The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons, Part II
The details for the consecration of Aaron and his sons are lengthy and they are complex. They were given by God in order to have a line of people who would be acceptable ministers to God on behalf of the people. But it is not the people who were actually acceptable to Him. Rather, it was the types and shadows of Christ that they only represented which made them so.
The priesthood was required by God for the service of the Law, but it was initiated by Moses on God’s behalf. Perfection will not come from imperfection, and Moses was an imperfect man who ministered before the Lord. In the ordination rites we will see today, Moses will have certain tasks to do, just as he has throughout this ritual.
These will include slaughtering animals, anointing Aaron and his sons, and handling their wave offering. The animals are in a different category than man; their blood was not capable of purifying the sin and defilement of man; and the stain of sin remained on the minister and those ministered to – meaning Moses, Aaron, and his sons.
The law and its ministers were simply a stepping stone in the process of redemptive history. They fulfilled their purpose, but they made no one perfect. The author of Hebrews explains this to us by using the enigmatic figure of Melchizedek from Genesis 14 and contrasting him to Aaron. What he says is our text verse for the day…
Text Verse: “Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?” Hebrews 7:11
David, writing in the psalms, highlighted the fact that someone would come along who would hold the position of an eternal priesthood, pictured by the mysterious Melchizedek. The book of Hebrews takes that prophecy, ascribes it to Christ Jesus, and then shows how it contrasts the imperfection of the Levitical priesthood.
By demonstrating that the Levitical priesthood was imperfect, that it was conducted by imperfect men, and that they could never make anyone else perfect, we are shown that something else was needed to restore us to the perfection which God requires in order for us to intimately fellowship with Him once again.
Eden was lost and it will be restored. We know this, but we also know that it can never come through a law mediated by imperfect priests. And so today, while we are looking at the continuing consecration of Aaron and his sons, let’s try to remember that everything we are looking at is temporary and typical.
It is temporary in what it deals with, meaning the Law of Moses; and it is typical in that it typifies, or pictures, Christ Jesus’ more perfect ministry. If we can keep our minds on that now, and every time we open the Bible, we will have a much clearer understanding, and a much deeper appreciation of, why all these details are included for us to look into. It’s 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 First Ram (verses 15-18)
15 “You shall also take one ram,
Verses 10-14 from last week detailed the slaughter of the bull of the consecration. Now the two rams which were selected, along with the bull in verse 1, are to be sacrificed. They were, as verse 1 noted, to be “without blemish.” In the Hebrew, there is an article before “ram’ in this verse. It says, “…and ram, the one.” It is one of the two which has been selected as a burnt offering to the Lord.
15 (con’t) and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram;
Of this verse, John Gill says that by putting their hands on the head of the ram, they were –
“…confessing their sins, acknowledging their guilt, and by this act transferring the same to the ram, which was to be a burnt offering, and was typical of the imputation of sin to Christ, as before observed.”
Despite being a great Bible commentator, the analysis is incorrect. According to verse 18, this animal will be offered as a sweet aroma to the Lord. If this were a sin offering, the last thing we would want to do is to offer it in this manner to the Lord. That would be comparable to saying, “I’m going out to steal a new furniture set for the house as a devotion to the Lord.”
Instead, the sins of Aaron and his sons were symbolically transferred to the bull of the previous verses. Now, this ram is given as “token of the dedication of themselves wholly to God, as living sacrifices” (Charles Ellicott).
This then follows logically after the sin offering in type and picture of Christ. Nobody can offer themselves as a holy and dedicated person to Christ until they first receive His forgiveness of sins. Unfortunately, this is how many churches work in the world today. People come in, they are told to live good lives, and they are told to do good stuff for the Lord.
However, if they have never had their sins dealt with first, then it doesn’t matter how much good they do. The offering of their lives is tainted with sin and it is unacceptable to God. If Mother Teresa didn’t receive Christ as Savior, then He never received her life of piety as an offering. It is that simple.
Only after the sin is dealt with can we offer ourselves properly to the One who has been offended by fallen man and his life of sin, even since the days of Adam. What we look at as a seemingly barbarous set of rituals from an outdated law, are only a type and shadow of exactly what necessitated the death of Jesus Christ.
To state that these animal sacrifices were somehow unnecessary or barbarous is an implicit statement that Christ’s even greater sacrifice was also unnecessary. Woe to us if we should ever presume to hold to such a view. The holiness of God is revealed in each animal sacrifice that is mentioned in these verses.
16 and you shall kill the ram,
The ram is to die in place of Aaron and his sons. Death is involved, but life is involved as well. Taking the death of the bull from last week, and then the death of the ram so far this week, a picture right from the New Testament is being made. Concerning the bull, Paul writes in Romans 6:7-11-
“For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Concerning the ram, Paul says also in Romans that we are to be “living sacrifices” to God. That sounds contradictory – a living sacrifice – but it is pictured here in the death of this ram for the on-going consecration of Aaron and his sons.
16 (con’t) and you shall take its blood and sprinkle it all around on the altar.
Unlike the bull, nothing here is said concerning applying the blood to the horns of the altar. As I noted then, the horns, or qarnoth, of the altar are the place of mercy and safe refuge. They are also a symbol of strength.
For the blood to be placed on them signified 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 symbolizes the power of the act to fully save and cleanse the sinner.
This is unneeded here because the mercy has already been granted, and the sins have already been expiated. As far as the translation which says to “sprinkle” its blood all around the altar, this is not what is happening. It should say something like “scatter” or “splash.” It is a completely different word than that which will be used in verse 21. The NIV gives a far better rendering with –
“Slaughter it and take the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar.”
Jewish commentaries concerning this action say that “the blood was cast at two of the corners, and thus moistened all the four sides. This was regarded as casting it ‘on the altar all around'” (Pulpit Commentary).
The purpose of this blood being splashed on the altar “expresses one’s complete, voluntary surrender, and readiness to die while yet living” (Lange). This is what Christ did for us. When we are in Christ, then that same yielding on our part is reckoned as acceptable to God. However, even our very best services and offerings to God, are still not acceptable without the covering of Christ’s blood. Only as seen through what He has done can the things we do be considered in that same acceptable light.
17 Then you shall cut the ram in pieces,
The handling and dividing of the animal here is completely different than for that of the bull. There were a few expressly named parts of the bull which were to be burned on the altar, but its flesh, hide, and offal were to be burned outside the camp as a sin offering. However, this animal is divided up and washed.
The word for “you shall cut” is nathakh. It is introduced here and it is actually quite rare, being used just nine times in the Bible. It comes from a primitive root meaning “to dismember.” Thus it means “to cut in pieces” or “to divide by joints.” Such is the action that is accomplished here.
17 (con’t) wash its entrails and its legs,
Another new word here is kera, or leg. It specifically signifies from the knee to the ankle. The washing of these was to signify purity. In picture, it is the purity of Christ which will be offered on the altar. As the legs are the part of the animal which are covered in the dirt of the earth, it is these that are washed.
In this, it would cleanse the externally defiled parts. This is seen in the washing of the feet throughout the Bible as symbolic of washing away worldly defilement. This is why Jesus said in John 13:10, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet.”
Abraham understood this and brought water to wash the Lord’s feet when He arrived at his tent in Genesis 19:2. For this reason, the legs along with the entrails were washed. The animal pictures the purity of Christ, offered up to God as a perfect offering.
17 (con’t) and put them with its pieces and with its head.
They would be divided here so that the entire animal could be burnt together as a whole unit. If the legs were not removed, they would hang out from the fire and smolder, but not be burnt up together with the body.
But in picture, Christ was completely consumed in His ministry under the law, and in His death in fulfillment of it. Thus, this ram was to picture Him in this way. Once it was cut up, its body was to be treated in a completely different way than that of the bull, as we see next…
18And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar.
The entire ram is to be burnt right there on the altar. The expiation of sin is not needed. Because of this, the animal is considered an acceptable substitute to be offered to the Lord on behalf of those it replaced. Such a burnt offering, without any associated defilement, represented perfect self-sacrifice. For this reason, it was entirely acceptable to God.
The word for “burn” here, qatar, is the same as that of verse 13 last week where the intimate parts of the bull alone were burnt on the altar. The contrast between that sin offering and this whole burnt offering couldn’t be made any clearer.
This word, qatar, signifies making something fragrant through fire. The entire animal was such an offering. In picture, the ram here signifies the wholly acceptable offering of Christ to God on behalf of man. In the bull, He is seen as the sin offering which was burned outside the camp.
But in the ram, He is seen as the whole and complete perfection of every good deed, offered to God on the brazen altar. It is He who is pleasing to God in the fulfillment of the law. In Him we are viewed as if having been presented to God in exactly the same way. It is a marvelous thing for us to consider. We are an acceptable offering to God because of the work of Another.
18 (con’t) It is a burnt offering to the Lord;
The olah, or burnt offering, gives the idea of ascent, as if going up stairs. The smoke of the offering was to ascend to Yehovah who symbolically was to receive it on high. It is translated into Greek as holocaust, a word we are familiar with concerning the complete burning of many Jews during WWII.
18 (con’t) it is a sweet aroma,
The word “sweet,” or nikhoakh, hasn’t been seen since Genesis 8:21 when Noah built an altar to the Lord and sacrificed to Him after the flood. The word comes from nuakh, which means restful and thus abstractly delight, as in a sweet odor. It is exactly what Paul was referring to when he thanked the Philippians for their gift sent to him as an offering –
“Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.” Philippians 4:18
18 (con’t) an offering made by fire to the Lord.
The word “offering” here is a new one in the Bible, ishsheh. It is a word used in a liturgical sense which indicates especially an offering by fire. It comes from esh, meaning fire.
As a short explanation of the two animals thus far mentioned, the bull was given to make the man acceptable to God by having his sins expiated. The first ram has been given to show that in Christ, the man’s actions, as a self-sacrifice, are acceptable to God. The two follow in order to show that the first must precede the second.
Paul, being a Jew and well versed in the Old Testament types and pictures, wrote words which reflect exactly what was going on in this first ram offering. Two verses of special note are –
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 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 5:1, 2
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1, 2
A sweet smelling aroma to the Lord
An offering made of our lives and our work
We shall be obedient to Him and to His word
No duty that is proper shall we set aside or shirk
As Christ our Lord gave Himself for us
We should also walk in love and so be a suitable offering
Let us endeavor to follow our Lord Jesus
And act in emulation of His eternal proffering
Offering ourselves and our bodies as a living sacrifice
People living out our lives holy and acceptable to God
Because for our sins, Christ Jesus paid the price
And now it is our duty to be circumspect in this life we trod
II. The Sprinkling of the Blood (verses 19-21)
19 “You shall also take the other ram,
The Hebrew says, “…the ram, the second.” In verse 22, it is called el millium, the “ram [of] consecration,” because in the acts associated with it, this portion of the consecration of Aaron and his sons will be complete. This ram is essentially a peace, or fellowship, offering, but because it is a part of the consecration, there is more to it than a normal peace offering.
19 (con’t) and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram.
The laying of the hands on the head of the bull was for the transfer of sin. The laying on of hands for the first ram was as an offering of the individual wholly to the service of God. The laying of hands on this animal was to signify the receiving of the authority to serve. Each offering is logically noted, in order, to show the process of acceptable service to God.
20 Then you shall kill the ram,
The word for “kill” here, shakhat, is a general word which can mean kill, but the word “slaughter” would be much better. They don’t shoot the thing with an arrow, or beat it to death with a bat. Instead, they cut the animal so that it bleeds out into a basin. This is what should come to mind with each of the sacrifices that are seen in this chapter and in the many sacrifices ahead of us.
20 (con’t) and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot,
As odd as this may seem at first, a moment of explanation and everyone who doesn’t understand should have their “aha” moment. The application of the blood to the priests is the crowning moment of the entire process. It is symbolic of the complete dedication of the priest’s life to the service of the Lord.
The returning of the blood to these men signifies their acceptance as ministers and the granting of their authority as such. The blood symbolizes life. The shed blood thus symbolizes death. They symbolically die to self and henceforward are to live for God.
That each point of application is on the right side has meaning in and of itself. Biblically, the right side is the side of strength, honor, blessing, authority, judgment (as in salvation), wisdom, cleansing, and the like. Applying the blood to the right includes in some measure, each of these connotations.
First, blood is applied to the tenuk, or lobe of the ear. This signifies obedience in the sense of spiritual hearing. They were to heed the Divine voice which would speak to them either through the law or though God’s prophets. Their lives were to be consecrated to this hearing of the word, in the sense of applying it to their lives.
Following this, it was to be applied to the bohen, or thumb, of the right hand. This word comes from a root which means “thick.” Therefore, it is the thick part of the hand, and thus the thumb. The fingers symbolize human activity. Here, the thumb represents the whole hand.
Their hands, thus meaning their spiritual activities, were to be set apart to God, to holiness, and to only that which was sanctified. They were to be ministers ready to not only hear the Divine voice, but to respond to it through their daily activity.
Finally, the blood was to be applied to the bohen, or big toe, of their foot. It is the same word as thumb. As the big toe is the thick appendage, it received the application of blood as representative of the entire foot.
This symbolized that the priests were to walk only in paths of holiness, directing their steps towards God in the race that was set before them. This verse, with the three principle points of application, is explained by Paul in many different passages, but it is well summed up by him in Colossians 1 –
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (ear) 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, (toe) being fruitful in every good work (thumb) and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” Colossians 1:9-12
In the application of the blood to these three extremities, there is the sense that their entire lives were enclosed in the service of God. From head to toe and from hand to foot, their lives were thus sanctified as acceptable ministers.
However, there is the truth that even with this application, they still couldn’t hear, understand, serve, or walk in a truly proper manner. Further, as this blood actually did nothing but symbolize something else, it only looked forward in type and shadow.
As Aaron only pictured the true High Priest, Christ, then they were only a shadow of the One who literally fulfilled these ancient images. The history of the Aaronic priesthood is one filled with fallible men who often made disastrous decisions.
Their being set apart for the service of God was only an anticipatory look towards Christ who would come as the more excellent priest with a more excellent ministry which is established on better promises.
20 (con’t) and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar.
As the slaying of this ram signifies the receiving of authority to serve, the splashing of the blood around the altar signifies the acceptance of them for that purpose. There is a duality to the application of the blood – first to them, and then to the remainder of it being splashed on the altar.
21 And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments, on his sons and on the garments of his sons with him;
There are two separate points on which most scholars agree and comment on. One is that this is speaking of the blood which was going to be splashed on the altar, not the blood that was splashed on the altar. Their reasoning is that there wouldn’t be enough blood to use for the sprinkling. The second thing they comment on is that this blood signified their justification before the Lord.
Both of these make no sense at all. If they were to use the blood that was going to be splashed, it would have said that. Instead, the wording is very distinct, min ha’dam asher al ha’mizbeakh – “from the blood that is on the altar.” Secondly, their justification came from the blood of the bull, not these rams.
Other than a bit of its blood being applied to the horns, that blood was poured out on the ground, not on the altar. This is ram’s blood that had already been splashed on the altar. The amount isn’t what is important. Rather the fact that it had been splashed on the altar is what is.
There is a specific process here: 1) Slaughter; 2) Splash on the altar; 3) Take blood from the altar to use in sprinkling. It is a confirmation that not only had the blood of the ordination ram been applied to both priest and altar, but that it was then accepted by God and returned to them along with the anointing oil.
In picture, it is their “Pentecost moment.” They had been received as acceptable and they were symbolically endowed with that acceptance. No great amount of blood was necessary. In fact, if it was a heavy amount, it would literally stain the garments.
The word for “sprinkle” here is nazah. This is its first use in Scripture. It indicates sprinkling for purification, cleansing, atonement, expiation, etc. In this case, it is for the hallowing, or sanctification, of Aaron, his sons, and their garments. Only a small amount would be needed to symbolically confirm their consecration and acceptance for duty.
21 (con’t) and he and his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him.
As the verse itself notes, the blood of the ram which had been splashed on the altar and then mixed with the oil was then sprinkled on them and their garments as a sign of their hallowing. This is reflected by Paul’s words of Romans 15 –
“Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:15, 16
It is the offering which is considered acceptable which is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. As a side note, one of the ancient Sanhedrin commentaries says that after Aaron’s clothes were sanctified by the blood from the altar, they were not to ever be burned, or torn, or thrown out.
The tradition says that even if the high priest were to die, the clothes should stay. This is certainly reflected in Christ’s seamless garment which was not torn, but instead lots were thrown for it. Even more, John records the following concerning the linen Christ was buried in –
“Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.” John 20:6, 7
His body departed, but the garments which He was buried in remained. The handkerchief even showed careful signs of folding, something no grave robber would have done. Instead, He meticulously took the time to care for that which He performed His priestly functions in.
Let us endeavor to be filled with all that is good
With Christ’s wisdom and spiritual understanding
And let us act as Christ determines we should
Not as the world around us is constantly demanding
If we rely on Christ our walk will be worthy of the Lord
Fully pleasing Him in each and every way
We will be fruitful in every good work, according to His word
And will be people pleasing to God, each and every day
And as we increase in the knowledge of our God
Strengthened with all might, and according to His glorious power
We will be steadfast through every trial we trod
Let us so live, day unto day and hour unto hour
III. A Wave Offering Before the Lord (verses 22-25)
22 “Also you shall take the fat of the ram, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails, the fatty lobe attached to the liver, the two kidneys and the fat on them, the right thigh
The fat that was already mentioned in connection with the bull’s sacrifice is repeated here. These signify the health of life, the seat of emotions, and the seat of reasoning. These, along with the other fat of the ram and the right thigh, were to be separated from the animal. Fat in the Bible signifies abundance.
The shoq, or thigh, actually can mean the thigh, shoulder, hip, leg. It comes from a word meaning “abundant.” Thus it is the abundant area of meat on an appendage. As it is the right thigh, it signifies the honorable side. In all, that which is abundant and most honorable is what is being seen here.
22 (con’t) (for it is a ram of consecration),
The term here is el millium, “the ram of filling up.” This is because, as Charles Ellicott notes –
“…when a person was dedicated or consecrated to God, his hands were filled with some particular offering proper for the occasion, which he presented to God. Hence the word consecration signifies the filling up or filling the hands, some part of the sacrifice being put into the hands of such persons, denoting thereby that they had now a right to offer sacrifices and oblations to God.” Charles Ellicott
As Aaron and his sons are to be filled up with this offering, and as this offering is one which signifies receiving authority to serve, we have a New Testament parallel from the hand of Paul –
“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:20, 21
The same idea of filling the hand which is seen in this passage was for many years a part of the rites of ordination in the Church of England. Ellicott shares this with us –
“It seems in reference to this ancient mode of consecration, that in the Church of England, when a person is ordained priest, a Bible is put into his hands with these words, ‘Take thou authority to preach the word of God.'” Charles Ellicott
How unfortunate it is that most of that once great heritage has now devolved into anything but preaching the word of God.
23 one loaf of bread, one cake made with oil, and one wafer from the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the Lord;
The three breads mentioned in verse 2 are now brought back into the narrative for the ordination offering. However, there is a new aspect which was not revealed previously. In verse 2, for the first bread it simply said “unleavened bread.” Now, however, it is further described as kikkar lekhem or “circular-loaf bread.”
The circle in the Bible gives the idea of that which is divine and eternal. There is no beginning or end to it. These three breads and their spiritual meaning were all explained last week and all point to the work of Christ. These, along with the select parts of the ram, now have a specific purpose…
24 and you shall put all these in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons,
What is more accurate here would be, “…you shall put all these on the hands of Aaron and on the hands of his sons.” The reason why is because of the ritual which is going to be conducted. Aaron and his sons were to open their hands and Moses would then place them on their open hands. The reason for this follows…
24 (con’t) and you shall wave them as a wave offering before the Lord.
The tenuphah, or “wave offering, is introduced here. The word comes from nuph, which means to wave, or to move to and fro. The Pulpit Commentary describes for us what transpired –
“The offerings were to be laid first, on the hands of Aaron, and then on those of his sons, which were to support them; while Moses, putting his hands under theirs, made a waving motion with them towards the four corners of the heavens, to indicate that the gifts were offered to the omnipresent God. This process was that “filling of the hand,” by which the actual installation in office took place. Moses, by the act, transferred the priestly functions, which he had hitherto exercised, to his brother and his brother’s descendants. He made them by his muscular energy perform their first priestly act.”
This description appears to be sound. By making a waving motion to the four corners of the earth, it would thus be “before” or “in the face of” the Lord. It was an offering to, and an acknowledgment of, His omnipresence.
Although these are only the instructions for the ritual, Moses must have either felt a twinge of loss or a twinge of relief at them. Either he would soon be resigning a responsibility that he would be grateful to continue with, or he would soon be letting go of a burden that he was grateful to see end. Either way, not long after conducting this ritual, and a few other priestly functions during their time of ordination, he would no longer serve in the capacity of prophet and priest.
25 You shall receive them back from their hands and burn them on the altar as a burnt offering, as a sweet aroma before the Lord.
The items were waved by the strength of Moses and they were then taken back by Moses as if Aaron and his sons were still common people making an offering to God. They are being endowed with priestly authority, but they would not yet be considered fully installed. Until the completion of the rite, it is Moses who would continue acting as a priest before the Lord.
The wave offering being returned to the Lord as a burnt offering was to signify the complete submission of themselves to the Lord. In picture, each thing in their hands symbolizes Christ as has already been explained. The true and eternal priesthood, which these rites of the Aaronic priesthood only foreshadow, are embodied in Him.
The innards and fat of the animal, the right shoulder, the three types of bread – each of them show us a picture of the most intimate parts of Christ and His ministry which were offered up to God as a whole burnt offering and a sweet aroma to the Lord.
His work was found acceptable and through it, He has obtained a more perfect priesthood and ministry than could ever have been obtained by mere fallible, fallen men and by the blood of bulls and goats.
At the ordination of Aaron, God looked forward in time to the ministry of Christ and He smelled a sweet savor only because of what it pictured, not because of the animal burning there on the altar. In truth, the final words of today look forward to the life of our precious Lord Jesus…
*25 (fin) It is an offering made by fire to the Lord.
The entire life and ministry of Christ was an offering made by fire to the Lord. His perfection far surpasses the earthly rituals which were conducted by Moses in the ordination of Aaron and his sons. The law, along with its priesthood, was destined to be superseded by something else because it could never make men perfect.
This is evident in the fact that Moses is acting as God’s priest in order to establish the Aaronic priesthood. But Moses will later be seen to fail in his actions before the Lord. In this act, Aaron will be included in Moses’ failure. Both men will be punished for their transgressions and both men will die, as all the priests of Israel died after them.
Only a perfect High Priest with a perfect ordination and a perfect execution of His duties is capable of perfectly pleasing God. Thank God for Jesus Christ who is wholly suited to the enormous task. When we look back on our lives of sin and rebellion, we can be assured that the penalty for our actions has been fully and perfectly taken care of by Him.
The often overwhelming details of the Old Testament come alive when they are seen through the flawless lens of Christ. Let us endeavor to live for Him in this life, but not fear when we fail. The author of Hebrews will close us out today with wonderful words of Christ’s ability to fully handle our many faults…
Closing Verse: “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:13-15
Next Week: In these verses the ordination will be complete, this we shall see… Exodus 29:26-37 (The Consecration of Aaron and His Sons, Part III) (81st Exodus Sermon)
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
You shall also take one ram, as I now say
And Aaron and his sons shall
Put their hands on the head of the ram; it shall be this way
And you shall kill the ram, so shall you do
And you shall take its blood
And sprinkle it all around on the altar; as I instruct you
Then you shall cut the ram in pieces, after it has been bled
Wash its entrails and its legs
And put them with its pieces and with its head
And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar
It is to the Lord a burnt offering
It is a sweet aroma
By fire to the Lord is made this proffering
You shall also take the other ram
And Aaron and his sons, as to you I say
Shall put their hands on the head of the ram
Thus it shall be this way
Then you shall kill the ram
And take some of its blood too
And put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron
And on the tip of the right ear of his sons, so shall you do
On the thumb of their right hand
And on the big toe of their right foot
And sprinkle the blood all around on the altar, please understand
And you shall take some of the blood
That is on the altar, this you shall do
And some of the anointing oil
And sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments too
On his sons and on the garments
Of his sons with him, as I to you tell
And he and his garments shall be hallowed
And his sons and his sons’ garments with him as well
Also you shall take the fat of the ram
The fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails too
The fatty lobe attached to the liver
The two kidneys and the fat on them, so you shall do
The right thigh (for it is a ram of consecration)
One loaf of bread, one cake made with oil, according to My word
And one wafer from the basket
Of the unleavened bread that is before the Lord
And you shall put all these in the hands
Of Aaron and in the hands of his sons, and so fulfill My word
And you shall wave them
As a wave offering before the Lord
You shall receive them back from their hands
And burn them on the altar as a burnt offering
As a sweet aroma before the Lord
It is by fire to the Lord, a proffering
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…