By Henry Mahan
In this chapter Aaron, the High Priest, and his sons were consecrated for the priesthood and the service of God about the tabernacle.
(vv. 4-5) All that was done this day was according to the commandment of the Lord. It is a picture of all believers who are separated, sanctified, justified, and consecrated to the Lord (Rev. 1:5-6).
v. 6. Moses washed Aaron and his sons with pure water, to show that all who bear the name of God, the vessels of God, and hold the mystery of faith do so with a pure conscience, clean life, and holy motive (1 John 1:5-7).
vv. 7-9. Moses put upon Aaron the coat of fine linen next to his flesh, the girdle of needle-work and the robe of the ephod, which had at the hem of it the golden bells and pomegranates (Exo. 28:31-35). He then put upon him the ephod made of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine-twined linen, which had two shoulder pieces (Exo. 28:6-12). He put the breastplate upon him, which was made of the same material as the ephod and put upon him the Urim and Thummim, which, according to Exo. 28:17-21, seems to be the twelve stones with the names of the twelve tribes. Then the mitre of fine linen with the plate of gold declaring 'Holiness to the Lord' was placed on Aaron's head (Exo. 28:36-38).
vv. 10-12) Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle, all that was therein, and Aaron, sanctifying them, setting all apart for holy use and service.
In Verse 2 the Lord had instructed Moses to take the oil with which he anointed Aaron, a bullock for a sin-offering, and two rams--one for a burnt-offering and the other a ram of consecration.
vv. 14-17. Moses slew the bullock, putting the blood on the horns of the altar and pouring the blood at the base of the altar, thereby separating it for holy use that it might be fit to have sacrifices offered upon it (Heb. 9:22). But the body of the bullock was taken without the camp to be burned. This is a picture of our Lord Jesus, God's Lamb, who suffered without the gates of Jerusalem a painful and shameful death; and the wrath of God was poured out upon him in order to make an atonement for his people (Exo. 29:14). This bullock is a sin-offering.
vv. 18-21. The first ram was slain as a burnt-offering, its blood sprinkled upon the altar. But its body was not taken outside to be burned: it was burned there upon the altar (Exo. 29:18) as a sweet savour or a sweet smelling fragrance to God. This is clearly denoting the delight and pleasure which the Father has in the death of his Son for sinners! Read Ephesians 5:2!
vv. 22-24. The second ram was brought forth and is called the ram of consecration (Exo. 29:22). Let us see three things that are evident.
1. The transfer of the sinner's sins to the sacrifice
In one sense the transfer of our sins to Christ is done by God through the same eternal covenant and purpose by which the sacrifice was selected (Heb.7:22; Heb. 13:20).
In another sense, the transfer of our sins to Christ was complete when he died on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24).
Yet in another sense, the transfer of our sins to Christ becomes a fact in time when we receive Christ as our Lord and Saviour, when we by faith actually lay our hands on Christ and there confess our sins, leaving them with him to bear away. This is what is demonstrated in Verses 14, 18, and 22, when 'Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram.'
2. The death of the bullock and the ram
Verses 15, 19, and 23 declare that the sacrifices were killed. On whomsoever the guilt is found, on him must the penalty lie; and from him must that penalty be exacted to the uttermost. Our sins were laid on Christ and he must die.
Power is not enough. Even love armed with power is faced with righteousness, and righteousness is stronger than power.
Omnipotence cannot conquer holiness (Rom. 3:26).
Holiness is not enough. He that would save us must also bow to the law's last sentence, 'The soul that sinneth shall surely die.'
3. The consecration of the servants (vv. 23-24)
Aaron and his sons were not plunged into the blood, for the quantity of blood is of no consequence. The blood was applied to three places on their bodies, and by this the whole man was consecrated.
The tip of the right ear denotes that his ears were turned only to the word of God. 'Speak, Lord, thy servant heareth.' The thumb of the right hand indicates that all of the servant's skill, talent, resources, and effort are dedicated to his master. 'Lord, what will thou have me to do?'
The great toe of the right foot signifies that the servant's walk is changed, consecrated, and determined by the blood of Christ.
His walk is in paths of righteousness.
'O Master, let me walk with thee,
In lowly paths of service free.
In peace that only Christ can give,
With thee, 0 Master, let me live.'