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Devotions by Ray Stedman A daily devotion for April 09 – The Work of a Priest

Topic:The Work of a Priest
A daily devotion for April 9th

Read the Scripture: Leviticus 8:10-36
He then presented the other ram, the ram for the ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. Lev 8:22-23

This offering was the offering of ordination for the priest. What a strange ceremony that is! What does it signify? Blood is always a reminder to us that we have no value apart from the death of Christ on our behalf. That is all that God ever accepts as of any value whatsoever out of our time here on earth. And here the priest is to have a blood-stained ear, a blood-stained thumb, and a blood-stained toe.

He is to hear God’s word as someone who has already been redeemed, who listens to the Word of God with the recognition that he is not merely hearing some good ideas but is listening to that which can release him and relieve him of pressures and problems — all because he has already been bought by that blood. We are to hear the Word of God not as mere philosophy but as God’s instruction deep within our hearts.

And then we are to serve man. That is what is always symbolized by the hand, the thumb, probably the most useful member of the human body. We are to serve as blood-stained people, recognizing that we have no righteousness in ourselves, that we are just like everybody else, no better than anyone else. We offer our help not not as people who have achieved perfection, but as ones who, like those we help, are very much in need of the constant cleansing of the blood of Jesus Christ.

In his letter to the Galatians Paul says, Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. (Galatians 6:1). Remind yourself that you may be the next one to fall. And when you fall you don’t want someone coming to you pointing the finger and judging you severely. Rather, you want someone to come to you with the realization: Brother, maybe I’ve never done what you’ve done, but I know I certainly could have. I just want you to know that I understand how you feel right now, and I want to see you cleansed as only God is able to cleanse.

Finally there is the blood-stained foot, which represents walking through life with a reminder that the cleansing of God’s grace is needed every day, that we never are perfect in this life, that though God has made provision for a life of service and of walking in the Spirit, nevertheless we all have failed to some extent every day in laying hold of it. God has understood that and has made provision for it.

Father, thank you for this look at Aaron and his sons. Open my spiritual eyes so that I can see beyond Aaron and his sons to Jesus Christ and his family, the great body of Christ of which I am a part.

Life Application: Our high and holy calling as servant-priests requires constant cleansing by the blood Jesus shed for us. Are our ears tuned to His holy wisdom, our hands available at His direction, our feet walking to His drumbeat?

We hope you were blessed by this daily devotion.

Emmanuel :