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Chapters 8 and 9
Chapters 13 and 14
Chapters 19 and 20
Chapters 21 and 22
The priesthood established: Aaron, type of Christ
The sacrifices and the rules for partaking of them being thus appointed, priesthood is established (Lev. 8) according to the ordinance. Aaron and his sons are washed; Aaron is then clothed, and the tabernacle, and all that was therein, was anointed, and Aaron also, and this without blood.
In this we have, I apprehend, a bright inlet into the way in which the universe is filled with glory. When Aaron alone is anointed without blood, the tabernacle is also. The fulness of the divine power and spiritual grace and glory which is in Christ, fills the whole scene of created witness of the glory of God; that is, the energy of the Holy Ghost fills it with the claim and witnesses of the excellency of Christ. When the creature has had to do with it, then, indeed, as on the great day of atonement, it has all to be purified and reconciled with blood. But this does not undo the direct title in grace and divine excellency in Jesus. It is His on this ground too. It is His as Creator of it all. It may have contracted impurity. Redemption is the ground of the restitution of all things, and the creature is delivered from the bondage of corruption. But as His creation it all belonged to God. As the normal order it was, as created — consecrated to God (see also Col. 1:16 and 21).
Aaron's sons; the ground of their place with God
When Aaron's sons are brought in, the altar is purified with blood, because we have got out of the mere personal excellency and title of Christ. When the sons of Aaron are clothed with the priestly garments, sacrifices are offered, beginning with the bullock for a sin-offering, and Aaron and his sons have its blood put upon ear and thumb and toe; and then Aaron and his garments, his sons and their garments with him, are sprinkled with oil and blood according to the directions given in Exodus. The blood of Christ and the Spirit are the ground on which we, associated with Him, have our place with God.
Jehovah's presence in blessing manifests His acceptance of the sacrifices
On the eighth day Jehovah was to appear and manifest the acceptance of the sacrifices offered on that day, and His presence in the glory in the midst of the people. This manifestation took place accordingly: first Aaron, standing by the sacrifice, blesses the people; and then Moses and Aaron go into the tabernacle, and come out and bless the people. That is, there is first Christ, as Priest, blessing them, in virtue of the offered sacrifice; and then Christ, as King and Priest, going in and hiding Himself for a little in the tabernacle, and then coming out and blessing the people in this twofold character. When this takes place, as it will at the coming of Jesus, the acceptance of the sacrifice will be publicly manifested, and the glory of Jehovah will appear to the people, then become true worshippers through that means.
The time of Israel's knowledge of the acceptance of the sacrifice
This is a scene of the deepest interest; but there is a remark to be made here. The church is not found in this place (though there are general principles which apply to any case of connection with God), unless it be in the persons of Moses and Aaron. The blessing comes and is made manifest; that is, the acceptance of the victim is made manifest when Moses and Aaron appear at their coming out of the tabernacle. It will be thus with Israel. When the Lord Jesus appears, and they recognise Him whom they pierced, the efficacy of this sacrifice will be manifested in favour of that nation. It will be public by the manifestation of Christ. Our knowledge of that efficacy is during the stay of Christ within the veil, or rather in heaven itself, for the veil is now rent. Israel will not know the acceptance of the sacrifice until Christ comes forth as King; for us the Holy Ghost is come forth while He is yet within, so that we have the anticipatory certitude of that reception, and are connected with Him there. And it is this which gives to the Christian his proper character.
The place of Jehovah's manifestation
Here the manifestation takes place in the court where the
sacrifice was offered, and when Moses and Aaron have come to the place
where God talked with the people (not where He Communed with the
mediator only, that is, the ark of the testimony, where the veil was
no longer on the face of him who also communed with the Lord), and
answering to this figure the manifestation will be here. There is a
very peculiar circumstance connected with that. There had been no
sacrifice whose blood was carried into the holy place, though the body
of the bullock was burnt without the camp.* A sin-offering was
indeed offered, but it was such as ought to have been eaten by the
priest (see Lev. 10:17-18). The relationships which had been
established were comparatively external. The sin and defilement were
carried clean out of the camp and done away; but there was no entering
in within the veil, or meeting God there.
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