The LORD said to Moses, "Tell the priests to avoid making themselves ceremonially unclean by touching a dead relative
unless it is a close relative -- mother or father, son or daughter, brother
or virgin sister who was dependent because she had no husband.
As a husband among his relatives, he must not defile himself.
"The priests must never shave their heads, trim the edges of their beards, or cut their bodies.
They must be set apart to God as holy and must never dishonor his name. After all, they are the ones who present the offerings to the LORD by fire, providing God with his food, and they must remain holy.
"The priests must not marry women defiled by prostitution or women who have been divorced, for the priests must be set apart to God as holy.
You must treat them as holy because they offer up food to your God. You must consider them holy because I, the LORD, am holy, and I make you holy.
If a priest's daughter becomes a prostitute, defiling her father's holiness as well as herself, she must be burned to death.
"The high priest, who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and has been ordained to wear the special priestly garments, must never let his hair hang loose or tear his clothing.
He must never defile himself by going near a dead person, even if it is his father or mother.
He must not desecrate the sanctuary of his God by leaving it to attend his parents' funeral, because he has been made holy by the anointing oil of his God. I am the LORD.
"The high priest must marry a virgin.
He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution. She must be a virgin from his own clan,
that he may not dishonor his descendants among the members of his clan, because I, the LORD, have made him holy."
Then the LORD said to Moses,
"Tell Aaron that in all future generations, his descendants who have physical defects will not qualify to offer food to their God.
No one who has a defect may come near to me, whether he is blind or lame, stunted or deformed,
or has a broken foot or hand,
or has a humped back or is a dwarf, or has a defective eye, or has oozing sores or scabs on his skin, or has damaged testicles.
Even though he is a descendant of Aaron, his physical defects disqualify him from presenting offerings to the LORD by fire. Since he has a blemish, he may not offer food to his God.
However, he may eat from the food offered to God, including the holy offerings and the most holy offerings.
Yet because of his physical defect, he must never go behind the inner curtain or come near the altar, for this would desecrate my holy places. I am the LORD who makes them holy."
So Moses gave these instructions to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.
The LORD said to Moses,
"Tell Aaron and his sons to treat the sacred gifts that the Israelites set apart for me with great care, so they do not profane my holy name. I am the LORD.
Remind them that if any of their descendants are ceremonially unclean when they approach the sacred food presented by the Israelites, they must be cut off from my presence. I am the LORD!
"If any of the priests have a contagious skin disease or any kind of discharge that makes them ceremonially unclean, they may not eat the sacred offerings until they have been pronounced clean. If any of the priests become unclean by touching a corpse, or are defiled by an emission of semen,
or by touching a creeping creature that is unclean, or by touching someone who is ceremonially unclean for any reason,
they will remain defiled until evening. They must not eat any of the sacred offerings until they have purified their bodies with water.
When the sun goes down, they will be clean again and may eat the sacred offerings. After all, this food has been set aside for them.
The priests may never eat an animal that has died a natural death or has been torn apart by wild animals, for this would defile them. I am the LORD.
Warn all the priests to follow these instructions carefully; otherwise they will be subject to punishment and die for violating them. I am the LORD who makes them holy.
"No one outside a priest's family may ever eat the sacred offerings, even if the person lives in a priest's home or is one of his hired servants.
However, if the priest buys slaves with his own money, they may eat of his food. And if his slaves have children, they also may share his food.
If a priest's daughter marries someone outside the priestly family, she may no longer eat the sacred offerings.
But if she becomes a widow or is divorced and has no children to support her, and she returns to live in her father's home, she may eat her father's food again. But other than these exceptions, only members of the priests' families are allowed to eat the sacred offerings.
"Anyone who eats the sacred offerings without realizing it must pay the priest for the amount eaten, plus an added penalty of 20 percent.
No one may defile the sacred offerings brought to the LORD by the Israelites
by allowing unauthorized people to eat them. The negligent priest would bring guilt upon the people and require them to pay compensation. I am the LORD, who makes them holy."
And the LORD said to Moses,
"Give Aaron and his sons and all the Israelites these instructions, which apply to those who are Israelites by birth as well as to the foreigners living among you. If you offer a whole burnt offering to the LORD, whether to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering,
it will be accepted only if it is a male animal with no physical defects. It may be either a bull, a ram, or a male goat.
Do not bring an animal with physical defects, because it won't be accepted on your behalf.
"If you bring a peace offering to the LORD from the herd or flock, whether to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, you must offer an animal that has no physical defects of any kind.
An animal that is blind, injured, mutilated, or that has a growth, an open sore, or a scab must never be offered to the LORD by fire on the altar.
If the bull or lamb is deformed or stunted, it may still be offered as a freewill offering, but it may not be offered to fulfill a vow.
If an animal has damaged testicles or is castrated, it may never be offered to the LORD.
You must never accept mutilated or defective animals from foreigners to be offered as a sacrifice to your God. Such animals will not be accepted on your behalf because they are defective."
And the LORD said to Moses,
"When a bull or a ram or a male goat is born, it must be left with its mother for seven days. From the eighth day on, it will be acceptable as an offering given to the LORD by fire.
But you must never slaughter a mother animal and her offspring on the same day, whether from the herd or the flock.
When you bring a thanksgiving offering to the LORD, it must be sacrificed properly so it will be accepted on your behalf.
Eat the entire sacrificial animal on the day it is presented. Don't leave any of it until the second day. I am the LORD.
"You must faithfully keep all my commands by obeying them, for I am the LORD.
Do not treat my holy name as common and ordinary. I must be treated as holy by the people of Israel. It is I, the LORD, who makes you holy.
It was I who rescued you from Egypt, that I might be your very own God. I am the LORD."
Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it.
His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.
The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.
And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you."
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel's message.
And as they went, Jesus met them. "Greetings!" he said. And they ran to him, held his feet, and worshiped him.
Then Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there."11
As the women were on their way into the city, some of the men who had been guarding the tomb went to the leading priests and told them what had happened.
A meeting of all the religious leaders was called, and they decided to bribe the soldiers.
They told the soldiers, "You must say, 'Jesus' disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.'
If the governor hears about it, we'll stand up for you and everything will be all right."
So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.
Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him -- but some of them still doubted!
Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)