Qualifying the Disqualified

The elements of the Tabernacle had been created. The priests trained. Moses had demonstrated for them how to minister in this holy place before the Lord (Ex. 40:1-32). Then on the eighth day (Lev. 9:1) it’s time for the Aaron and his sons to begin. Yet, Moses says to Aaron:

וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-אַהֲרֹן, קְרַב אֶל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ

“And Moses said to Aaron, draw near to the Altar…” (Lev. 9:7).

Some rabbinic commentators suggest that rather than drawing near on the eighth day, Aaron withdrew. He moved away from the position of his appointment. Why?

The Golden Calf.

Could Aaron really lead the children of Israel to reconciliation before the Lord, ministering in holiness by sacrifice with everyone knowing the depth of his sin in forming the Golden Calf? (Ex. 32:4). By his words, Moses says yes; but more importantly, the Lord qualified Aaron.

Time and again in Scripture we find the Lord qualifying those who should be disqualified. The messianic apostles are no exception. Messiah knew this when He called them, walked with them, and before they betrayed, denied, and abandoned Him while He washed their feet. He even called a persecutor while he was on mission to persecute. Which one of them would any of us have called, used or appointed to world changing mission?

What we learn from Aaron, and the apostles, is that we often model and display through our life the message we are delivering. Aaron was a minister of reconciliation, and as Paul writes:

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (II Cor 5:18-21).

As Moses called Aaron to draw near, even with the history of his sin known to all, he said, “Draw near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and for the people, and bring the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded” (Lev. 9:7).

Those watching would see Aaron being reconciled to God. Yet, as Moses points out, those watching also need reconciliation. What is the simple message of Leviticus 9:7? To Paul again:

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Ro. 3:23).

The Lord qualifies the disqualified through His grace, mercy and love. Yet, that qualification does not come without price. In the Torah, the innocent blood of bulls and goats atoned for sin, their innocence imputed to the penitent, and the penitents guilt imputed to the innocent.

In Messiah this double imputation (II Cor. 5:21) not only atones, but cleanse, and renews life by the Holy Spirit. That which disqualified us, is now worked into a testimony of His faithfulness (Ro. 8:28-29), qualifying us for the work He prepared beforehand for us to be involved with (Eph. 2:8–10).

Perhaps Aaron marveled at the amazing grace of God that moved him to appointment, as we find in the apostolic letters, time and again they marvel at the grace of God working in them.

Aaron should have been disqualified from leading the spiritual life of Israel, after all he led them into sin. Inexplicably he is elevated to the position of high priest. The explanation is actually simple: he received grace, and from the grace received he could relate to and bear the sins of those in his care before the Lord, and they could relate to him.

When you have fallen so low, His grace draws you to reconciliation, and in reconciliation to life, will giving others hope, and from that hope, assurance of acceptance in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, through Whom we receive this promise:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ro. 6:23).

Dear reader, it’s not Moses calling you to draw closer, but the Father, through the Spirit, by the Son: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day” (Jn. 6:44). And when He calls you, as it is said, He qualifies you. The call was not without cost, it was just a price you could never pay, but one He paid for you.

He is still raised! Even today.

Be well. Shalom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s