During the consecration of Aaron as High Priest and his sons as priest there is a very significant moment toward the end of the ceremony. It is found in Exodus 29.
After Aaron and his sons are washed, Moses anoints Aaron by pouring precious oil on his head. The sacrifice is killed. Moses attention now returns to and includes the sons of Aaron as he takes blood from the sacrifice and puts some on each of their right ear lobes, the thumb of each of their right hands and right great toe. It is easy to read right over that and miss how significant a moment this really is. In this part of the ceremony their whole person and their careers as priest are brought under the power of the blood. They had a blood stained ear that they might hear the divine instruction from the God of heaven and interpret it to the people. They also had a blood stained hand as a reminder of the significance and importance of their service in the sanctuary. And a blood stained foot that they might walk blameless before the Lord as they made atonement for the sins of the people.
Aaron was but a dim shadow of the Great High Priest Jesus, as He is called in the letter to the Hebrews. The writer of Hebrews exalts Jesus not only as the High Priest but the sacrifice as well. In the Book of Revelation when John ask about the great multitude of those dressed in white robes he was told that these are they that, “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”, Rev. 7:14. That blood as foreshadowed in the blood of animals has now been poured out for us and is a constant reminder of who and whose we are. His blood covers not only all our sin but our lives lived out in response to that sacrifice too. So today our whole person, our careers, everything we do and touch is to be in response to and covered by the blood of the once for all sacrifice.
Paul put it this way, “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Rom. 12:1b-2a. Jesus came not just to die for us, but to teach us how to die to our selves. Jesus would live out in front of his disciples His instruction to take up our own cross. This cross is not some burden to bear, but an instrument of death…for our death to self.
So our lives too are marked and covered by the atoning sacrifice as we go about our lives as a holy priesthood. “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”, I Peter 2:9.