Thus Aaron and his sons did all the things which the LORD had commanded through Moses.
Verse 36 is the closing statement in the ordination of Aaron and his sons that echoes what has been said multiple times in the chapter. In verses 9, 13, 17, 21, and 29, the phrase just as the LORD had commanded Moses is repeated. And, in those verses, Moses is the one performing the action while Aaron and his sons are acted upon. But this verse takes all that had been done and says something about it: Submission to the LORD’s commands — even when that submission means I am acted upon and not the actor — is active obedience.
I come to this conclusion by reading what is said. In all the other verses, it is Moses who is doing the thing. It is Moses who clothes Aaron and his sons in their priestly garments. It is Moses who anoints the tabernacle and all the implements with oil and blood. It is Moses who disposes of the remains of the sacrifices in accordance with God’s instruction. Over and over, it is Moses who does the thing and yet the account closes by saying that Aaron and his sons did all the things which the LORD has commanded through Moses.
There is, I think, a parallel in the life of the believer. In Revelation 5, the elders and angles say that Jesus, the Lamb, has purchased people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation and made them a kingdom and priests to God (Revelation 5:9-10). Those who were purchased with Jesus Christ’s blood did not purchase themselves nor did they make themselves priests, all of that was done by Jesus Christ. And it is the making them priests to God that seems the parallel.
Just as Aaron and his sons were clothed in garments they had not made and bore witness to the sacrifice that made them able to serve as priests and were anointed with oil and blood, so, too, the believer is clothed in a righteousness not our own and bears witness to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and is anointed by the blood of Jesus Christ and the oil of the Holy Spirit. And all of this is done for the believer by God, just as it was done for Aaron and his sons by Moses.
This morning, as life seems filled with things that require action on my part, let me spend time asking God what He commands be done. It may very well be that He expects me to do nothing more than submit myself to Him and see His will accomplished. That, in the end, is the best of which I am capable.
Thank You, Father, for this reminder that the priests of old and the believer now are both justified and sanctified and glorified by someone else. I can nothing to earn my place. I can do nothing to consecrate myself. I can only submit to what You are doing.