Until now, God had dealt with the head of the household as His spokesman for the family. This period is known as the Patriarchal Age. The Mosaic Age began at this point in man’s history. God selected the first priesthood with Aaron as high priest and his sons as priests. No one outside the tribe of Levi could serve in this capacity.
The duties of the priests were numerous. Among those duties was the responsibility to intervene between God and the people. Aaron, as high priest also bore the sins of the people in that he made animal sacrifices for them. According to the writer of Hebrews, Christ is our High Priest today as He has borne our sins with the sacrifice of His life.
God demanded splendor, dignity and solemnity in His priesthood. He gave specific instructions for the types of materials to be used in the priestly garments. That made them easy to recognize as they mingled with the people. Those of the high priest were to be different and even more elaborate than those of the regular priests.
After appointing Aaron and his sons to be high priest and priests, it was necessary that they be ordained to those positions. God specified that certain animals along with unleavened bread and oils would be used as burnt offering sacrifices to Him in that rite.
Specific instructions were given regarding the slaughter, preparation and offering of the sacrificial animals. The blood from the second ram sprinkled and placed on various parts of the bodies of Aaron and his sons signified the total dedication of their bodies to the service of God. Seven days of offerings and cleansing were required to complete their consecration.
The priesthood was to be passed from Aaron and his sons to their sons perpetually. However, the succeeding son would be required to be consecrated through the same seven-day rituals.
At the conclusion of the ordination, only Aaron and his sons were permitted to offer burnt offerings for the people. God would meet and dwell with His people in the tabernacle just as Christ dwells with His children today in His church.