AARON AND CHRIST

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    [Exodus:28:1-5]; [Leviticus:8:1-36]; [Leviticus:9:7-24]; [Hebrews:7:11-26]; [Hebrews:8:1-2].

    Lesson No.: 
    84
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

    Cross References: 

    I Aaron and His Sons Consecrated to the Priest’s Office
    1. The LORD commands holy garments to be made, typifying the spiritual qualifications of the priests, [Exodus:28:1-5]; [Revelation:19:8].
    2. The sin offering typifies the sanctifying of Aaron and his sons for the priesthood, [Leviticus:8:1-17]; [2 Chronicles:5:11]; [Hebrews:13:11-13].
    3. The burnt offering typifies their being offered unto the Lord as a sweet savour, [Leviticus:8:18-21]; [Exodus:29:18].
    4. The ram of consecration and their seven days in the Tabernacle typify their perfect consecration for service, [Leviticus:8:22-36], [Leviticus:8:9]; [Hebrews:7:28].

    II Aaron and His Sons’ Entrance upon Their Duties as Priests
    1. Aaron the high priest is commanded to make offerings for himself and offerings for the people, as an atonement, [Leviticus:9:6-7]; [Hebrews:7:26-27].
    2. The offerings which he makes, as commanded, are a morning sacrifice, [Leviticus:9:8-21]; (verse 17); [Exodus:29:38-39]; [Hebrews:7:27].
    3. Aaron blesses the people; the LORD appears; the fire falls; and the people shout, [Leviticus:9:6], [Leviticus:9:22-24].

    III Aaron’s Priesthood Compared with Christ’s Priesthood
    1. Perfection came not by the Aaronic priesthood, but by a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, [Hebrews:7:11]; [Psalms:110:4].
    2. A new order of priesthood arises through Christ who sprang from the tribe of Judah, [Hebrews:7:12-14]; [Romans:1:3-4].
    3. This Priest was made, not after a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life, [Hebrews:7:15-17]; [Hebrews:7:1-3].
    4. The Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, [Hebrews:7:18-19]; [Romans:8:3-4].
    5. The new priesthood is confirmed by an oath on the part of God Himself, [Hebrews:7:20-22]; [Psalms:110:4].

    Notes: 

    Preparation of the Priests
    The detailed instructions, which were given Moses for the preparation of Aaron and his sons for the priesthood indicate the responsible office which the priests, who were ordained of God, filled. It was the duty of the priests to appear before God on behalf of the Children of Israel. The garments they wore were typical of the spiritual qualifications, which the priests must possess in order to fill this office. The sacrifices and offerings which they presented at the brazen altar were typical of the Blood which must be shed and of the atonement which must be made for themselves and for the people; their offerings symbolised their justification, their sanctification, and their consecration to the Lord, for all of which God made ample provision even under the Law. While these things in themselves had no power to make the comers thereto perfect ([Hebrews:10:1]), yet, because of what they foreshadowed, the entire tabernacle service was not only a perfect type but also a perfect plan for Israel’s redemption and their walk before the LORD in holiness and righteousness all the days of their lives, that they might be a peculiar treasure unto Him, a kingdom of priests and an holy nation ([Exodus:19:5-6]).

    Aaron Ordained the High Priest
    Aaron himself was ordained of God to be the high priest; and a part of the apparel which he wore was the breastplate of judgment, a most beautiful work of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, set with twelve precious stones, which were engraved with the names of the twelve tribes. And when Aaron went in before the LORD, he bore these names upon his shoulders ([Exodus:28:12]). But more was required of Aaron than just to wear this symbol. It is written, “And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually” (Exodus:28:30).

    The Failure of the Priests and the People
    But many of the priests fell far short of their high calling, and the people miserably failed of what might have been theirs even under the Law. They were very diligent in observing outwardly all that was written in the law of Moses, but they were not at all concerned about truth in the inward parts ([Psalms:51:6]), and their religion became nothing but an empty form. And it was for this superficial form of worship that the LORD rebuked them by the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah:1:11-15). The LORD in those days, even as in these days, was looking for something more than a pretended piety and mere forms. He commanded: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes” (Isaiah:1:16).

    The institution of the priests’ service, the beautifully embroidered garments, the sacrifices offered upon the altar, the incense burning upon the golden altar, the Holiest of All behind the veil where went the high priest but once a year with the blood of the slain bullock on behalf of the people -– all these were commanded in the law of Moses; but they were only types and shadows of good things to come. And when the Children of Israel lost the vision of Him to whom the types and shadows pointed, they lost everything. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs:29:18).

    The Priesthood of Christ
    Everything that pertained to the tabernacle service pointed to Christ, so also the prophets pointed to Him. Moses was prophesying of Christ as the coming Prophet when he said to the Children of Israel, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of they brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deuteronomy:18:15). To Him as King upon the throne of David, the Prophet Jeremiah was pointing when he wrote, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” (Jeremiah:23:5). The Psalmist David also wrote of Him as a High Priest of entirely a different order: “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm:110:4). Thus it was prophesied that Jesus should come as Prophet, Priest, and King. During His ministry of three and a half years, in which He taught the people, He was fulfilling His office as Prophet. Upon His ascension and entry into a Tabernacle not made with hands, He became the great High Priest, where He is now interceding in our behalf. And when He returns to judge the nations, “the LORD shall be king over all the earth” (Zechariah:14:9).

    A Priest After the Order of Melchizedek
    The Apostle Paul has expounded for us the significance of Christ’s appointment as High Priest “after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews:7:1-28). Melchizedek, priest of the most high God, having received tithes from Abraham, was therefore of a higher order than even the father of faith, and higher also than the Levitical priesthood which the descendants of Abraham filled. “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron?” (Hebrews:7:11). The Aaronic priesthood was not perfect. Aaron and his descendants were men subject to death, and only shadows of the great High Priest “who is made, not after the law of a carnal command-ment, but after the power of an endless life” (Hebrews:7:16). With the coming in of the New Covenant and the passing away of the Old Covenant ([Hebrews:8:13]), our great High Priest has also superseded the entire Aaronic order, which, too, has passed away with the types and shadows. There is therefore no longer a place in any church for a priesthood after the order of mortal men. The churches which today are maintaining a priesthood after some carnal commandment are doing so in open violation of the plain teaching of the inspired Word of God. Christ is our High Priest, who “being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews:9:11, 12). “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews:7:25).

    Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest, with the blood of a goat, went into the Holiest of All on behalf of the people, who stood without, worshiping their God with bowed heads, while awaiting the high priest’s return. And so our High Priest has entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, not with the blood of bulls or goats, but with His own precious Blood, to intercede for us; while we, who are His true disciples, are waiting without, with joyful expectation of His soon return. He is just about to leave His mediatorial throne and come back to earth to catch away His waiting Bride.

    Questions: 

    1. For what purpose were the priest of the Old Testament ordained?
    2. What were their duties in connection with the tabernacle service?
    3. Was the slaying of a bullock for Aaron’s sanctification only a ceremony, or was he sanctified?
    4. Why did God reject the offering of sacrifices and the holding of meetings in Isaiah’s time? (Isaiah:1:11-15).
    5. What three offices was Christ ordained to fill? Explain how they are filled.
    6. In what manner and when did He enter upon the office of High Priest?
    7. In what way is Christ’s priesthood different from Aaron’s?
    8. When Christ leaves His mediatorial throne what office will He assume?