The consecration of Aaron and his sons. (1-13) The offerings of consecration. (14-36)
Verses 1-13 The consecration of Aaron and his sons had been delayed until the tabernacle had been prepared, and the laws of the sacrifices given. Aaron and his sons were washed with water, to signify that they ought to purify themselves from all sinful dispositions, and ever after to keep themselves pure. Christ washes those from their sins in his own blood whom he makes kings and priests to our God, ( revelation 1:5 revelation 1:6 ) ; and those that draw near to God must be washed in pure water, ( Hebrews 10:22 ) . The anointing of Aaron was to typify the anointing of Christ with the Spirit, which was not given by measure to him. All believers have received the anointing.
Verses 14-36 In these types we see our great High Priest, even Christ Jesus, solemnly appointed, anointed, and invested with his sacred office, by his own blood, and the influences of his Holy Spirit. He sanctifies the ordinances of religion, to the benefit of his people and the honour of God the Father; who for his sake accepts our worship, though it is polluted with sin. We may also rejoice, that he is a merciful and faithful High Priest, full of compassion to the feeble-minded and tempest-tossed soul. All true Christians are consecrated to be spiritual priests. We should seriously ask ourselves, whether in our daily walk we study to maintain this character? and abound in spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Christ? If so, still there is no cause for boasting. Let us not despise our fellow-sinners; but remembering what we have done, and how we are saved, let us seek and pray for their salvation.
Leviticus 8:1-36 . MOSES CONSECRATES AARON AND HIS SONS.
2. Take Aaron and his sons--The consecration of Aaron and his sons had been ordered long before ( Exodus 29:1-46 ), but it is now described with all the details of the ceremonial, as it was gone through after the tabernacle was completed and the regulations for the various sacrifices enacted.
3-5. gather thou all the congregation together, &c.--It was manifestly expedient for the Israelitish people to be satisfied that Aaron's appointment to the high dignity of the priesthood was not a personal intrusion, nor a family arrangement between him and Moses; and nothing, therefore, could be a more prudent or necessary measure, for impressing a profound conviction of the divine origin and authority of the priestly institution, than to summon a general assembly of the people, and in their presence perform the solemn ceremonies of inauguration, which had been prescribed by divine authority.
6. Moses . . . washed them with water--At consecration they were subjected to entire ablution, though on ordinary occasions they were required, before entering on their duties, only to wash their hands and feet. This symbolical ablution was designed to teach them the necessity of inward purity, and the imperative obligation on those who bore the vessels and conducted the services of the sanctuary to be holy.
7-9. he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle--The splendor of the official vestments, together with the gorgeous tiara of the high priest, was intended, doubtless, in the first instance, to produce in the minds of the people a high respect for the ministers of religion; and in the next, from the predominant use of linen, to inculcate upon Aaron and his sons the duty of maintaining unspotted righteousness in their characters and lives.
10-12. took the anointing oil, &c.--which was designed to intimate that persons who acted as leaders in the solemn services of worship should have the unction of the Holy One both in His gifts and graces.
14-17. brought the bullock for the sin offering, &c.--a timely expression of their sense of unworthiness--a public and solemn confession of their personal sins and a transference of their guilt to the typical victim.
18-21. brought the ram, &c.--as a token of their entire dedication to the service of God.
22-30. brought the other ram,--&c. After the sin offering and burnt offering had been presented on their behalf, this was their peace offering, by which they declared the pleasure which they felt in entering upon the service of God and being brought into close communion with Him as the ministers of His sanctuary, together with their confident reliance on His grace to help them in all their sacred duties.
33. ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation--After all these preliminaries, they had still to undergo a week's probation in the court of the tabernacle before they obtained permission to enter into the interior of the sacred building. During the whole of that period the same sacrificial rites were observed as on the first day, and they were expressly admonished that the smallest breach of any of the appointed observances would lead to the certain forfeiture of their lives [ Leviticus 8:35 ].