Tzav – “Command”

This parasha starts out in verse six with the Lord speaking to Moses saying “command Aaron and his sons this is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering shall burn all night on the altar until morning, and the fire must not go out so that it burns in completeness. When the sacrifices are burnt, the priest shall change cloths and remove the ashes from the sacrifices outside the camp to a clean place, while the fire continues to burn at the altar. The five types of sacrifices were Olah (a free will offering), a meal offering, a peace offering, a sin offering, and a guilt offering.
The handling of the offerings was very specific. This part of Scripture focuses on issues related to the proper handling, eating, and disposal of the various sacrifices and offerings. These sacrifices and offerings are either holy or most holy and must be treated with respect to the Lord’s commands, or the offering and sacrifice brought by the person would not count and the offender would be punished including being sent outside the camp. There is also a reminder that you should not eat the fat of an animal that dies of itself or is torn by wild beasts; as well as the fat from any offering. Failing to do this meant you would be cut off from the Jewish nation. Also mentioned here is that we must never drink the blood of an animal.

Chapter 8 tells us of the anointing of Aaron and his sons so that they were consecrated for the work that they would be performing as the priests. Their ordination would include sacrificing Bulls and Rams, and their blood would be sprinkled upon the altar as well as on Aaron and his sons for seven days to complete the ordination of Aaron and his sons as the priests. God also instructed Moses to have specific garments made that Aaron and his sons would wear when they carried out the priestly duties. These garments would be fashioned with beautiful fine cloth and stones. Unleavened bread would also be burned on the altar during this ordination.

The ordination would last for seven days. Moses and his sons were to remain day and night inside the entrance of the tent of meeting as God commanded Moses.
Aaron and his sons did just as God commanded. We know that God likes the number seven and it demonstrates the completion of a matter and is not a coincidence that the Lord uses the seven days and nights for this ordination.

I believe it is important to be reminded of where Aaron was not long ago in Exodus chapter 32.
While Moses was on the mountain receiving the law (the Ten Commandments) from El Gabor mighty God, his older brother Aaron was forming the golden calf which would be a god that the Jewish people could worship. The first two Commandments tells us you shall have no other gods before me and you shall not make for yourself a carved image, meaning to worship some other man-made god. When Moses comes down the mountain after God tells him that his brother is doing this terrible thing, Aaron tells Moses that the people just tossed the gold in the fire and out came a golden calf — a very obvious lie by Aaron. Moses knows it but more importantly El Elyon the most-high God knows it as well.

Brothers and sisters this is a very important lesson that we should learn from. Aaron has caused the people to commit a great sin and yet God shows Aaron and his sons this incredible grace and mercy and forgiveness as he makes Aaron the first priest. So when you think that you committed some sin that is beyond God’s grace and mercy, and forgiveness,
God’s love is greater and stronger than anything you can do; when we repent of the sin we committed in our lives. God’s desire to choose Aaron as the priest of the Jewish people is one of the most incredible love stories in all of Scripture I believe. There is another love story in Scripture that is stronger, when our Messiah is on the cross taking upon the sins of all of us; past, present, and future. The Lord does so willingly, even telling the thief on the cross that he would be with him in paradise. With all the suffering that he went through for Jews and Gentiles who would not be worthy, He became that sacrifice that gives those whom God has chosen eternal life with him. That is the ultimate love story of Scripture.