Meditation: Exodus 30

Reading: Exodus 30:1-10

We usually complete our prayer with “we pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.” As sinners we can only pray because Jesus Christ has opened the way to God through the shedding of his precious blood. We meet this doctrine in Exodus 30.

God commands Moses to make an altar, covered in gold, to burn incense. Aaron, and after him his successors, must burn on it sweet incense every morning as “a perpetual incense before the LORD” (Ex 30:8). Also “Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement” (Ex 30:10). The daily burning of incense happens while the daily sin offering of a lamb is done in the courtyard. There is a connection between the two. What is this connection?

The burning of incense of the golden altar and the smoke that rises upwards represents the prayers of the priest and people. We read this in Revelation 5:8 and 8:3 and 4. But the prayers of sinful people are not acceptable to God unless they are accompanied by blood. Therefore the horns of altar of incense had to be covered with sacrificial blood on the great Day of Atonement. For the same reason the morning sacrifice for sin was done at the same time as the incense offering. The blood sanctifies the prayers and makes them acceptable to God. As we learned before, the sacrificial blood represents the blood of Jesus Christ. Only Jesus precious blood is acceptable to God. It is only through this shed blood of Jesus Christ that our prayers are acceptable to holy God. Hebrews 10:19 tells us that we may have “boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus”; that is, we may pray to God on the basis of Jesus Christ’s blood. That’s why we pray in Jesus’ name.

Key texts: Exodus 30:7 and 10 “Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; … And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement”.

Question: Do you thank God enough for the precious blood Jesus Christ shed so that God will hear your prayers?