29 Eternal One: Here is how to conduct the ceremony that consecrates Aaron and his sons as priests: select one flawless young bull and two flawless rams. 2 Using a good quality wheat flour, make bread without yeast, cakes without yeast with oil, and wafers without yeast spread with oil. 3 Place all these baked goods in a basket, and offer them to God along with the young bull and two rams.
4 Then escort Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the congregation tent, and wash them carefully with water. 5 Take all the ceremonial garments and put them on Aaron: the tunic, the robe worn under the vest, the vest, and the breast piece. Fasten the vest’s waistband around him as well. 6 Place the turban on his head and attach the sacred medallion to the front of it. 7 When he is completely dressed, pour the anointing oil over his head.
8 Then escort Aaron’s sons to the congregation tent, and dress them in tunics as well. 9 Fasten sashes around the waists of Aaron and his sons and put special caps on their heads. This is how you are to ordain[a] them.
10 Then bring the young bull to the entrance of the congregation tent, and Aaron and his sons will lay their hands on its head. 11 Slaughter the bull in My presence at the entrance of the congregation tent. 12 Take some of the bull’s blood and smear it on the horns of the altar with your finger. Pour out any remaining blood at the foot of the altar. 13 Remove all the fat from around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, the two kidneys, and the fat surrounding them and burn them on the altar. 14 All the remaining parts of the bull—its hide, meat, and refuse—are to be burned as a sin offering away from the camp.
15 Select one of the rams and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head. 16 Slaughter the ram and splatter its blood on all sides of the altar. 17 Then cut the ram up into pieces. Clean out the intestines and wash off the legs so nothing unclean is mixed with the sacrifice. Then place them alongside the other pieces, including the head, 18 and burn the entire animal as a burnt offering to Me. This offering by fire presented to Me will give off a pleasing aroma.
19 Then bring the other ram, and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head. 20 Slaughter the ram, and smear some of its blood on the right earlobe of Aaron and his sons. Then smear it on the thumbs of their right hands and the big toes of their right feet. Splatter the remaining blood on all sides of the altar. 21 Collect some of the blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. This is how you are to consecrate Aaron, his sons, and their garments. 22 Next remove the fat from the ram, the fat tail, the fat from around the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat surrounding them, and the right thigh (because this is an offering for ordination). 23 Take one loaf of bread, one cake of bread with oil, and one wafer from the basket of yeastless bread that was placed before Me. 24 Place all of these in the hands of Aaron and his sons to lift up as a wave offering to Me. 25 Then take them from their hands and burn them on the altar along with the burnt offering. This offering by fire presented to Me will give off a pleasing aroma.
26 Then take the breast from Aaron’s ordination ram, and lift it up before Me as a wave offering. This will be your portion of the sacrifice. 27 Consecrate the breast and the thigh which were lifted up before Me as a wave offering from the ordination ram. They belong to Aaron and his sons. 28 From now on when the people of Israel offer a peace offering, Aaron and his descendants must receive a share of what the people offer Me in that sacrifice. It is their due for their priestly service.
This ceremony becomes the ritual by which generations of priests and high priests are consecrated for their sacred duties.
29 When Aaron dies, his sacred garments must be passed down to his descendants. They will wear them when they are anointed and ordained. 30 Aaron’s son who succeeds him as high priest to minister in the congregation tent and holy place will wear these clothes for seven days.
One difficult aspect of Old Testament life to appreciate (at least in the Western world) is the use of animal sacrifices. The Israelites are first a nomadic people; later when they are settled, they become a shepherding people. For them to offer their best and dearest to God means most naturally an animal, one without blemish and young. These animals are the basis of their economy and provide them with food, clothing, shelter, and security. To offer God an animal sacrifice is to offer a piece of their lives. So offerings are very personal and differ based on what families can afford. In some cases, the sacrifices are completely consumed, but in others the priests and the people take some of the meat home to their own tables. This way the whole community shares in the bounty of the sacrifice.
Eternal One: 31 Take the meat of the ordination ram and boil it in a sacred place. 32 Aaron and his sons are to eat it and the bread from the basket at the entrance to the congregation tent. 33 Only they are allowed to eat the bread and meat which was part of their purification rite in the ordination ceremony. An outsider may not eat them because they are holy. 34 If any meat or bread is left over from the ordination ceremony the next morning, burn it completely. No one is allowed to eat it, for it is holy.
35 The ordination period is to last for seven days. Here is what you must do to ordain Aaron and his sons to My priestly service. 36 Offer a bull as an offering every day for seven days to purify them from sin. Cleanse the altar and consecrate it by anointing it with oil. 37 For seven days you must purify the altar and consecrate it. As a result of these rituals it will be most holy and anything that touches the altar will become holy.
38 Here are the sacrifices you are to offer on the altar: every day offer two one-year-old lambs. 39 Offer one lamb in the morning, and the other at twilight. 40 With the lamb offered in the morning bring two quarts of fine flour mixed together with one quart of beaten olive oil, and one quart of wine for the drink offering. 41 With the second lamb offered at twilight, bring the same gifts of grain and drink that you offered with the morning lamb. These offerings by fire presented to Me will give off a pleasing aroma. 42 From generation to generation, the ritual of the burnt offering is to begin daily at the entrance of the congregation tent in My presence. I will meet with you and talk with you there. 43 I will meet with My people Israel there, for My glory will make that place sacred. 44 I will sanctify the congregation tent and the altar. I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve as My priests. 45 I will live among the Israelites and be their God. 46 And they will know that I am the Eternal their God, who led them out of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Eternal One their God.
30 Eternal One: Make an altar out of acacia wood for burning incense 2 in the shape of a square—18 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 36 inches high. Carve the horns and the top of the altar out of one piece of wood. 3 Overlay the top, sides, and horns with pure gold, and attach gold trim around its edges. 4 Fashion two gold rings, and attach them beneath the trim on the two opposite sides; the rings are to hold the poles so that the altar can be carried. 5 Make the poles out of acacia wood as well and overlay them with gold. 6 Place this altar just outside of the veil that conceals the covenant chest and the seat of mercy that sits on top of the covenant chest. I will meet with you there.
7 Aaron is to burn fragrant incense on it every morning when he trims the lamps’ wicks 8 and every evening when he lights the lamps. Incense must be burned in My presence throughout all your generations. 9 Do not burn any strange incense, burnt offerings, or grain offerings at this altar. Also, do not pour out any drink offerings on it. 10 Since this altar is sacred to Me, Aaron is to cleanse it once each year by smearing blood from the sin offering on its horns. Throughout all your generations, the high priests are to perform this ritual.
- 29:9 Hebrew idiom is to “fill the hands.”
14 At that, one of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests.
Judas Iscariot: 15 What will you give me to turn Him over to you?
They offered him 30 pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment, he began to watch for a chance to betray Jesus.
Here begins the account of Jesus’ last night before His trial and crucifixion.
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples said to Jesus,
Disciples: Where would You like us to prepare the Passover meal for You?
Jesus: 18 Go into the city, find a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, ‘My time is near, and I am going to celebrate Passover at your house with My disciples.’”
They find the man’s house and secure the owner’s permission, and there they will praise God for redeeming His people from bondage in Egypt.
19 So the disciples went off, followed Jesus’ instructions, and got the Passover meal ready. 20 When evening came, Jesus sat down with the twelve. 21 And they ate their dinner.
Jesus: I tell you this: one of you here will betray Me.
22 The disciples, of course, were horrified.
A Disciple: Not me!
Another Disciple: It’s not me, Master, is it?
Jesus: 23 It’s the one who shared this dish of food with Me. That is the one who will betray Me. 24 Just as our sacred Scripture has taught, the Son of Man is on His way. But there will be nothing but misery for he who hands Him over. That man will wish he had never been born.
25 At that, Judas, who was indeed planning to betray Him, said,
Judas Iscariot: It’s not me, Master, is it?
Jesus: I believe you’ve just answered your own question.
26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread. He offered a blessing over the bread, and then He broke it and gave it to His disciples.
Jesus: Take this and eat; it is My body.
27 And then He took the cup of wine, He made a blessing over it, and He passed it around the table.
Jesus: Take this and drink, all of you: 28 this is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you: I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until I am with you once more, drinking in the kingdom of My Father.
30 The meal concluded. Together, all the men sang a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, and then they took a late evening walk to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus: 31 Scripture says,
I shall strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will scatter.[a]
Just so, each of you will stumble tonight, stumble and fall, on account of Me.
32 Afterward I will be raised up. And I will go before you to Galilee.
Peter: 33 Lord, maybe everyone else will trip and fall tonight, but I will not. I’ll be beside You. I won’t falter.
Jesus: 34 If only that were true. In fact, this very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.
Peter: 35 No! I won’t deny You. Even if that means I have to die with You!
And each of the disciples echoed Peter.
It is indeed a dark, bitter night. The disciples are sad and confused, and maybe a little bit prideful. Peter can not believe that he could ever betray his Lord.
36 At that, Jesus led His disciples to the place called Gethsemane.
Jesus: I am going over there to pray. You sit here while I’m at prayer.
37 Then He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and He grew sorrowful and deeply distressed.
Jesus: 38 My soul is overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.
39 He walked a little farther and finally fell prostrate and prayed.
Jesus: Father, this is the last thing I want. If there is any way, please take this bitter cup from Me. Not My will, but Yours be done.
40 When He came back to the disciples, He saw that they were asleep. Peter awoke a little less confident and slightly chagrined.
Jesus (to Peter): So you couldn’t keep watch with Me for just one short hour? 41 Now maybe you’re learning: the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Watch and pray and take care that you are not pulled down during a time of testing.
42 With that, Jesus returned to His secluded spot to pray again.
Jesus: Father, if there is no other way for this cup to pass without My drinking it—then not My will, but Yours be done.
43 Again Jesus returned to His disciples and found them asleep. Their eyes were heavy-lidded. 44 So Jesus left them again and returned to prayer, praying the same sentiments with the same words. 45 Again He returned to His disciples.
Jesus: Well, you are still sleeping; are you getting a good long rest? Now the time has come; the Son of Man is just about to be given over to the betrayers and the sinners. 46 Get up; we have to be going. Look, here comes the one who’s going to betray Me.
19 Your overflowing goodness
You have kept for those who live in awe of You,
And You share Your goodness with those who make You their sanctuary.
20 You hide them, You shelter them in Your presence,
safe from the conspiracies of sinful men.
You keep them in Your tent,
safe from the slander of accusing tongues.
21 Bless the Eternal!
For He has revealed His gracious love to me
when I was trapped like a city under siege.
22 I began to panic so I yelled out,
“I’m cut off. You no longer see me!”
But You heard my cry for help that day
when I called out to You.
23 Love the Eternal, all of you, His faithful people!
He protects those who are true to Him,
but He pays back the proud in kind.
24 Be strong, and live courageously,
all of you who set your hope in the Eternal!
14 Good counsel is mine, and also true wisdom.
I am understanding, and strength belongs to me.
15 It’s because of me that kings wield power
and authorities decree what is right.
16 It’s because of me that leaders and their agents govern
and all judge according to what is right.
17 I love those who love me;
those who search hard for me will find me.
18 Riches and honor are the benefit of following me;
so are lasting wealth and justice.
19 My reward is better than gold, even the purest gold;
and my profit is greater than the highest quality silver.
20 I follow the way of right living.
Follow me along the path to find justice;
21 I’m ready to meet those who love me, bestow true riches upon them,
and fill up their lives until their treasuries overflow.
22 The Eternal created me; it happened when His work was beginning,
one of His first acts long ago.
23 Before time He established me,
before the earth saw its first sunrise.
24 I was born before the deep existed,
before any springs poured out their water,
25 Before the mountains were placed on their foundations,
before the hills rolled across the land—
yes, before all this, I was brought forth.
26 When the earth was yet unformed and the fields were not yet nestled beneath the wind—
even before the first dust of the earth—