The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons, Part I
Towards the end of chapter 28, the Lord told Moses the purpose of the special garments which were made for Aaron and his sons. In verse 41, he said –
“So you shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint them, consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests.” Exodus 28:41
The covenant was cut, the law was confirmed, and the place where the law would be administered has been described. Further, the instructions for making the garments of those who would administer the law has been given. Every detail has ultimately pointed to the work of Christ.
And so before going on, it needs to be noted that if each of these things which has been given to administer the law point to Christ, then in Christ’s coming, they are no longer needed. The ark and its mercy seat; the table of showbread; the menorah; the tabernacle and the tent; the courtyard; each pillar and socket – all of it.
If Christ fulfilled these pictures, then the items are no longer needed. And if there is no longer a need for an ark or a mercy seat or a temple to contain them, then the law which these things detailed is no longer in effect. One cannot have a law without one to minister that law. And one cannot have a minister of the law if there is no place to minister.
This should be as clear as crystal to Christians. And yet, the heresy of reinstating the law into our theology never ceases to raise its ugly head. And so, even before looking at the consecration of Aaron and his sons for the priesthood of the law, let us remember this truth. The law and everything associated with it only pointed to Christ, including this priesthood. The author of Hebrews explains this…
Text Verse: “For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.” Hebrews 7:12, 13
Let us never lose sight of this fundamental truth as we now turn to the establishment of the Aaronic priesthood; a priesthood which only remained in effect until it was superseded by the work of Christ, our true High Priest who descends not from Aaron, but from Judah.
This is why the author of Hebrews almost immediately follows up with words that tell us that the Law of Moses is annulled “because of its weakness and unprofitableness.” The law made nothing perfect. But on the other hand, in Christ there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we can now draw near to God.
In Christ, we have a new priesthood, an eternal one which is superior to the law in all ways. We have a Mediator who is without sin and who will never fail us. Let us remember this truth as we look at the establishment of the Aaronic priesthood. These were fallible men administering a law of bondage and death.
However, it is a necessary part of the redemptive story. By seeing the failings of this priesthood, the glory of Christ’s priesthood stands out all the more radiantly. It is all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. The Investiture of Aaron and His Sons (Verses 1-9)
“And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them
As I said, at the end of chapter 28, Moses was given instructions to anoint, consecrate, and sanctify Aaron and his sons. We will now be given the specific process by which this is to be accomplished. In Leviticus 8, the actual rites which are prescribed here will be carried out.
The word translated here as “hallow” means to sanctify. It is what is required in order to set them apart for their duties. Five things will be accomplished in order to sanctify them. The first is washing. This is found in verse 4. The next will be investiture of them with the garments of the priesthood. This will be seen in verses 5-9.
After this, will come the anointing mentioned in verse 7. After that will be the sacrifices of the bull and the rams. This is recorded in verses 10-23. And finally, will be the filling of the hand as recorded in verse 24. This filling will be for the purpose of a wave offering. Charles Ellicott notes the purpose of these five acts –
“All of these were symbolical acts, typical of things spiritual—ablution, of the putting away of impurity; investiture, of being clothed with holiness; unction, of the giving of Divine grace, &c.; the entire consecration forming an acted parable, very suggestive and full of instruction to such as understood its meaning.” Charles Ellicott
Here in verse 1, the offerings are mentioned first. The Pulpit Commentary says this is because it was to have them “in readiness when the investiture and anointing were over.” This is incorrect. Moses is still on the mountain and only receiving instructions. He isn’t actually there, ready to do the prescribed tasks. The same thing here is happening as that which occurred with the mentioning of such things as at other times, like the ark and the mercy seat being mentioned first before all other furniture.
The thing which sanctifies is mentioned first. In the case of the animals, it is their shed blood which will be used to cover the sins of Aaron and his sons. For this reason, the bull and rams are named first. Each step of the process is showing us the holiness of God and the need for atonement, even for the high priestly line.
1 (con’t) for ministering to Me as priests:
It should be understood that these things were required, and they allowed Aaron and his sons to minister to the Lord, but they did not make them perfect. This will be seen throughout the history of Israel under the law. Further, when the high priest sacrificed for Israel each year on the Day of Atonement, he first had to sacrifice for his own sins. Therefore, the Aaronic priesthood is one of imperfection, but established by grace and with mercy. Were this not given, these men would be unacceptable as priests to the Lord.
1 (con’t) Take one young bull and two rams without blemish,
The first portion of the hallowing process is to take one young bull. The word is par. It comes from parar, which means “to defeat.” Par means “a bullock” because it breaks “forth in wild strength.” It may also have a reference to dividing the hoof.
They are also instructed to take two rams. The ram is ayil. This comes from uwl, meaning “mighty.” Therefore, it indicates strength or anything strong. In the case of a ram, it is the strong animal of the flock.
Those selected are to be “without blemish.” The Hebrew word is tamim, which means “blameless” or “perfect.” It was first used to describe Noah in Genesis 6:9. Later, the Lord told Abraham to “walk before me and be tamim (or blameless).” It is also the word used to describe the Passover lamb of Exodus 12. Now, for the fourth time in the Bible, it is used to indicate the animals which are to be sacrificed in place of Aaron and his sons.
2 and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil (you shall make them of wheat flour).
Meal offerings are next mentioned. They are a bloodless offering, but each is specifically noted as being unleavened. Leaven, or yeast, in the Bible pictures sin. Just as bread puffs up when leavened, man puffs up in pride, arrogance, or wickedness through sin. It is also something that causes corruption, just as sin is what causes corruption in man.
The first bread is simply lekhem, or bread. We will see in verse 23 that this is a round loaf of bread. The circle in the Bible signifies that which is divine and eternal. It has no beginning or end.
The second bread is khallah, a new word introduced into the Bible. It comes from khalal, meaning “to pierce.” Therefore it is pierced or punctured cakes. These cakes were to be mixed with oil. The third is another new type of bread, raqiq. This comes from raqaq, which means “to spit.” So it is a thin cake, like a wafer. These wafers were to be smeared with oil.
Each of these was to be made of soleth khittim or fine wheat flour. The word khittah or “wheat” comes from the word khanat, which means to make spicy, to embalm, or to ripen. The flour, or solet, comes from an unused root meaning “to strip.” Thus it is fine flour. It has only been seen once so far in the Bible, at the time of Abraham. When the Lord appeared to him on the way to destroying Sodom, we read these words –
“So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, ‘Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.'” Genesis 18:6
We will see that these will all be waved before the Lord. It was to be an acknowledgement that bread is what sustains the body, and that the mercy which allows man to be acceptable before God comes solely by an act of grace.
3 You shall put them in one basket and bring them in the basket, with the bull and the two rams
It’s always curious to come to a verse like this. One must ask why the Lord is so specific about them bringing the three types of loaves in sal ekhad, or ” basket one.” Is this entirely necessary? Couldn’t He have just said, “Bring them in a basket,” or “Bring those along with the animals”?
And yet, there is great specificity which asks us to stop and consider why one basket is specified. The sal, or “basket,” comes from the word salal, which means “to build.” Thus it indicates a basket which is built up through the weaving process, specifically with a type of willow branch.
4 “And Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the tabernacle of meeting,
The translation is incorrect. It is “the tent of meeting,” not the “tabernacle of meeting.” The word is ohel, signifying a tent, not mishkan, which would be the tabernacle itself. At this door of the tent, an item which is not yet described, known as the bronze laver, will be placed. That will have a specific purpose in the rituals of the priests as they minister to the Lord.
4 (con’t) and you shall wash them with water.
As part of the ordination process, Moses is to wash Aaron and his sons with water. This implies an entire washing of their bodies. At this strategic place, just between where the people were allowed to come, and the entrance to the place where the Lord dwelt, they were to be prepared for being acceptable to enter His presence.
The people would be witnesses of this part of the process, and it was intended to allow them to see that they remained unclean and unacceptable to enter where their King was. Only those chosen and properly prepared could do so. After this washing of their bodies, the laver will be used differently. This is seen in Exodus 30 –
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 18 “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, 19 for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. 20 When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash with water, lest they die. 21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them—to him and his descendants throughout their generations.” Exodus 30:17-21
Each step, they are being progressively instructed in the holiness of God and the need to be pure and undefiled as they approached Him on behalf of the people.
5 Then you shall take the garments, put the tunic on Aaron, and the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the intricately woven band of the ephod.
Two of the things previously described, the sash and the Urim and Thummin, are not mentioned. Also, the order here for two of the pieces of clothing is inverted. When the clothing of them is actually done in Leviticus 8, the missing items will be mentioned and the two inverted items will be noted in the right order.
For now, only basic instructions are given. These instructions now are not in error, but they are noted according to what the Lord determines is needed in order for Moses to clearly understand what is expected for the ordination process.
You should remember now that the clothing of Aaron and his sons only occurs after their washing. However, the continued washing of their hands and feet in the regular discharge of their duties occurs after they are clothed. Why is this something we should remember? Because you will be given a test on it at the end of the sermon to see if you remember.
6 You shall put the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban.
The turban is what is to adorn Aaron’s head and the holy crown is to adorn the turban. This “holy crown” is the “plate of pure gold” mentioned in verse 28:36. Here it is called netser ha’qodesh, or “crown, the holy.” The word netser is introduced here. It comes from nazar, which means “to consecrate.” It indicates something set apart and includes the idea of the Nazirite who is found in Numbers 6. There is to be a separation noted between Aaron and all others, highlighted by this marvelous holy crown.
7 And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him.
The anointing oil was first mentioned in Exodus 25:6, but its specific makeup will not be explained until chapter 30. Again, this is not out of order, but rather the use, being given before the makeup of the substance, follows logically along with the other prioritized items so far.
This special anointing oil will be used to anoint Aaron, his sons, and the tabernacle along with everything in it. As far as the means of anointing Aaron, it was poured or smeared on his head in an extravagant amount. His sons however would simply be sprinkled with this oil. The anointing of Aaron was remembered by David in a most vivid way in the 133rd Psalm –
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.” Psalm 133:1-3
8 Then you shall bring his sons and put tunics on them.
The clothing of the sons is intended to set them apart for their priestly duties. Though not in the mediatorial role of Aaron, the sons are consecrated to perform the necessary services required for the care of the people of Israel. They are also set apart for the care of the items in the holy place of the tabernacle.
9 And you shall gird them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and put the hats on them.
The second and third of the three designations of the priestly office are noted here. They were to be girded with sashes and have the hats placed on their heads. These three items then are the standard dress expected of the priests as they ministered for the people and before the Lord.
9 (con’t) The priesthood shall be theirs for a perpetual statute.
In these words, confusion can arise unless one understands what the Lord means. The priesthood will last only as long as the law lasts. If the law is annulled, then the priesthood ends with the annulling of the law. When the Messiah came who fulfilled all of the types and shadows of the law, and who also fulfilled living out the law, then the law was set aside and the priesthood ended.
The word for “perpetual” is olam. It means “the vanishing point.” It can mean eternity, but in the case of the law, it is not to be so understood. The law would serve its purpose, and as long as it was in effect, the priesthood would belong to the line of Aaron.
9 (con’t) So you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons.
u-mileta yad ad aharon v’yad ba’nav – literally, “…and you shall fill (the) hand of Aaron and (the) hand of his sons.” In the ordination and consecration of Aaron and his sons, they would be set apart as acceptable concerning the offerings which filled their hands from the people and to the Lord. Thus, the term “fill the hand” indicates their acceptability and thus their consecration.
Clothed in righteousness, adorned in white
Cleansed by the blood of the Lamb
Now our garments are pure; clean and bright
Saved forevermore by the Great I AM
We are now priests unto the Most High God
We have been brought new unto Him by the blood of the Lamb
Forever and ever golden streets we will trod
Saved forevermore by the Great I AM
Throughout the ages we will serve the Eternal King
Subjects of His kingdom because of the blood of the Lamb
For endless, ceaseless ages to Him we shall sing
Saved forevermore by the Great I AM
II. The Slaying of the Bull (Verses 10-14)
10 “You shall also have the bull brought before the tabernacle of meeting, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the bull.
The KJV incorrectly says, “…thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought.” It is not “a” bull, but “the” bull mentioned in verse 1. It was to be set apart because it was “without blemish.” The KJV confuses this and diminishes the importance of what is being said.
This bull, without any blemish, was to be brought to the door of the tent, not the tabernacle. There before the tent, they were to place their hands on the bull’s head. In this is symbolically a transfer of the sin and imperfection of the men to the bull.
In this act, the bull thus takes on the curse which they deserve for their sins and it is transferred to the bull. As the animal is accursed, it must die. Thus we have what is known as a vicarious substitute. The sin is symbolically removed from the one and transferred to the other. Therefore, one life is given in place of another.
11 Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord, by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
It is Moses who is instructed to kill the bull. He will act as the priest pro-tempore until Aaron and his sons are fully consecrated as priests. In this verse, we see something which occurs from time to time. Instead of saying. “…kill the bull before Me,” it says, “…kill the bull before the Lord.”
The words are intended to be fulfilled in the future, at a specific time and at a specific place. Therefore, even though He is speaking about having this accomplished in His own presence, He still uses the formal term “before the Lord.”
A way of understanding this would be for the president to say to a person on a mission, “You are to get this document and bring it directly to the office of the president.” The matter is so important, that the stress is laid on the position rather than the person. In the case of the Lord, as He is both position and Person, He uses the term “before the Lord.”
12 You shall take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger,
Once the bull was bled out, it would be a confirmation of the death of the animal for “the life is in the blood” according to Leviticus 17:11. With this proof of the death of the substitute, then some of its blood was to be put on the horns of the altar with his finger.
The horns, or qarnoth, of the altar are the place of mercy and safe refuge. Further, horns are a symbol of strength. For the blood to be placed on them signified the granting of mercy and the allowance of safety from the wrath which had been transferred to the bull. As there are four horns pointing toward the four corners of the earth, it further symbolizes the power of the act to fully save and cleanse the sinner. David understood this when he wrote these words –
“I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:1, 2
Another point is that Moses is specifically told to apply the blood with his finger. The word etsbah, or finger, has only been used one time so far in Scripture, in Exodus 8:19 when the magicians of Pharaoh ascribed the plague of the lice to the “finger of God.”
The word etsbah comes from another word, tsebah, which indicates dyed material and thus one gets the idea of grasping something. Therefore, the finger is that which accomplishes a task. The creation is said to be the work of the Lord’s fingers in the 8th Psalm. Thus in this verse, the mercy, the refuge, and the remission of the sins is granted by God, but it is accomplished by the work of the mediator’s fingers.
12 (con’t) and pour all the blood beside the base of the altar.
After the proof of death has been testified to on the horns of the altar, the rest of the blood was to be poured out at the base of the altar. This signifies the complete removal of the life-force which bore the sins of Aaron and his sons.
13 And you shall take all the fat that covers the entrails, the fatty lobe attached to the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar.
As new words come into the Bible, I always try to highlight them to you. In this verse are three new words – the yothereth, or lobe; the kabed, or liver; and the kilyah, or kidneys. One must wonder why these particular parts of the animal were to be burnt on the altar. The fat around the entrails signifies the health of life, its abundance. This is seen, for example, from David in Psalm 63 –
“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” Psalm 63:5
The liver signifies the seat of emotions and feeling. It is used synonymously with disposition and character. In Lamentations, Jeremiah says –
“My eyes fail with tears; my bowels are troubled; my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people because the children and the sucklings faint in the streets of the city.” Lamentations 2:11 (Jubilee Bible)
The kidney’s position within the body makes them almost inaccessible. When an animal is cut up, they will be the last organs which are reached. Because of this, the kidneys symbolize the hidden parts of man, and thus the mind.
These then were to be offered to the Lord because they symbolized those most intimate aspects of the person. They are the very substance of who he is. The life of the animal was given in exchange for the sins of the men. Therefore, these attributes of theirs were being offered to Him in fire on the altar.
In fact, the word for “burn” here is qatar. It is a new word in the Bible and it gives the idea of the smoke of incense. It is the act of turning something into a fragrance by fire. These parts of the animal, signifying these most intimate aspects of the person, were to become as incense to the Lord.
14 But the flesh of the bull, with its skin and its offal, you shall burn with fire outside the camp.
The rest of the entire animal was to be taken outside the camp and burned with fire. Nothing of it was to remain and none of it was to be eaten. The animal was under a curse, and thus to eat it would be symbolic of taking the sin into oneself.
Instead, it was to be returned to the old order of things where sin remained. In its place, those for whom the animal died would be reckoned under the new order of things. They would be new men with a new nature, cleansed from their defilement before the Lord.
One new word in this verse is peresh, meaning dung. It is translated here as offal (and dung is usually pretty awful!). It is what passes through. The entire animal, including what was inside of it, was to be wholly burnt outside the camp.
*14 (fin) It is a sin offering.
These last words of the day show us the imperfection of the Aaronic priesthood. Because these were fallible men who required sacrifices for themselves before they could sacrifice for the people, the priesthood could not endure forever. It could only do so until it was replaced by the One who would be perfect and without a need of sacrificing for His own sins. Only then could man truly be purified of the stain of sin which had clung steadfastly to him since the fall of his first father.
The bull is slain, his blood poured out
The proof of the death is evident in the bowl of blood
But for that bull, don’t shed a tear or pout
Sin is atoned for by the crimson flood
There! On the cross of Calvary hangs a Man
For the sins of mankind, was shed His blood
We ask, “Can it truly atone for sin? God says, “Yes, it can!”
And so we plunge ourselves ‘neath that crimson flood
And through His death, our High Priest He came to be
When He went behind the veil and presented His blood
He did this because of God’s love – for you and for me
And so let us tell the world of the marvelous crimson flood
III. Pictures of Christ
Again, as we do each week, it is time to look at the verses today in what they actually picture in relation to the Person and work of Christ.
The meal offering consisted of three things: unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil. All of them were to be made of wheat flour. These point to three aspects of Christ’s life and ministry.
Bread is symbolic of life, the word, and provision which sustains man, among other things. The lekhem, or bread, is simply the normal term for bread. It was to be made without leaven and thus symbolizes life without sin. It is thus a picture of Christ, the sinless Man, who is the word of God, our life, and our provision. As I said earlier though, it is round bread. Thus it also signifies the divine eternality of Christ. As it says of Him in Hebrews –
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
The second is the unleavened cakes mixed with oil. That cake is known as khallah, which comes from khalal, meaning “to pierce.” Thus this bread pictures Christ’s work as the One who was pierced to give us life. This bread was to be mixed with shemen, or oil.
Oil signifies several things in the Bible such as joy, prosperity, etc. However, its preeminent signification is that of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the work of the Spirit is mixed into the piercing of Christ. The two are not disconnected, but are intricately enmeshed together.
The third type of bread is raqiq. This comes from raqaq, which means “to spit.” So it is a thin cake, like a wafer. These wafers were to be smeared with oil. In Leviticus 15:8, it notes that if a person defiled by a discharge were to spit, raqaq, on a person, it would make them unclean. This bread then pictures Christ’s passion when He was spit on and beaten by the unclean Gentiles as is stated in Luke 18. This was prophesied in Isaiah, using the word roq which comes from raqaq –
“I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.” Isaiah 50:6
However, this bread is said to have been “anointed” with oil. The word is mashakh. It is the same word used to identify the coming Messiah in Isaiah 61:1 –
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Isaiah 61:1
Thus, this third bread with its oil also pictures Christ as the One anointed to fulfill the messianic pictures presented in the Old Testament. Each type of bread was to be made of soleth khittim or fine wheat flour.
Khittah, or wheat, is the finest of the biblical grains. The word comes from khanat, which means to make spicy, to embalm, or to ripen. When the wheat is ripened, it is valuable as food and as seed for more wheat. Through Christ’s ministry, a harvest of wheat is realized. He spoke of this in John 12:23-26 –
“The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”
The fine wheat flour is a picture of His unchanging character and purity. After these were specified, the Lord told Moses that all three of the breads were to be brought before Him in one basket. The three loaves in the single basket indicate three different aspects of Christ’s single ministry. He is the bread of life; He is the One pierced for our transgressions; and He is the one who brings about our salvation and the growth and great harvest of the church.
And yet, there is great specificity which asks us to stop and consider why one basket is noted. The sal, or “basket,” comes from the word salal, which means “to build.” It indicates a basket which is built up through the weaving process. Thus it is through these various aspects of Christ that His ministry is built and embodied. This aspect of His work can be summed up by the words of Hebrews 2:9 –
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:9
After this, the washing and clothing of Aaron and his sons is mentioned. This was to be done at the door of the tent of meeting where they were to be first washed with water. This pictures the total cleansing of the priests.
In Aaron’s case, as the high priest, it pictures Christ’s perfect purity as our High Priest. It points to His baptism before He entered into His public service in order to fulfill all righteousness. For the sons, it pictures those who follow Christ and are purified by His work. This is seen in John 13 where Christ said this –
“He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” John 13:10
In that passage, John uses two different words. One indicates a full bathing, the second indicates a lesser washing. Through Christ’s work, we are completely cleaned. We stand justified and free of guilt. However, we also continue to go through a process of sanctification where we need to be purified from time to time.
This is pictured in the priests need to wash their hands and their feet as they ministered to the Lord. These external washings signify the universal corruption of man and our need for external purification. The water pictures the spiritual regeneration which occurs when we are set apart by Christ.
Only after the washing was accomplished were the garments then put on them. In the case of Aaron, his garments are emblematic of the divine work of Christ. In this passage, he had seven articles placed upon Him, each representing an aspect of His work which we have seen in previous sermons. Together, they form a picture of Christ, the Prophet, Priest, and King who is completely distinct and set apart from all others.
After he was clothed, Moses then anointed Aaron. That is a picture which was seen once already in the bread, and which is repeated here. It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit on Christ which was prophesied in Isaiah 61. It is also referred to by Peter in Acts 10:38 where he told Cornelius that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.”
In the case of the sons of Aaron, the symbolism again follows through to us. Three items were placed on them – tunics, sashes, and hats. The tunics picture our being clothed in His righteousness. The sashes picture us having girded our waists with His truth. The hats picture our having been granted a helmet of salvation upon our head because of the judgment named for Christ at Gabbatha, the name of which bears the same root as that of the hats.
As far as the terminology concerning the priesthood, that of Aaron and his line, it was to be as long as the law was in effect. However, for the priesthood which this only pictures, Christ’s priesthood, Hebrews tells us of its duration –
“Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.” Hebrews 7:23, 24
The priesthood which Christ established, and to which we belong is one which will span eternal ages.
Finally today, we looked at the bull offering. The bull is an exacting picture of Christ. It is the sacrifice that the high priest made for his own sins each year on the Day of Atonement. As Christ has no sins of His own, and thus needing no sacrifice, the bull pictures Him as the perfect High Priest.
As the bull pictures Christ, then the symbolism is rather sobering. These men placed their hands on the bull in a symbolic act of transferring their corruption and guilt to it. In Christ, we transferred our corruption and our sin to Him – the sinless Son of God whom the bull pictures. Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 5 –
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
The slaying of the bull symbolizes the death of Christ as our Substitute. The bull was to be without blemish, symbolizing the perfect Man, Jesus. The application of the bull’s blood on the horns of the altar shows that Christ’s blood has brought all who come to Him mercy and a place of refuge.
The particular instructions that the blood was to be applied with the finger demonstrates the creative workings of God on our behalf. Jesus told the people of Israel that if He truly cast out demons with the finger of God, then surely the kingdom of God had come upon them. The application of the blood signifies Christ’s exacting work for His redeemed.
As I said earlier, the mercy, the refuge, and the remission of the sins is granted by God, but it results from the work of the mediator’s fingers. As Jesus is fully God, the proof of His death in the shedding of His blood is completely sufficient to take away the sin guilt that we bear.
The pouring out of the blood at the base of the altar pictures the full proof of Christ’s death. He bled until the life had expired from His body. His blood was completely poured out. Despite this, the burning of the fat that covers the entrails, the fatty lobe attached to the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them sybolizes the offering of the very essence of Christ to God. Paul explains it exactingly in Ephesians 5 –
“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:2
The verses ended today with the final disposal of the body of the bull, with the exception of those parts already mentioned. It was to be taken outside the camp and burned with fire. The author of Hebrews explains the symbolism for us –
“We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” Hebrews 13:10-13
Here we are again at the end of a passage which upon a cursory reading seems to have little other than historical value. And yet, it is a passage rich in significance because of what it shows us. The details are in the words and the words reveal so very much.
The law really existed, and it served its purpose, but the law also was given in types and shadows in order to show us the supremacy of what still lies ahead. In Christ, the law was annulled. In its place has come the most marvelous of priesthoods. It is an eternal one and one which has the ability to perfect those who come to Christ through it.
If you have trusted in earning God’s favor through self, or through deeds of an outdated law which could never save, I would ask you to reconsider your stance. Christ’s priesthood is superior to that of Aaron’s in all ways. Take your sins, place them at the feet of Jesus, and be reconciled to God through what He has already done. Please allow me just another moment to tell you few verses to make this simple and understandable for you…
Closing Verse: “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:11-14
Next Week: Exodus 29:15-25 Wonderful things the Bible will relate to you… (The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons, Part II)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons
And this is what you shall do to them
To hallow them for ministering as priests to Me
Take one young bull and two rams without blemish
And continue to follow my directions explicitly
And unleavened bread
Mixed with oil, each unleavened cake
And unleavened wafers anointed with oil
You shall them of wheat flour make
You shall put them in one basket
And in the basket them you shall bring
With the bull and the two rams
So you shall do this thing
And Aaron and his sons you shall bring
To the tabernacle of meeting, at the door
And you shall wash them with water
On them water you shall pour
Then you shall take the garments
Put the tunic on Aaron, and the robe of the ephod too
The ephod, and the breastplate
And gird him with the intricately woven band of the ephod –
So shall you do
You shall put the turban on his head
And put the holy crown on the turban, as I have said
And you shall the anointing oil take
Pour it on his head, and anoint him
For the ordination’s sake
Then you shall bring his sons
And put tunics on them, so shall you do
And you shall gird them with sashes
Aaron and his sons, and put the hats on them too
The priesthood shall be theirs for a perpetual statute
So you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons
In these things, the priesthood you will institute
You shall also have the bull brought
Before the tabernacle of meeting, as I say
And Aaron and his sons shall put their hands\
On the head of the bull, this they shall obey
Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord
By the door of the tabernacle of meeting
According to My word
You shall take some of the blood of the bull, for sure
And put it on the horns of the altar with your finger
And all the blood beside the base of the altar pour
And you shall take all the fat that covers the entrails
The fatty lobe attached to the liver, so shall you do
And the two kidneys and the fat that is on them
And burn them on the altar, as I now instruct to you
But the flesh of the bull
With its skin and its offal, you shall do this thing
You shall burn with fire outside the camp
It is a sin offering
Lord God Almighty, we thank you for what You have done
You have made us a kingdom of priests to You
And it is only because of the work of Your Son
It is only because of what He alone did do
And so we do thank You and we give You praise
Yes, Lord God Almighty, we shall do so… even unto eternal days
Hallelujah and Amen…