Leviticus 10-12 Chapter 10 opens with Nadab and Abihu, both sons of Aaron, dying before the LORD. Wow, why did that happen? When you study the context of this event it is understandable why such a severe punishment occurred. Actually there were a number of things wrong with what they did. The Scriptural evidence is strong they went into the Holy of Holies which is reserved for one day a year, the day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:1, 2). They also used fire that did not come from the Altar (Leviticus 16:12-14). The third violation is the subject of this post. In Leviticus 8, 9, we see the consecration of the priesthood and consecration service for the dedication of the tabernacle. The last two verses of Leviticus 9 give us a perfect picture of what was really going on. The glory of God appears to all the congregation and the fire of God falls and consumes the sacrifice and everybody shouts and hits the floor face down. In Chapter 10, instead of Nadab and Abihu getting on their faces also, they fill their censers and offer incense when they were not supposed to and consequently lose their lives. Why did it happen? Christian and Jewish sources that I trust teach that alcohol was involved. It is significant that immediately after this incident that God specifically spoke to Aaron and gave him the restriction of no alcohol for priests who were about to minister in their priestly duties (Leviticus 10:8-11). While they were not in their priestly duties alcohol was permitted, just not to excess. I believe that only a individual whose normal inhibitions were lowered to a point where they could not differentiate “between holy and unholy and between clean and unclean” (Leviticus 10:10), could explain for such reckless behavior.
In our Bible reading today from Matthew we have the account of the woman with the alabaster box filled with very expensive ointment (Matthew 26:6-13). As she began to pour it on the head of Jesus, his disciples got very upset thinking it a waste because it could have been sold and provide something for the poor (Matthew 26:7-9). When Jesus understood what was going on, he asked them why they were giving this woman such a hard time. He went on to say the woman was anointing his body for burial (Matthew 26:10-12). What? This woman received a revelation of the death and burial of Jesus, which his disciples did not get. Jesus said that wherever this gospel is preached (for eternity), the revelation she received and how she acted on that revelation would be told for a memorial of her (Matthew 26:12-13).