And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bullock for the sin offering…
Under the Christian dispensation only two classes of priests remain - the real High Priest, Jesus Christ, and his people who are figurative priests offering up spiritual sacrifices. The ceremonies described in this chapter may throw light upon our position and duties as the followers of Christ, and remind us of the superiority of Christ to Aaron.
I. OUR RESEMBLANCE TO AARON IN THE TRIPLE OFFERING WE ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE.
1. The sin offering. Priesthood commences by self-abnegation, the confession of sin and renunciation of personal merit. By this offering the altar is sanctified (verse 15), on which afterwards all other gifts will in due course be laid. Until the Saviour has been recognized as made a curse for us, there is no foundation for the life that will please God. The house must be cleansed ere its worthiest inhabitant will condescend to enter.
2. The burnt offering. Here the positive side begins, of devotion to God. The parts of the ram are placed upon the purified altar, and the flames emit an odour fragrant to God. The man who has confessed his unworthiness and pleaded the merits of Jesus Christ, dedicates himself to him who died for him. He is not his own, and must henceforth glorify God. "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" is his cry.
3. The consecration offering, This results from the others, and is their natural completion by bringing full hands (consecration equals "foulnesses" in original) to God. Entire dedication and consequent communion with God its signification. The blood of the ram is sprinkled upon the ear, that it may hearken to the commands of God, and, whilst attentive unto him, disregard the whispers of evil. Also upon the right hand, that all its acts may be in conformity with righteousness, the might of the man going forth in holy deeds. And upon the right foot, that its steps may be ordered by the Lord and its owner may ever tread the ways of obedience and sanctification. Every faculty is enlisted in the service of God. By the wave and heave offerings and the presentation of cakes we learn the necessity of looking upon all our property and all that supports life as belonging to God, who must have his special share and be glorified thereby as well as by our joyful use of the remainder. To fill the hands for God is to complete our consecration, and to live upon heavenly food in the enjoyment of his blessing. By giving to him we get for ourselves.
II. THE SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST TO AARON.
1. His consecration was total, whilst Aaron's was but partial. There were many periods when the high priest was seeing to his own peculiar wants and offering for his own especial infirmities. The whole career of Jesus Christ was an offering for others, originated and executed for the good of man and the glory of his Father. He "came not to do his own will." Aaron might lay aside his robes of office and take his repose, but the Son of man was ever clothed with his official character. And this is still clearer when we remember the present position of our High Priest and his unceasing, unintermitted intercession.
2. The holiness of Aaron was ceremonial and symbolical, that of Christ is literal and real. Jesus was on earth holy, harmless, undefiled. The searching eye of God can discern in his righteousness no stain nor flaw. So far was Aaron from reaching perfection that, because of rebellion at Meribah (Numbers 20:24), he was not permitted to enter the land of promise.
3. The atonement of Jesus Christ is actual, that of Aaron was only typical. After these rites of consecration were observed, the priests were qualified to present the offerings and sacrifices of the people unto God, and to make reconciliation for them. But there was no inherent virtue in those sacrifices to remove the guilt of sin; it is the blood of Christ that has power to cleanse the conscience from dead works. He bore our sins in his own body on the tree, and brought in everlasting righteousness.
4. The priesthood of Christ is perpetual, that of Aaron only survived by successors. The high priests died and passed away, their places occupied by others. Jesus abides for ever; he hath an unchangeable priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek. If, then, the Israelites found satisfaction in contemplating the functions of dying men, with what profound delight should we avail ourselves of the intercession of him who ever lives to save! - S.R.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering.