Church of God, Carmichael, CA

Shadows of Good Things

Or the Gospel in Type

Russell R. Byrum, 1922

[Original Page Numbers]


CHAPTER IV

THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD

Consecration of Aaron and His Sons
(Exodus 29, Leviticus 8)

  Almost a year had passed since the departure of Israel from Egypt, and the tabernacle had just been set up, when, at the divine command, the vast host of Israel were gathered at the tabernacle to witness the elaborate rites of the consecration of the priestly family to their important office. Of course, not more than the elders of the tribes could crowd into the court, but doubtless the common people gathered about the door and probably thronged the surrounding mountain sides. We may well imagine, when all were thus gathered, a small procession issuing from the tents of the priests and, while a solemn hush rested upon the gathered multitude, passing into the court before the door of the sanctuary. First in the procession is Moses, the giver of the law—the meek man of God. Next is Aaron, whom God had chosen for the high priesthood. Following their father come his four sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Next come four Levites with the offerings, one leading a bullock, a second and third each leading a ram, and a fourth carrying a basket containing unleavened bread, [73] unleavened cakes, and unleavened wafers with oil poured over them.

  The rites of priestly consecration, like others of the shadows of good things, held great typical significance, and were performed in the exact order of the antitype. Aaron's dedication represents that of Christ to his great work, while that of his sons is typical of our consecration—as priests of our God. Of course, Aaron had to be made ceremonially clean to become a type of Christ; but Jesus needed no such cleansing, for he was intrinsically pure from the beginning. With this exception the type and antitype are parallel.

  Their Washing.—First Moses washed them, probably at the laver. The laver represented regeneration, as we have already shown. So, likewise, those who believed upon Him whose coming John the Baptist announced, were regenerated (Luke 16:16 and John 3 :3). Logically the sin offering belongs here also, but historically, as it was in Jesus' ministry, the great sin offering must come after the anointing of the high priest and immediately before the consecration and anointing of the common priests. So it was in the type. Men were regenerated and in the kingdom long before Calvary.

  Robing and Anointing of Aaron.—Next the holy garments, already described, were put upon the high priest, after which came the holy anointing oil. This anointing of Aaron was highly significant. The oil was made by God's special formula as described in Exodus 30 :22-33. God had a patent on it, and penalty was death for infringement by making it for any secular use. This is "the precious ointment" that was poured out "upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments" (Psa. 133: 2). Its pleasant odor reminded the Psalmist of the sweet fellowship of brethren in unity.

  This specially compounded ointment was a type of the Holy Spirit. This is made clear in the first epistle of John, chapter two, verse twenty seven: "But the anointing [74] which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things." And it is the Holy Ghost that teaches. That this is the antitypical meaning of that holy oil is shown by the plain statement of the New Testament that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power" ( Acts 10 :38) . From this verse it is certain that the holy chrism on Aaron's head typified the Holy Spirit's coming in bodily form like a dove and resting upon Jesus as he ascended from the baptismal waters of the Jordan. There was fulfilled Daniel's prophecy, "To anoint the Most Holy" (Dan. 9:24).

  As Aaron's anointing was before the sin offering was offered, and his sons did not receive the oil until after, so our great High Priest, Jesus, received the Holy Ghost three years before the cross, and the disciples, the common priests, not until fifty days after the crucifixion and resurrection, on the day of Pentecost. Jesus fully predicted on the night of his betrayal that he would send the Holy Ghost to them later. This was fulfilled when with a sound as of a mighty wind he came on them as tongues of fire. The prophet Isaiah predicted Christ's anointing long years before. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings" (Isa. 61:1). Jesus said in the beginning of his ministry and before his crucifixion that this prediction was fulfilled (Luke 4).

  The oil was poured upon Aaron, while it is said to have been merely sprinkled upon his sons. Aaron received a copious measure of it so that it ran down over his person. So of Jesus it was said, "God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Heb. 1:9). And he said of himself, "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him" (John 3:34). The Spirit is given by measure to men so they may constantly become more filled with his working; but Jesus had him in unlimited [75] measure for power, wisdom, and knowledge. Jesus was infinite in all his capacities.

The Sacrifices at the Altar.—The bullock was first offered for a sin offering for all the priests. It was like an ordinary sin offering of a priest except that the blood was put upon the horns of the brazen altar instead of the golden altar, as was ordinarily done. This was doubtless because they were not yet priests, but only being made such. Next the first ram was offered for a burnt offering, a symbol of acceptable worship only through atonement. Then the second ram was offered for a peace offering, and the meat offering of bread and cakes accompanied it. The peace offering was also the consecration offering. Otherwise these offerings were simply the various kinds of sacrifices of the Levitical system. These will be considered in detail in our next chapter.

  The Blood of Consecration Applied to the Priests.— When the ram of consecration was slain, some of its blood was taken and applied to the person of Aaron and of each of his sons. It was put upon the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the great toe of the right foot. It was to consecrate them. The blood stained ear signified that they were consecrated to listen faithfully to God's commandments, the blood stained hand that they were to do diligently the duties God had assigned to them, and the blood marked foot that they should tread the courts of God's house and walk in his way. This shadow of good things contains an important lesson for us today who are of God's holy priesthood. Too often there is a failure of this complete consecration of every power of the being to God's service. While many see only this consecration in sanctification, others see only cleansing. But God had both in the type, and intends it so in the antitype. The cleansing is in order to the devotion of our powers to God's service. God saves us that we may obey him, serve him, and follow him.

  The Anointing of Aaron's Sons.—We have already seen Aaron himself anointed before the bloodshedding as [76]

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