Introduction & Prayer
In Exodus 29, God shows how to dedicate the priests.
Ask for an example of someone dedicating something. Has anyone been to a dedication of a room/building?
When people dedicate a building or dedicate a child, what are they actually doing?
Pray and dedicate yourselves to becoming more like God.
Read Exodus 29:1-3
“This is the ceremony you must follow when you consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams with no defects. 2 Then, using choice wheat flour and no yeast, make loaves of bread, thin cakes mixed with olive oil, and wafers spread with oil. 3 Place them all in a single basket, and present them at the entrance of the Tabernacle, along with the young bull and the two rams.
Historically, when did God first ask His children to make bread without yeast?
What is the significance of yeast—what does yeast usually represent in the OT? [Sin—remember, that yeast is synonymous with fermentation. The process of the breakdown of organic matter by fermentation is part of death and decay. This is something that was introduced into the world as a result of sin and the curse.]
So why would God want them to make this bread without yeast?
What does oil often represent in the NT? [Holy Spirit/Presence of God]
A meaningful relationship with God involves both rejecting sin and submitting to the Spirit of God.
Read Exodus 29:14
14 Then take the rest of the bull, including its hide, meat, and dung, and burn it outside the camp as a sin offering.
What was the purpose of a sin offering? What could the priest do after the offering was given to atone for his sin?
How does this verse reflect what Jesus will do?
Does the location have any meaning? [HINT: Was Jesus crucified in the city?]
Read Exodus 29:19-20
19 “Now take the other ram, and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head. 20 Then slaughter it, and apply some of its blood to the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons. Also put it on the thumbs of their right hands and the big toes of their right feet. Splatter the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar.
Aside from the purification process, what does the right hand symbolize in the Bible? [It is symbolic of authority.]
Where is Christ seated today?
As a key part of the right hand and right foot, the right thumb/big toe was very important to holding a sword/scepter and walking like a king. These were symbolic of power and authority. By anointing these parts of the body, God was declaring His power and authority over their lives.
What are some areas that we struggle with authority—in other words, who’s “in charge” of our lives?
In Romans 5-8, Paul teaches about authority—who is leading our lives. We can be led by the sinful nature and flesh or by the Spirit of God. So how does who leads us impact impurity?
So Jesus was constantly teaching about authority in our lives. When we live with the proper authority in We are to be led by the Holy Spirit in our every day lives. When we live like this, then we will lead genuinely pure lives. Sometimes, people can come up with their own ideas of what makes someone pure. What are some thoughts or actions the world may consider as pure despite them being contrary to God’s Word?
The Pharisees and Jewish leaders were big on purity as they defined it. They developed all types of crazy rules to determine purity.
Read Mark 7:1-4
One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. 2 They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. 3 (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions. 4 Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.)
What are some of the artificial rules or traditions that the church has taught to define purity? Is there a Biblical basis for these rules or traditions?
What did Jesus think about this man-made approach to authority and purity?
Read Mark 7:6-9 [OPTIONAL]
6 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ 8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” 9 Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.
So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law taught that it was okay not to take care of your aging parents with needs and instead give those resources to God. God said that was not honoring parents. Jesus was teaching that following their authority did not lead to purity.
Read Mark 7:14-23
14 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” 17 Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. 18 “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? 19 Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.) 20 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
According to Jesus, what are the things that cause us to be impure?
Are there any other specific modern day examples of things that cause us to be impure?
What are some specific steps that we can take to lead pure lives?
Read Psalm 119:9-11
9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. 10 I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Think of one area in your life that you wrestle with purity. Search for a scripture that pertains to purity in that particular area. Write that verse down (or put it in your phone) and memorize it. Commit to praying daily that God would establish His authority in that particular area of your life.