a boat dating back to the first century was found preserved in the mud. Archeologists know it was a Jewish boat from that time because there are murals remaining to this day of those boats. If this is the same kind that Jesus and His disciples were in, twelve people would have made a very full boat. There was a quarterdeck up front, under which the nets could be stored. Jesus was probably under there sleeping on the nets. He was an early riser. Before the day got going, He got His instructions and fellowship with His Father. He must have been wiped out physically to have slept through the storm. Jesus was an all-out kind of person. This seems like another one of Satan’s attempts to stop Jesus. Other Gospels tell us that He was on His way to the Gentile region of Decapolis. The Gospel was going to make great advances there. We can expect resistance when we are obeying the will of the Father. The Jews considered the depths of that lake to be the Abyss. To think they might drown was more than just a fear of death. They woke Jesus and pleaded for Him to save them. Jesus first rebuked them for their lack of faith. The rebuke was not that they did not do what He was about to do, but that they feared. Faith believes that God is greater than any difficulty or situation we find ourselves in. Jesus’ chosen ones need never fear. Their Shepherd is greater than all. Then he rebuked the wind and waves, and there was a complete calm. What kind of man is this? What is your answer? It has a great deal to do with whether you will have fear or faith. If your answer is, “He is my Savior, Creator, Master, and friend!”, then you need never fear what comes your way.
Exodus 21:5-6—And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul, and he shall serve him forever.
The Israelites had a very humane and self-respecting way of dealing with financial difficulty. If you could not make ends meet, you could sell yourself as a slave for a seven-year period. Very clear laws protected the way you were to be treated. During the seven years, you would have food and shelter. At the end of the time, you were set free with money to begin again.If you chose to stay with your master if you found that place to be more suited to you than the outside world, you could give yourself as a lifelong slave to your master. Some slaves found their master to be kind and generous, and life in their service was much more secure and meaningful than struggling to make a way for themselves. When one decided to do this, his master would take him to the door of the home. His right ear would be pierced with an awl to the doorpost. He would then be a lifelong bondservant. Why pierce the right ear? The door represents the entrance and exit to the home. Now his ear is to be attentive to the needs of this home, attending to its needs alone. Several of the writers of the New Testament refer to themselves as a love-servant of Jesus Christ. They had given themselves for life to have their ear attentive to the needs of the heavenly home. They would no longer consider a life outside in their own house but now turn all their attention to the directions given them in their new home.