The priests of Israel were chosen from the covenant community out of the Aaronic clan. Aaron and his sons presented themselves at the door of the tabernacle to be washed and clothed by Moses. Once cleansed and clothed, they were to be consecrated to the priestly office. The consecration ceremony involved several sacrifices. But we are already familiar with one aspect of it.
Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
Like the cleansed leper, the priests had the blood applied to their right earlobe, thumb, and big toe. Unlike the cleansed leper, they didn’t have to contract leprosy first! (This may not seem an important point to you, but it sure made the priests happy!) The blood went on the ear that they might hear the Word of the Lord. It went on their right thumb that they might do the work of the Lord. And it was applied to the big toe that they might walk in the ways of the Lord. Their life was to be consecrated in service to God. Once they were placed in the priesthood, they came under special restrictions. Things that others were allowed to do they could no longer do.
After bringing us into covenant with Him by cleansing us with His blood, the Lord leads us to a life of consecration. The longer we walk with the Lord, the more He challenges us to let go of the world. Activities we enjoyed without guilt in the past now become restricted by convictions. But with each conviction followed comes a new liberty to serve the Lord in consecrated holiness. Our ears should drip with His blood that we might hear the mercy, love, and compassion He has for the lost and dying. Our hands should be marked by His blood to remind us not to touch the unclean thing and to empower us to minister His redemptive, healing grace. Our feet should be bathed in His blood that we might walk in the narrow way, turning neither to the left nor right. As priests of Almighty God, we need to apply the consecrating power of the blood.
And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.
The covenant blood went straight on the people; the cleansing blood was sprinkled directly on the defiled. But the consecration blood was first offered on the altar and then taken and sprinkled on the priests. This indicates a deeper sanctification after cleansing. After the blood came oil. The priests were sprinkled with both. Remember, the anointing falls where the blood has been applied.
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lord Jesus washed us from our sins in His own blood and made us to be priests unto our God. We have been brought into covenant and cleansed. We must also be consecrated as priests unto God. How? By the blood of sprinkling. When Aaron and his sons were consecrated, blood was taken from off the altar and sprinkled upon them. To be consecrated as New Testament priests, we need to take the blood from off the altar of the cross and sprinkle it on ourselves in faith.
1 John 1:7-9
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
These verses are not so much about salvation as they are about remaining consecrated to God. “If we walk in the light as he is the light…the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Our walk is to be marked by the blood on our toe. And if we step off the path, we will hear the call to confession because of the blood on our ear. Once we confess our sins, His blood cleanses us again that we might continue to do His commandments, for the Holy Spirit comes where the blood has been applied and empowers us to do the work of the Lord. A priest must be clean, for the Lord uses the clean to cleanse the unclean.