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[R5391 : page 30]

LEVITICUS NINE AND SIXTEEN

APPARENTLY we have failed to make clear our thought respecting the teachings of these two chapters. Our statement in TABERNACLE SHADOWS that they both picture the Day of Atonement sacrifices has been misunderstood. We do not mean to say that the two ceremonies took place on the same particular Day of Atonement. Our thought is that the antitype of the two took place at the same time in the antitypical Atonement Day—the Gospel Age.

The record of the Ninth Chapter relates to the consecration of the priests. The service there pictured represents the consecration of Aaron, and was to be repeated in the case of every priest who attained the office of high priest. That is to say, this service was to be repeated only when a high priest should die and his successor in the office should be inaugurated. Thus the ceremony might be performed several times in one year, if several high priests, one after another, died in one year and successors took their places. Or this ceremony of Leviticus 9 might not be repeated for many years; as, for example, Aaron lived nearly forty years after his appointment to the office, and hence not until his son Eleazar became high priest would this consecration service be repeated. On the contrary, the Day of Atonement described in the 16th Chapter recurred every year.

The lines of harmony between the two ceremonies are indicated by the sacrifices, which in both cases were a bullock and a goat. These represented the same sacrifices in antitype—the bullock representing the high priest and the goat representing the under priests; for Jesus died only once—not twice. Therefore the death of the bullock in both instances represented the one sacrifice of Jesus. And because the Church dies only once, therefore the sacrifice of the goat in both instances represents the death of the Church as members of the antitypical priesthood under the Headship of their great High Priest.

Why, then the two pictures? may be asked. We reply, Because the death of Jesus had two distinct aspects, and similarly the death of the Church has two aspects. Only by dying to the earthly nature was it possible for Jesus and the Church to attain the Heavenly nature and the office of the Royal Priesthood—to qualify for the work of Messiah. Even, therefore, if the world had not needed to be redeemed from sin, the Priest must have given the same sacrifice exactly, in order to attain His high position. And so would the under-priests. On the other hand, as mankind are sinners, needing to be redeemed, atonement for sin would have been necessary before the work of Restitution could go on, entirely regardless of the exaltation of Christ and the Church to the Heavenly plane.

Thus the "better sacrifices" of Messiah cover two distinctly separate, yet both important, works. It was necessary that Jesus and His followers should suffer and enter into their glory. And this is emphasized by Leviticus 9. It was also necessary that a sacrifice for sins [R5391 : page 31] should be offered on behalf of mankind, in order to permit them to come to Restitution blessing; and this is typified in Leviticus 16. So we repeat that the sacrifices of Leviticus 9 and those of the 16th chapter are identical sacrifices, accomplished in this same antitypical Atonement Day—the Gospel Age.