Thoroughly Equipped: The Second Ram and the Scarlet Blood

Today’s reading includes Exodus 29:1-30:10, Matthew 26:14-46, Psalm 31:19-24, Proverbs 8:14-26.

To continue our discussion of the repetitive colors found in the scriptures, I wanted to take a look at the color scarlet.  The color scarlet is mentioned throughout the Bible.  It often refers to blood atonement and sacrifice.  It can also represent sin.  It is interesting that our sins of scarlet is atoned for by the scarlet blood of Jesus.

A scarlet cord was tied around the wrist of Zerah (Genesis 38:28-30).  It is used a great deal in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:4).  It is the color of the cord hung from Rahab’s window (Joshua 2:18).  It is a mark of prosperity (II Samuel 1:24; Proverbs 31:21).  It is the color of the robe placed on Jesus (Matthew 27:28), though scarlet and purple were not always distinguished (Mark 15:17).  It is color of the beast ridden by the harlot Babylon (Revelation 17:3) along with some of her garments (Revelation 17:4) and those of her followers (Revelation 18:16).

Yesterday we looked at Mark 15:17 which described the soldiers mocking Jesus and placing a purple robe on Him.  In Matthew 27:28 we find the same account but the robe is said to be scarlet.  This should not worry us too much.  Those two colors were not always distinguished.  And the truth is that God allowed both accounts to be included in His Word, for both colors represented Jesus very clearly.  Yes, the robe may have appeared purple, for He is the King of kings.  And yes, the robe may have appeared to be scarlet, for His scarlet blood was being shed for our scarlet sins.  Only the King of kings would have that kind of strength and authority.  And it is only by that strength and authority are we cured of our scarlet sin problem.  Let’s look at Isaiah 1:18 in two different translations.

ESV ““Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

NIV “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

I love both of those translations and both have words that shout truth to my soul.  Come, let us reason together.  God is saying, “Let’s reason this out.  Let’s talk reasonably.  Let’s listen to reason.  I’m got this figured out.  I’ve got this handled.  You can’t handle it, but I can.”

He also says, “Let’s settle the matter. Let’s settle it once and for all.  Let’s look to the Only One and the Only Way it can be settled.  You can’t settle it, but I can.”

In today’s reading we see many hits at the symbolism of scarlet.  Aaron and his sons are at the entrance of the Tabernacle and they are getting ready for an important event.  Aaron was getting dressed in his priestly garments, which we already know would have blue, purple, and scarlet thread woven throughout.  He is then anointed with oil and a sacrifice is made.  Blood from a bull is put on the horns of the altar and poured out at the base.  Then scarlet blood of a ram is splattered on the sides of the altar. Then another ram is slaughtered and this one is not applied to the altar.  This one is applied to Aaron and his sons before it is applied to the altar.


19 “Now take the other ram, and have Aaron and his sons lay their hands on its head. 20 Then slaughter it, and apply some of its blood to the right earlobes of Aaron and his sons. Also put it on the thumbs of their right hands and the big toes of their right feet. Splatter the rest of the blood against all sides of the altar.

                                                                        Exodus 29:19-20

Where was the blood to be applied to Aaron and his sons?  To the right earlobe, to the thumbs of the right hand, and to the big toes of their right feet.  Now, what in the world is that all about?  These parts of the body are vital as little as they are.  What is it to live without thumbs?  Take notice today as to what all you do with your thumbs.  And how difficult it is to walk without a big toe?  One does not understand the stability it brings to the body until you experience walking without it.  And then there is the earlobe.  It doesn’t appear that the earlobe has much function, however, it does.  The nerve endings are very sensitive and the shape may assist the pinna in capturing sound waves and help us hear better.  And let us not forget that the earlobe carried the markings of identification, as in the piercing of the ear of the slave when he chose to remain with his master forever.  These “little” parts of the human anatomy may not seem important, but they help to complete us, help us function to the best of our abilities.  And in these scriptures, we see that all parts of us, both big and small, both knowingly important and seemingly small, must be consecrated to God and set apart for His glory.

As we see in Exodus 29: 2, the bull and the two rams were to be without defects—perfect specimens, symbolic of the perfect Lamb of God to come.  There were several types of sacrifices mentioned here.  There was the sacrifice of loaves and oil, and there was the burnt offering of the bull.  When we get to the sacrifice of the rams, it is a peace-offering to God.  This shows the constant striving to reach a peaceful union of a sinful people to a holy God.  Interesting to note that there were two sacrificial systems in place throughout the Bible, just as there were two rams sacrificed as a peace offering.  There was the sacrificial system of the Old Testament which only provided temporary relief from our sin and peace with God.  Then, there was the sacrificial system in the New Testament which only included the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God.  It is an everlasting sacrificial system.  The only one that truly offers us eternal peace.

Note that the second ram was the one whose blood was applied to Aaron and his sons.  It was the second system, the New Testament system that is applied to us and our sin.  We “plead the blood of Jesus” over ourselves and our families.  We apply the blood in prayer, as we proclaim, “What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

The blood of the second ram was applied to their right earlobe, that they could clearly hear the voice of the One who lead them to the promise land.  It was also applied to the thumbs of their right hand—the one which is most commonly the dominant hand, that whatever they accomplished with their hands would glorify God.  And it was applied to the big toes of their right, dominant feet, that wherever they walked, wherever they went they would walk with God.  And so it is with us.

Lord, take our ears today, that we may be cleansed to hear Your Voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Lord, take our hands that whatever our hands find to do, we may do it for Your glory.

Lord, take our feet today that where ever we go we can walk in the light of Your Love and take it to others.

This is what I found in Benson Commentary as pertaining to Exodus 29:19.


There must be a peace-offering; it is called the ram of consecration, because there was more in this, peculiar to the occasion, than in the other two. In the burnt-offering, God had the glory of their priesthood, in this they had the comfort of it. And in token of a mutual covenant between God and them, the blood of this sacrifice was divided between God and them, part of the blood was sprinkled upon the altar round about, and part upon them, upon their bodies, and upon their garments. Thus the benefit of the expiation made by the sacrifice was applied and assured to them, and their whole selves, from head to foot, sanctified to the service of God. The blood was put upon the extreme parts of the body, to signify that it was all, as it were, enclosed and taken in for God, the tip of the ear and the great toe not excepted. And the blood and oil signified the blood of Christ, and the graces of the Spirit, which constitute and complete the beauty of holiness, and recommend us to God.


May we be consecrated to Him.  May we find our peace in the Prince of Peace.  May we be wholly His, from head to toe.


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