A. After a period of slavery, Yahweh rescues His firstborn out of slavery to Egypt and brings them to Sinai to enter into covenant with them. Gathering them at the foot of the mountain, God appoints the “assembly of the firstborn” for Himself.
22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels in festive gathering, 23 to the assembly (Gk. ekklesia) of the firstborn whose names have been written in heaven, to God who is the Judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, (Heb 12:22–23 HCSB)
- 10 “The Lord gave me the two tablets of stone written by the finger of God; and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken with you at the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly (LXX. ekklesia). (Dt 9:10 NASB95)
- 30 Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly (LXX. ekklesia) of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete: (Dt 31:30 NASB95)
- 8 “So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly (LXX. ekklesia) of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever. (1 Ch 28:8 NASB95)
B. From this time on the firstborn nation is entrusted with a holy ‘stewardship’ of those things which will define their life and role in the age to come. The Messiah will properly be The Steward of those things, but the redeemed nation of Israel will be the chosen agents by whom He will administrate blessing to the earth again.
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, (Ro 9:3–4 NASB95)
C. The resurrection, the Kingdom of Israel, the Law, and the Temple are the things which will define the age to come. They have been entrusted to Israel in order to train and equip them for their ‘gift and calling’ under the Messianic Head in the age to come.
22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. (Jn 4:22 HCSB)
- 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Ro 11:15 NASB95)
- 3 He said to Me, “You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory.” 4 … I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Is 49:3–6 NASB95)
6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Ac 1:6 NASB95)
- 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” (Ps 2:5–6 NASB95)
- 35 “Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 “His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me. 37 “It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.”Selah. (Ps 89:35–37 NASB95)
2 Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Is 2:2–3 NASB95)
11 “Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. 13 “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” ’ (Zec 6:11–13 NASB95)
- 5 A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice And be prompt in righteousness. (Is 16:5 NASB95)
D. They were also entrusted with the only means of entering into the promises with the sacrificial system. From the beginning, persistent repentance and faith were established as the only means of entering into the covenant and the promises. From the time of the Mosaic stewardship onward, repentance and faith became defined completely in context to a substitutionary atonement.
E. The mechanics of faith were most clearly presented in the Levitical system of atonement for sin. God revealed Himself at Sinai, and this revelation is dominated by the fact that God, being rich in mercy, loves His creation and wants to make a way for things to be restored. So, God left a system to atone for the covenant violations (i.e. sins, transgression, iniquities) of the people with whom he had made a covenant.
“In all private sacrifices, except firstlings, tithes, and the Paschal lamb, hands were laid on, and, while doing so, the following prayer was repeated: ‘I entreat, O Jehovah: I have sinned, I have done perversely, I have rebelled, I have committed (naming the sin, trespass, or, in case of a burnt-offering, the breach of positive or negative command); but I return in repentance, and let this be for my atonement (covering).’”
 Important to note is that although God promised Abraham that He would make a covenant with his descendants, this is the first time God enters into covenant with a group of people rather than an individual.
 “the sacrifices were limited in purpose to the covenant preservation and renewal of a redeemed people. The Levitical sacrifices were a part of the worship of a redeemed people in covenant relationship with their God. Corporately, and perhaps for the most part individually, the occasion of the slaying of the Passover lamb and the application of its blood to the doorposts in Egypt were outward expressions of inward faith that signaled the regeneration and justification of individual Israelites.” (BKC Vol. 1, pg. 166)
 Edersheim, A. (2003). The Temple, its ministry and services as they were at the time of Jesus Christ. (p. 114)