The Design for Worship, cont’d. Exodus 25-40
Exodus 25-31 The Details of the Tabernacle, cont’d.
Exodus 29:1-46-The Priests Consecration...This is the installation process of the priests. It included washing, anointing, clothing, and offering sacrifices.
Exodus 29:9-Aaron's descendants are to have the Priesthood by a "perpetual statute".
Exodus 29:14-Parts of the bull are burned on the altar and parts are offered as a "sin offering".
Exodus 29:18-The first ram is a "burnt offering to the LORD; it is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD".
Exodus 29:19ff-The second ram is a "ram of ordination" (29:22)...some of its blood is placed on Aaron and his sons on their right ear (symbolizing obedience to God, Exodus 21:6), thumb, big toe (symbolizing work for God)…then some of the blood (and some anointing oil) on the altar is to be sprinkled on their clothes …this was all to show that they were specially dedicated to God (29:20).
Exodus 29:24ff-Aaron and his sons are to make a "wave offering".
Exodus 29:27-A "heave offering" is made for Aaron and his sons.
Exodus 29:33-Only Aaron and his sons can eat those things used as their ordination...not a "layman".
Exodus 29:35ff-The ordination is a 7-day process.
Exodus 29:38-41-The Daily Sacrifices consisted of 2 lambs each day...one in the morning and one in the evening.
Exodus 30:1-10-The Altar of Incense (1.5'x1.5'x3')...stood in front of the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies...Aaron was responsible to burn incense on it continually and his descendants perpetually...once a year Aaron was to make "atonement" on it with the blood of the sin offering.
Exodus 30:11-16-The Atonement Money...take a census (a kind of formal enrollment). Everyone was to pay a "ransom...that there be no plague among them when you number them"...it was to be half a shekel...everyone 20 years old and older...it was to be used for the "service of the tent of meeting".
Exodus 30:17-21-The Laver...made from mirrors...for the ritual cleansing of the priests (hands and feet).
Exodus 30:22-33-The Anointing Oil...used to anoint the priests and everything used in the tabernacle...could not be used for anything else.
What was the significance of the different kinds of offerings?
This is a Jewish explanation:
Types of Qorbanot
There are many different types of qorbanot, and the laws related to them are detailed and complicated. This section will merely introduce some of the major types of qorbanot, their names and their characteristics. There are many subtypes within these classifications, and some other types that do not fit neatly into these categories.
Olah: Burnt Offering
Perhaps the best-known class of offerings is the burnt offering. It was the oldest and commonest sacrifice, and represented submission to G-d's will. The Hebrew word for burnt offering is olah, from the root Ayin-Lamed-Hei, meaning ascension. It is the same root as the word aliyah, which is used to describe moving to Israel or ascending to the podium to say a blessing over the Torah. An olah is completely burnt on the outer altar; no part of it is eaten by anyone. Because the offering represents complete submission to G-d's will, the entire offering is given to G-d (i.e., it cannot be used after it is burnt). It expresses a desire to commune with G-d, and expiates sins incidentally in the process (because how can you commune with G-d if you are tainted with sins?). An olah could be made from cattle, sheep, goats, or even birds, depending on the offerer's means.
Zebach Sh'lamim: Peace Offering
A peace offering is an offering expressing thanks or gratitude to G-d for His bounties and mercies. The Hebrew term for this type of offering is zebach sh'lamim (or sometimes just sh'lamim), which is related to the word shalom, meaning "peace" or "whole." A representative portion of the offering is burnt on the altar, a portion is given to the kohanim, and the rest is eaten by the offerer and his family; thus, everyone gets a part of this offering. This category of offerings includes thanksgiving-offerings (in Hebrew, Todah, which was obligatory for survivors of life-threatening crises), free will-offerings, and offerings made after fulfillment of a vow. Note that this class of offerings has nothing to do with sin; in fact, the Talmud states that in the age of the messiah (when there is no more sin), this will be the only class of offering that is brought to the Temple.
Chatat: Sin Offering
A sin offering is an offering to atone for and purge a sin. It is an expression of sorrow for the error and a desire to be reconciled with G-d. The Hebrew term for this type of offering is chatat, from the word chayt, meaning "missing the mark." A chatat could only be offered for unintentional sins committed through carelessness, not for intentional, malicious sins. The size of the offering varied according to the nature of the sin and the financial means of the sinner. Some chatatot are individual and some are communal. Communal offerings represent the interdependence of the community, and the fact that we are all responsible for each others' sins. A few special chatatot could not be eaten, but for the most part, for the average person's personal sin, the chatat was eaten by the kohanim.
Asham: Guilt Offering
A guilt offering is an offering to atone for sins of stealing things from the altar, for when you are not sure whether you have committed a sin or what sin you have committed, or for breach of trust. The Hebrew word for a guilt offering is asham. When there was doubt as to whether a person committed a sin, the person would make an asham, rather than a chatat, because bringing a chatat would constitute admission of the sin, and the person would have to be punished for it. If a person brought an asham and later discovered that he had in fact committed the sin, he would have to bring a chatat at that time. An asham was eaten by the kohanim.
Food and Drink Offerings
A meal offering (minchah) represented the devotion of the fruits of man's work to G-d, because it was not a natural product, but something created through man's effort. A representative piece of the offering was burnt on the fire of the altar, but the rest was eaten by the kohanim.
For an explanation of the sacrifices from a Christian perspective see:
The 5 sacrifices and offerings were symbolic. Their design was to allow the truly penitent and thankful worshiper to express faith in and love for God by the observance of these rituals. When the heart was not penitent and thankful, God was not pleased with the ritual. Cf. Amos 5:21–27. The offerings were burnt, symbolizing the worshiper’s desire to be purged of sin and sending up the fragrant smoke of true worship to God. The myriad of small details in the execution of the rituals was to teach exactness and precision that would extend to the way the people obeyed the moral and spiritual laws of God and the way they revered every facet of His Word.
All of the senses are affected by the Tabernacle and its services...eyes (colors, angels, furnishings, Priests, sacrifices), ears (music, bells, sounds of sacrifices), touch (bringing the sacrifices), smell (oil, incense...when someone would be near the tabernacle the smells would permeate them...later, when someone else was with them they could tell by the smell that the person had been at the Tabernacle), taste (eating the sacrifices).
As I write, there is a strange, bad smell in my study. I have an aquarium and I wonder if a fish has died...I have looked several times and can't find anything. But the smell is distracting. The whole time that I am reading and praying I can smell it...and my mind keeps going back to it and what it could be. Then I think about the incense...could it have been a very pleasing smell, a soothing smell. Could it be that the incense helped the worshipper to focus on God...and not about other things that surrounded him? Paul says that we are to be a "fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved" (2 Corinthians 2:15). Does my life give off a fragrance that attracts people to Christ? Or, is my life a distraction...does it keep people from coming to Christ?
Exodus 30:34-38-The Incense...this particular recipe, could not be used for anything else. The only time you would ever smell it was when you came to the Tabernacle. Upon leaving the Tabernacle…your clothes would be saturated with its smell…and people that you encountered would know that you had been there.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be so filled with Your Holy Spirit, so saturated, that people that I encounter will be aware of Your presence. Help me to be a pleasing aroma to them…the very fragrance of Christ.