Aaron Teaches Us About Christ: Leviticus 8:1-12

Leviticus 8:1‑12  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Listen from:
Leviticus 8:1-12
Before speaking of Christ’s priestly work for us in heaven now, let us notice the first thing that was done to Aaron and his sons. They were washed all over with water. We will speak of Aaron first since he typifies Christ, and so in this we see the Lord Jesus as that blessed One who is the living Word. He is the full expression of all that God is, and the whole of God’s written Word spoke of, and pointed on to Him — the Living Word. This is no doubt what we would learn from the water (which typifies the Word) applied to Aaron the high priest.
Aaron was then taken alone, and the garments of glory and beauty (referred to in the chapter on Exodus 28 found in the book A Redeemed People) were put upon him. Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, as well as sprinkling it upon the altar seven times. Then he anointed the altar, the laver, and its foot, and he also poured the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head and it went down to the very skirts of his garments (Psalm 133:2). We notice that the blood had to be put upon Aaron’s sons first before the anointing oil, but with Aaron the oil was put on first. Aaron here is a picture of the Lord Jesus, who, because of who He is, the blessed Son of God, could be marked out by the Spirit of God’s coming upon Him like a dove, like the anointing oil poured upon Aaron. There was no sin to be cleansed away in Him — no blood need be applied to Him in this way — for He was the sinless One. Blessed be His name — how our hearts adore Him!
The Prophetic Figure
No doubt the scene presented in our chapter looks on prophetically to a coming day when the Lord Jesus will, in His own right as Creator, take what is rightfully His — this whole scene. Then, just as the tabernacle and all within were anointed with oil, so the whole “earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). Oh what a blessed day it will be for this poor, groaning creation! Of course we know that the Lord Jesus also has a Redeemer’s right to this world (see Revelation 5), for He bought the field (Matthew 13:38, 44), but this does not alter His right to it as the Creator. His sovereign right to it as Creator is presented to us in Revelation 4, and also in this first part of Leviticus 8 in a typical way.
Our Great High Priest
We know, too, as we have remarked before, that the Lord Jesus is our Great High Priest now interceding for us at the right hand of God. There He wears His garments of “glory and beauty” for us, maintaining our cause in righteousness because of the infinite value of His finished work. We can come to Him for grace to help in every time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and with holy confidence too, for He has trodden the path before us and knows every difficulty and trial of the way. Then, too, He is our Advocate when we have sinned and pleads our cause before the Father (1 John 2:1). The very moment we confess our sins, then He restores us to the happy sense in our souls of the Father’s love. The Lord Jesus faithfully carries on this twofold work for us on high, and it is most needful for us as believers that we avail ourselves of this priestly service day by day.
For Further Meditation
1. Why did Aaron have the anointing oil applied to him before the blood?
2. It’s possible to claim a lot of things as “ours” but have them taken away from us. A person can fall into debt, and their creditor can come along and take their most prized possessions to help pay the debt. How does the Lord stake a claim to the world that shows it belongs to Him in a unique way and never can be taken away?
3. If you’d like to hear a lot more about the Lord as our High Priest and Advocate than this brief chapter gives, you can find more by listening to Christ’s Intercession as High Priest and Advocate by R. Thonney.