As part of the ceremony of the ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests in Leviticus 8, Moses takes some of the blood of the ram of ordination and puts it on the right ear lobe, right thumb and right big toe, first of Aaron and then of his sons (Lev. 8:22-24). Later, after the ordination offering has been made, Moses then takes some of the anointing oil and some of the blood that was on the altar (presumably some of the blood of the bull of the sin offering which has made atonement and which was placed on the horns of the altar and poured out at its base as well as some of the blood of the ram of the burnt offering which was thrown against the sides of the altar and also of the ram of ordination whose blood was also thrown against the sides of the altar) and he sprinkles them both on Aaron and his sons, who are being ordained as priests in Israel (8:30).
This ordination of Israel’s priests is a picture and a type of the ordination of believers, who are a royal priesthood in Christ (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). First, the blood of Christ is applied to believers, and as the blood was placed on the right ear lobe, thumb and big toe of Aaron and his sons, so it is that Christ’s blood is applied to all of us in all we do. Like Aaron and his sons, we are to dedicate our lives and all we do to the sacred service of God. We are to hear the Word of God so that we can proclaim it. We are to serve God in all we put our hand to. And we are to walk in the ways of God. Aaron and his sons, as priests, were not to put their hands to manual labour as the other Israelites would do. They were to reserve their service for the sacred things of worship and ministry in the tabernacle before the LORD and on behalf of the people. Christians are to understand all the labour we do, manual or otherwise, as sacred to the Lord. All we do is service offered to God for his glory and in the service of others out of love.
As Aaron and his sons were sprinkled with the blood and the anointing oil, so too Christians have been sprinkled with the blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us to anoint and equip us for ministry. Both of these sprinklings, the blood of Christ and the out-pouring of the Spirit, are pictured in baptism. Like Aaron and his sons, we are consecrated by atoning blood that has been shed on our behalf and in our place, and we are filled up by God for ministry (the Hebrew root word for ordination means ‘to fill up’). We do not serve in the tabernacle or temple. We are the temple. We are priests. All we do is to be service to God and on behalf of others.
The process of the ordination of Aaron and his sons took seven days (Lev. 8:33, 35). It is interesting that it is the eighth day upon which Aaron and his sons begin their ministry on behalf of the people. It is upon the eighth day, which is to say, the first day of the week, for the seventh day was the Sabbath, that Jesus rose from the dead, and it is upon the eighth day that the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the church (it was on the day of Pentecost, which is fifty days, seven sevens plus one, after Passover). It was on the eighth day that the LORD revealed his glory to the people of Israel at the tabernacle, after Aaron and his sons made all the required sacrifices on behalf of the people who were all gathered together and after Aaron and Moses went into the tent of meeting and came out and blessed the people. The glory of the LORD appeared to the people and fire came out from the LORD to consume all the offerings. At Pentecost, when both Father and Son send the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7) upon the church, all the disciples are gathered together and fire comes out from the Lord and rests upon each one of them, consuming them for service. When the glory of the LORD appeared to all Israel at the tabernacle and fire came out from the LORD, the people all shouted and fell on their faces. When the fire came out from the Lord at Pentecost and fell upon all the church gathered together, they spoke. It must have been loud, for they were together in a house, and devout men from all over the world were gathered in Jerusalem and they heard the disciples. The Holy Spirit ordained the disciples, who became apostles, and who, along with all the church, began that very day to serve the ministry and mission of God.