Scripture reading – Leviticus 9
With seven days of consecration completed (Leviticus 8:33-36); on the eighth day, Moses summoned “Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel” (9:2). Aaron, chosen by the LORD to be Israel’s high priest, was commanded by Moses to prepare to offer sacrifices for himself and his sons.
The first sacrifice Aaron would offer was “a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish” (9:2). Before offering the LORD sacrifices for himself and his sons, Aaron was instructed to command “the children of Israel” to take “a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering; 4Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord; and a meat offering mingled with oil” (9:3-4).
The sacrifices were the condition required for Aaron, his sons, and the people to be in the LORD’s presence (9:4b, 6b). The people, having brought what the LORD required, gathered “before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord” (9:5).
Moses then commanded Aaron, “Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the Lord commanded” (9:7).
Take a moment, and reflect on why Aaron was commanded to offer sacrifices for himself and his sons.
With the congregation looking on, Aaron “slew the calf of the sin offering” for himself and his sons who would serve as priests. The “sin offering” left no doubt that Aaron was himself a sinner, and the congregation witnessed him slaying the calf as a substitutionary sacrifice for his sin.
Aaron’s sons then brought the blood of the calf to him, “and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns [corners] of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar” (9:11). The choice parts of the calf, “the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering,” were “burnt upon the altar; as the Lord commanded Moses” (9:9-10).” As commanded in Leviticus 4:11-12, the flesh and the hide of the “sin offering,” was burned outside Israel’s encampment. Aaron also slew, and offered “a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish” (9:2b, 12-14).
As God’s High Priest, Aaron Offered Sacrifices as Israel’s Mediator (9:15-21)
Having fulfilled the command to offer sacrifices for himself and his sons (9:1-14), Aaron then offered up four sacrifices for the children of Israel.
He took and slew “the goat, which was the sin offering…and offered it for [the sins]” of the people (9:15). He then offered “the burnt offering” that was “a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish” (9:3b, 16). The third offering was “the meat [lit. meal or grain] offering,” and it was burned on the altar as a sacrifice of praise and gratitude (9:17) on behalf of the nation.
Finally, as a symbol of communion with the LORD, Aaron “slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people” (9:18a). As with the other sacrifices, “Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood [of the peace offerings], which he sprinkled upon the altar round about” (9:18b).
As Israel’s high priest, Aaron invoked God’s blessings on the nation, and “lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings” (9:22).
I believe Leviticus 9:23 chronicles the duties of the spiritual leader of Israel were transferred from Moses, to Aaron as the high priest. Moses and Aaron entered the Tabernacle, and when they “came out, and blessed the people…the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people” (9:23). His accepting the sacrifices, was powerfully manifested when “there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces” (9:24).
Moved with fear, joy, and thanksgiving, the people humbled themselves, fell to the ground, and worshipped the LORD.
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith