Alva Review-Courier -

By W. Jay Tyree
College Hill Church of Christ 

Some thoughts on baptism


When God brought the nation of Israel out into the wilderness, He chose to establish one tribe (the descendants of Levi, one of the original 12 sons of Israel) to administer the spiritual life of the nation. Both Moses and Aaron were members of this tribe.

In Exodus 40, verse 12, we find an interesting regulation concerning Aaron (serving as High Priest) and his sons. They were instructed to gather at the door of the Tabernacle – forerunner of the Temple – and be washed with water, dress in their priestly garments and be anointed with oil. This ceremony was designed to set them apart to serve God in the Tabernacle. It shouldn’t be surprising to us that Aaron and his sons, before they could begin their ministry as priests, had to have a water washing. I’m not suggesting they were immersed. More likely, this washing included hands and feet. At times, the head was included as well. Our point is this: whichever of their 2,000 body parts were included, the priests always washed before they served.

In Peter’s first letter to Jewish Christians (chapter 2), he refers to his audience as a royal priesthood, a chosen people, a holy nation that belongs to God (the Old King James uses the term “peculiar”). We are a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD! Just as God brought Israel out of the darkness and obscurity of their slavery in Egypt, He has brought us out of slavery to sin and the obscurity of being just one more sin-filled, separated soul. Each of us is called to present our very selves as a suitable sacrifice to the Creator.

We cannot be a part of this priesthood and remain unclean. For Aaron and his sons, it was a matter of ceremonial washing. For the modern believer, it is the call to be washed in the blood of the perfect sacrifice, offered by the perfect High Priest. As the Apostle Paul was told, as he joined the ranks of the royal priesthood, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

(Excerpts from “What 3000 People Believed” by this author.)


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