Consecrating the Priests.
This work under the Law (Lev. 8:14-35.) was typical of a work done for and by our High Priest and those who are members of his body or family. It illustrates our entire consecration--how Jesus was obedient, even unto death and how all who are his must be crucified with him.
The bullock for the sin offering was brought "and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head" of it. Thus saying, this sacrifice represents us. From that moment, all that happened to the bullock--represents what was to be done to Jesus, and his body--the church. The bullock is delivered up to "the Law" --(represented by Moses) to meet its demands. To thus meet the demands of the law it must be slain. "And Moses slew it." Then he applies the blood to the horns of the altar. The "finger" of the "Law" thus pointed out that the altar of earthly sacrifices was acceptable to God by reason of the shed blood (the life given), and that all who realize the power of the altar (horns are symbols of power), must recognize first the blood which sanctified it.
The blood poured at the bottom of the altar doubtless represents that through his blood spilt, (life given) even the Earth was purchased back from the curse which sin brought upon it. (See Eph. 1:14. "Unto the redemption of the purchased possession.")
And Moses took the bullock, his hide, flesh, &c., and burnt them with fire without the Camp. (Ver. 17.) Thus Jesus freely gave himself up and submitted to entire destruction of the flesh. Though his flesh was holy, harmless, undefiled, yet he was "made a sin offering on our behalf," (2 Cor. 5:21. "Diaglott") and his flesh suffered the destruction, which otherwise would have come upon all men. And we, if we would be indeed members of his body must share with him the ignominy.
But while the flesh, &c., was destroyed for sin, God accepts of, first, the blood (life), and second, parts of the inward life-producing organism and the fat, representative of love. In the sacrifice God recognizes the love that prompts the sacrifice and though the law took a part and burnt it, yet it must offer the balance as unto the Lord. It shows too that love and obedience to God were the motives that prompted the sacrifice "Lo, I come to do thy will O God, I delight to do thy will O my God."
There are two Rams. These both represent as did the bullock, Christ Jesus and his body, the Church, but are different pictures and call our attention to other features of the same sacrifice.
First as a burnt offering: Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon its head; it represents them. It is killed, its blood sprinkles the altar, and Moses "cut the ram into pieces, and washed the inwards and legs in water," and "burnt the head and the pieces and the fat." Thus Jesus and his church--head and body are being presented during the entire Gospel Age before God on the altar --the head was laid there first, and since all who are "dead with him," (Col. 2:20, and 2 Tim. 2:2) are "cleaned by the washing of water through the word," and are reckoned as with him on the altar before God; its being burnt on the altar shows how God accepts this "as a sweet smelling savor" or perfume.
The second ram--"of consecration" --shows what effect the sacrifice will have upon us, as the first showed how God received it. Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon its head--it represented them. And Moses slew it, and took its blood-- (consecrated life) and put it upon each separately--(Consecration is an individual work--we must each stand forth and be consecrated to God.) And he put it upon the tip of the right ear, thumb of right hand and great toe of right foot. Thus by our consecration, we are enabled to have the "hearing of faith" and appreciate God's promises as none but the consecrated can. Our hands are consecrated so that whatsoever our hands find to do, we do it with our might right as unto the Lord. Our feet are consecrated so that henceforth we "walk not as other gentiles," but "walk in newness of life," "walk in the light," and even "as ye received Christ, so walk in him."
The choice portions of the ram, inwards and fat, representing our best powers and all our inward and outward (fat) affections, are taken in our hands, and waved, passed to and fro, before the Lord, representing the fact that a consecrated offering is not given the Lord for the moment, or day, or year, but continually we keep our affections and powers uplifted before our Father never ceasing until accepted of him as having finished our course. And Moses took them off their hands, God's acceptance being shown by fire. Fat probably typifies Love. When the love of our inmost being is laid upon the altar, it helps to increase the fire of God's acceptance. The more love (fat) there is connected with our consecration to God, the more quickly will it be accepted by Him as entire consecration.
Upon this wave offering, while in their hands, was laid three cakes from a basketful which they were to eat (representative of all their bread.) It was necessary that these three-- the unleavened cake, the cake mingled with oil, and the wafer made of flour and honey and anointed with oil--should be upon and thus recognized as rendering acceptable our offering. By these we acknowledge Christ, as we present ourselves to the Father; by the first we acknowledge the purity (no leaven) of "The man, Christ Jesus." The second cake mingled with oil shows him as our High-priest, "filled with the Spirit" (oil). The third wafer shows our appreciation of Him as our Glorified Lord. (Wafer made of fine flour mingled with honey, sweets of paradise.)
These acknowledgments of Him are necessary to the acceptance of our consecration.
And upon him as our heavenly food --manna we his priests feed during the gospel age. The cakes were only warmed but not burned--living bread, "of which a man may eat." (God never allowed honey to be used in sacrifice. [Lev. 2:2] There was no leaven in any of these cakes--"He knew no sin.")
The anointing oil mingled with the blood of consecration was sprinkled over them [Ver. 30], showing how we may know that our consecration is accepted. 1 Jno. 5:8, says: "There are three that bear record [witness]: the spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree in one" [testimony]. And here are the three in the type bearing harmonious testimony that these consecrated ones are accepted in the beloved. Water is the symbol of the "word" ["washing of water by the word."] And in the type Moses takes the place of water as representing "The Law," the oil representing The Spirit, and the blood representing "the price of our peace. So through the word's testimony the blood is applied and with it comes the Spirit--sealing us sons of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord.
The boiling [Ver. 31] of the flesh of consecration was no part of the sacrifice, it was merely the preparing of the portion which they ate. It was all to be disposed of [Ver. 32] showing how we are entirely consecrated and none of our time or powers wasted--all used as consecrated.
The seven days of consecration [Ver. 33 and 35,] shows again that we are consecrated to God's service, not a part of our time only, but all of it, for seven is the complete number in scripture and signifies all or the whole of whatever it is applied to ("Seven Seals," "Trumpets," "Plagues," "Stars," &c.) Vs. 36 shows the completion of the work of consecration.
There never was, perhaps, a time when it was more necessary than the present, for seeing to it that we "be dead with him," and our every ability waved before Him that he may accept and make use of our talents to His glory. Especially is it of interest to us to examine if it be true (as we believe) that very soon all the members of the body will be accepted with the head--a sweet savor, and all the members be consecrated and the work finished. And if we fail to be among the priests now during the time of consecration, we cannot expect to be one with them when they begin their service for the people in the "ages to come"--when these same Priests (now despised of men but a "sweet savor to God.") shall have the title of King added, and with their head--Jesus, rule and bless all nations. Do you wish to be amongst those who shall sing to the praise of our great High Priest? "Thou hast made us unto our God Kings and Priests and we shall reign on the Earth." If so, be fully consecrated now, for "If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him." 2 Tim. 2:12.