The LORD said to Moses, "You shall also make a basin of bronze, with its stand of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall water in it, with which Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet. When they go into the tent of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn a food offering to the LORD, they shall wash with water, so that they may not die."
Exodus 30:17-20 ESV
We know that it was said in the Scriptures that the Old Testament's practice of worshiping God was merely a shadow of what was to come. As I take a look at how God instructed Moses and the Israelites on their worship to Him, I see how holy is the God I serve. In human terms, we might see a complicated, overly detailed deity. But when the truth is revealed to us, we see the vast gap that divides God and man.
The bronze basin was one of the LORD's instructions to Moses to be built. It would stand between the tent of meeting and the altar. The priests must wash their hands and feet in this basin before going into the tent of meeting, when they come near the altar to minister, and to burn a food offering to the LORD. The LORD said to Moses that they must do this lest they die. What a strict order! Or was it just fitting?
As Christians, we are more free to worship Him in Spirit and truth. He had given us this command in His grace, the reason that we are more privileged than the ancient believers. Because Jesus is our mediator to His light and glory. The sacrifice was made perfect through Him, thus we need not to offer lambs whenever we come near to God.
Yet God has not changed. He is the same holy God that the Israelites worshiped in the wilderness. And there could be no more bronze basin to wash our hands and feet, but the blood of Jesus that washed away our sin, will keep us clean in our daily offenses.
Quoting Matthew Henry Commentary on Exodus 30:17-20:
"They must not only wash and be made clean, when first made priests, but must wash and be kept clean, whenever they went to minister. It teaches us daily to attend upon God, daily to renew our repentance for sin, and our looking to the blood of Christ for remission; for in many things we daily offend."
We do not approach the throne of God casually. For His glory shines and no one could withstand it. Let us then draw close to Him in confidence, through humbling down in His grace and mercy, made accessible through Christ.
"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 1:7-9 ESV
Readings: Exodus 29-30, Matthew 21:23-46