Priesthood: 8. The Eighth Day

Leviticus 9:22‑24  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The closing verses have their own interest, after we were shown how the blessing of the future day with its manifestations of glory hangs on Christ's sacrifice. But there is no entering within the veil, no putting of the blood in the holiest as on the day of atonement. The blood is not carried beyond the brazen altar. It is the same blood and of equal efficiency, and in a far higher way, when we have that grand central type of Lev. 16. “22 And Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them; and he came down from offering the sin-offering, and the burnt-offering, and the peace-offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and came out, and blessed the people; and Jehovah's glory appeared to all the people. 24 And there went out fire from before Jehovah, and consumed on the altar the burnt-offering and the fat; and all the people saw it, and they shouted, and fell on their faces” (vers. 22-24).
On the day of atonement there was a manifested basis of sacrifice with singular solemnity. It was the one standing fast of the holy year, a sabbath of rest, where all Israel abstained from all work and afflicted their souls on pain of being cut off. It was the sole day in the year when the high priest entered the holiest where he put the blood of the bullock for himself and for his house, and the blood of the goat for the people; as he made atonement also for the sanctuary and for the tent of meeting. Then followed his confession of Israel's iniquities over the living goat's head, before it was sent away bearing them into the wilderness. The slain bullock and goat were carried outside the camp and burnt with fire.
In the first ministration of Aaron after the consecration, as our chapter records, there is the remarkable difference that the blood of the Sin-offerings whether for the priest or for the people was put, not within the veil, but on the horns of the altar (the brazen altar) and poured out at its base, and the fat, &c., as usual burnt thereon, as Jehovah commanded Moses. There was thus a signal difference on this occasion, not only from the statutes of Atonement-day in Lev. 16 but also from the requirement in Lev. 4 for sin, whether for the anointed priest (or high priest), or for the whole assembly. In either case the blood was sprinkled before the veil seven times, as it was also put upon the horns of the altar of fragrant incense, besides pouring out the rest of the blood at the foot of the brazen altar.
We are thus taught the external character of what was done on the day when Jehovah appeared to Israel. It was grounded on sacrifice, as it could not be otherwise. But there was no action in the holiest as in laying the basis of atonement, nor yet in the holy place as in making god the communion when interrupted. It was simply the acceptance of priest and of people, on the ground of which “Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and came down after the offering of the sin-offering and the burnt-offering and the peace-offerings.” They are here therefore enumerated in the order, not of Jehovah's point of view, looking at Christ (as in Lev. 1 and following chapters), but of man's need, where the Sin-offering takes necessary precedence, the Holocaust follows with its Meal-offering, and the sacrifice of Peace-offerings concludes the rite. The last two were for the people expressly; for God takes especial care for the weaker sort. It may be for a similar reason that the same emphatic phrase, which occurs in Lev. 6:2626The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation. (Leviticus 6:26) in the law of the Sin-offering, is employed toward the end of ver. 16. “He sinned it (or made it sin).”
Then it is, that “Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and came out and blessed the people; and the glory of Jehovah appeared to all the people.” It is the union of the kingly with the sacerdotal dignity which is here indicated; for Moses was “king in Jeshurun” (Deut. 33). This took place within the tent of meeting, and was then manifested. It is not man asking as in the disastrous day that Saul was chosen after man's heart and the outward appearance. Nor was there really such a junction in after times. But here it was typically pledged by Jehovah; and it awaits its accomplishment in Christ for the earth in days rapidly approaching. “Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, saying, Behold, a man whose name is Branch; and he shall branch up from his own place, and he shall build the temple of Jehovah: even he shall build the temple of Jehovah and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zech. 6:3; 2; 133And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. (Zechariah 6:3)).
How appropriate that at this point “there went out fire from before Jehovah and consumed on the altar the burnt-offering, and the fat pieces!” “Jehovah, he is God, Jehovah, he is God,” cried the people even in the day of their idolatrous apostasy, when He answered by fire, as He now proffered the sign. Christ is the true Melchizedek, and shall reign over the earth in righteousness and peace. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this; for the counsel of peace is between them both.