1. The Consecration of the Priests
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  • 07-28,
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Scripture Reading: Lev. 8:1-36
I. After the decree of the law and the building up of the tabernacle at Sinai, God gave His people all the chapters of Leviticus to train them to worship and partake of Him and to live a holy, clean, and rejoicing life.
II. The record in Leviticus 8 is concerning the consecration of Aaron and his sons, the priests:
A. This indicates that the offerings in chapters 1 through 7 are for the consecration, or ordination, of the priests.
B. In Hebrew the word consecrate (Exo. 28:41; 29:9, 33, 35) means "to fill the hands"; through Aaron's consecration to receive the holy position of the high priest, his empty hands were filled (Lev. 8:25-28).
C. Our consecration for the priesthood must be with the all-inclusive Christ as all the five offerings (the burnt offering, the meal offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, and the peace offering) "filling our hands" for our enjoyment.
D. Whatever Christ is to us and does for us, as typified by the offerings, is to constitute us priests—1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; cf. 2:6.
 

E. The constitution of Christ in us through our enjoyment of Him as the offerings is the divine ordination; consecration is on our side (we consecrate ourselves to God); ordination is on God's side (God ordains us).
F. The consecration of Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting signifies that our consecration for the priesthood is not only before God but also for the church—Lev. 8:1-3.
G. Moses'washing of Aaron and his sons with water signifies that for our consecration for the priesthood, we need to be washed by the Spirit—v. 6; 1 Cor. 6:11.
H. Moses'anointing of the tabernacle, the altar, and the laver, with all their utensils, to sanctify them (Lev. 8:10-11) signifies that Christ and the church (the tabernacle), the cross (the altar), and the washing of the Spirit (the laver) are related to the New Testament priesthood for the priests'sanctification:
1. God's ordaining us to be priests is a matter of sanctification, a matter of being made holy, that is, a matter of being separated unto God and saturated with God, the Holy One.
2. The anointing brings the Triune God compounded with Christ's humanity, human living, death, resurrection, and ascension to the priests and to the church life; this indicates strongly that the anointing of the priesthood is to make God one with us, for the anointing signifies that whatever God is, is doing, and will do are ours—1 John 2:20, 27; Exo. 30:22-26.
3. In the consecration of the priests the sin offering and the burnt offering immediately followed the anointing (Lev. 8:14-21); these offerings remind us of who and what we are, and of what we should be yet are not.
I. Moses'clothing the sons of Aaron with priestly garments signifies that the believers as New Testament priests are adorned with Christ's divine attributes mingled with His human virtues; our outward expression should be Christ's divine attributes expressed in human virtues—v. 13:
1. In typology garments signify expression (cf. Isa. 64:6; Rev. 19:8); the priestly garments signify the serving priests'expression of Christ; the priests were also sanctified, separated to God, by their holy garments (Exo. 28:2-3).
2. The priestly garments, being mainly for glory and for beauty (v. 2), signify the expression of Christ's divine glory and human beauty; glory is related to Christ's divinity, His divine attributes (John 1:14; Heb. 1:3), and beauty, to Christ's humanity, His human virtues.
3. Christ's divinity, typified by the gold of the priestly garments, is for glory, and His humanity, typified by the blue, purple, and scarlet strands and the fine linen, is for beauty (Exo. 28:4-6); a life that expresses Christ with the divine glory and human beauty sanctifies us and qualifies us to be the priesthood (cf. Rom. 13:14).
J. The bull of the sin offering signifies the stronger and richer Christ as our sin offering to deal with the flesh, the old man, indwelling sin, Satan, the world, and the ruler of the world, for the assuming of our New Testament priesthood; this reminds us that in ourselves we are a constitution of all the aforementioned negative things and need to offer Christ daily as our sin offering for our priesthood—Lev. 8:14:
1. The priests were to eat the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary that they might "bear the iniquity of the assembly, to make expiation for them before Jehovah"—10:17.
2. The priests'partaking of the sin offering to bear the iniquity of the people signifies that we, the New Testament priests, partake of Christ as the believers'sin offering in the sense of participating in Christ's life, the life that bears others'sins, as our life supply that we may be able to bear the problems of God's people.
3. The rich enjoyment of Christ as our sin offering in the church life enables us to minister Christ to the believers as the life that deals with sin, that they may deal with their sins to restore their broken fellowship with God—Gal. 6:1-2; Eph. 4:2.
4. As we are enjoying Christ as the sin-dealing life, we must have the capacity to bear away the iniquity of God's people; we must learn to minister Christ to the dear ones who are in sin:
a. To minister Christ as the sin-dealing life to someone is not to go to him to point out his fault and condemn him; this will only cause damage.
b. A person who sins usually has his heart hardened (Heb. 3:13); if we are going to minister Christ to him, we have to trust in the Lord that we may have the grace with the Spirit to soften and warm up his hardened heart.
c. Then the very Christ as life will be actually, really, and richly ministered to him, and this life, which is the Spirit, will work within him; he will then be healed by the very Spirit, the life of Christ, ministered into him through us.
d. This is what it means, according to Leviticus, to bear away the iniquity of the people of God; this is the way to get rid of the sins among some saints so that they may eventually be recovered.
K. The ram of the burnt offering (8:18) signifies the strong Christ as our burnt offering for the assuming of our New Testament priesthood; this offering reminds us that as serving ones we must be absolute for God, yet we are not; thus, we need to take Christ as our daily burnt offering (6:12) throughout the dark night of this age until morning, until the Lord returns (v. 9).
L. The ram of consecration (8:22) signifies the strong Christ for our consecration in the assuming of our priesthood:
1. Some of the blood of the ram of consecration was put on Aaron's and his sons'right ear, on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot (vv. 23-24); this signifies that the redeeming blood of Christ cleanses our ears for hearing, our hands for working, and our feet for walking.
2. We must learn how to listen to the word of God (Luke 10:38-42), to do what is required by Him, and to walk according to His way in serving Him; in Leviticus 14:14 the same procedure was used in the cleansing of the leper, indicating that in the eyes of God we sinners who are ordained to be priests are unclean, like lepers.
3. Our hearing is mentioned first because it affects our working and our moving; as Isaiah 50:4 and 5 indicate, a servant of God must have a hearing ear; a servant who does not listen to his Master's word cannot serve Him according to His will, heart, and desire.
M. The process of consecrating Aaron and his sons was repeated for seven days for their expiation (Lev. 8:33-36), signifying that we need to remember all the things involved in our consecration and ordination as New Testament priests; the solemnity of the consecration and ordination of the priests is indicated in verse 35, warning us that we should not enter into the New Testament priesthood and into the enjoyment of Christ in a careless way (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27-29).
 
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