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Chapter 26

 

The Efficacy of the Blood

 

“And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering. And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it … Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons’ garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.

(Leviticus 8:14-30)

 

Many years ago, I read about a farmer who was drafted for service during the Civil War. I remember nothing about him, except that he was a farmer and his name was Blake. When he was notified that he must go into the army, Blake was terribly concerned about leaving his family. His wife was already dead. If something should happen to him, there would be no one to support and take care of his children.

 

            The day before he was to leave for the army, his neighbor, Charlie Durham, came to visit him. “Blake,” he said, “I’ve been thinking. You’re needed here at home, so I’ve decided to go in your place.”

 

            Blake was speechless. The offer seemed too good to be true. He grasped the hand of the young man and praised God for this man who was willing to serve as his substitute. Charlie Durham went to the front lines and performed his duties nobly. But he was shot and killed in his first battle.

 

            When Blake heard the news, he immediately saddled his horse and rode out to the battlefield. After searching for some time, he found the body of his friend. He arranged to have it buried in the churchyard near the spot where they had often stopped to talk after the services. On a piece of marble, he carved an inscription with his own hands. It was roughly done, but with every blow of the hammer on the chisel tears fell from his eyes.

 

            He placed the marker on the grave of his devoted substitute. The inscription was brief; but there was never an inscription carved on a tombstone that was more honoring to the man of whom it spoke or more heartfelt by the man who did the engraving than this one. It read, “HE DIED FOR ME.”

 

            There is little that is more moving than the willing sacrifice of one man for another. I am moved by it, though I never knew either man. But there is a Man, a Man who is God almighty, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for me. Imagine that! — The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me! I hope never to get over the wonder of it.

 

“I stand amazed in the presence

Of Jesus the Nazarene,

And wonder how he could love me,

A sinner, condemned, unclean.

 

He took my sins and my sorrows,

He made them His very own;

He bore the burden to Calvary,

And suffered and died alone.

 

When with the ransomed in glory,

His face I at last shall see,

'Twill be my joy through the ages

To sing of His love for me.”

 

            This 8th chapter of Leviticus portrays that blessed work of redemption by Christ our Substitute which he accomplished at Calvary, declaring the certain efficacy of our Savior’s blood for the everlasting salvation of his elect, those sinners for whom he died. — All were anointed with the anointing oil for whom the blood of the sin-offering was shed. And all shall be born of God for whom blood atonement has been made.

 

The Prominence of the Blood

 

Christ’s sin-atoning blood is set before us prominently throughout the Scriptures. The Book of God is a book written in blood, the precious blood of Christ. It is all about the blood, the sin-atoning blood of Christ. Take away the blood of the Lamb from the Book of God and it would be a book utterly insignificant, void of meaning, and useless. The blood of Christ, his blood sacrifice, his blood atonement, his blood cleansing is typically unfolded in great detail in this 8th chapter of Leviticus. Throughout this chapter, the thing constantly set before us is the necessity and the efficacy of our Savior’s blood for atonement, acceptance, and reconciliation with God. On that great day, when Aaron and his sons were consecrated as priests unto God, it was the blood of the sacrifice that was constantly before the eyes of the people.

 

Three Sacrifices

 

Here it is set before us by three divinely appointed sacrifices. These three sacrifices could never put away sin; but they were given by God to portray him who would put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself (Hebrews 10:1-14).

 

1.    The Bullock of the Sin-Offering

 

“And he brought the bullock for the sin offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering. And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it.” (vv. 14-15)

 

2.    The Ram for the Burnt-offering

 

“And he brought the ram for the burnt offering: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.” (vv. 18-19)

 

3.    The Ram of Consecration

 

“And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot. And he brought Aaron’s sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.” (vv. 22-24)

 

            It should come as no surprise to read what Paul said about this in Hebrews 9.

 

“For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:19-22)

 

            What does this tell us? What do these sacrifices teach us? What is their intended symbolism?

 

Acceptance by the Blood

 

These typical sacrifices teach us that sinners are accepted of God only by and because of Christ’s shed blood.

 

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

 

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21)

 

            We cannot come to, worship, or find acceptance with the holy Lord God except by the sin-atoning blood of his darling Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Only a bloodstained ear can hear God’s Word. Only a bloodstained hand can do God’s work. Only a bloodstained foot can walk in the courts of the Lord’s house.

 

            We cannot come to God except by the blood of Christ; but, blessed be his holy name, we can come to God by that blood!

 

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God.” (Hebrews 10:19-21)

 

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

 

            Throughout this 8th chapter of Leviticus, we see the value, the efficacy, the power, and the wide application of the blood. — “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood” (Hebrews 9:22).

 

Assurance by the Blood

 

As the whole of our acceptance with God is the blood of his darling Son shed at Calvary as our Substitute, so the whole of our assurance before God is the blood. Our Lord Jesus Christ has by his own blood entered into heaven itself. Yonder, on the throne of the Majesty on high, he sits. He sits upon that throne in heaven by the merit and virtue of all that he accomplished on the cross.

 

            Our Redeemer’s presence in heaven on the throne of grace declares the worth and efficacy of his atoning blood (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; 10:12-14). The Lord Jesus sits upon his throne for us as our High Priest. He is there for us. Blessed assurance! — “He ever liveth.” He never changes! We are in him! — “And as he is so are we in this world!

 

            Christ is our Substitute and High Priest; and all who are saved by the free grace of God in him are accepted upon the same ground as he is. Before Aaron could make atonement for the people, he had to first make atonement for his own sins (Leviticus 16:6-14). So, too, our Lord Jesus Christ made atonement for himself (for the sins of his people that were made to be his own — 2 Corinthians 5:21; Psalms 40:12; 69:5, 9, 19). John Trapp wrote — “As he bore our sins in his own body upon the tree, he was first redeemed by himself, and afterwards we.” When he died and was freed from sin, so too were we (1 Peter 4:1-2). He entered into and took possession of heaven as our Mediator upon the same ground as we do, the sinless One who has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

 

            The Lord Jesus presents us to the Father in his own eternal perfection. And the Father delights in us as thus presented in his perfection, because we are in him. Yes, God our Father delights in us even as he delights in the One who presents us.

 

            This identification of Christ with us and us with him is typically set forth in “Aaron and his sons” laying their hands upon the head of each of the sacrifices (vv. 14, 18, 22 — The Bullock of the Sin Offering — The Ram of the Burnt Offering — The Ram of Consecration). They all stood before God in the value of the same sacrifice. Whether it was the “bullock for the sin-offering,” “the ram for the burnt-offering,” or “the ram of consecration,” they jointly laid their hands on the head of the sacrifice.

 

Aaron First

 

Aaron and Aaron alone was anointed before the blood was shed. He was robed in the gorgeous garments of his priestly office and anointed with the holy oil before his sons were either clothed or anointed. — Why? The reason should be obvious.

 

            Aaron, when spoken of by himself, typifies our Lord Jesus Christ in his own peerless excellence and dignity. As such he stands alone. Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared on this earth in all the peerless perfection of his own personal worth. Before ever he shed his blood as our sin-atoning Substitute, he was anointed by the Holy Ghost. The Father poured out the Spirit upon him without measure (John 3:34-35). Christ is the Anointed One from eternity who was distinctly and publicly anointed by the Father from heaven at his baptism (Matthew 3:15-17).

 

            Though Aaron was anointed alone before the blood was shed, he and his sons were united in the anointing that followed the blood-shedding.

 

“And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons’ garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.” (v. 30)

 

            So, too, there is the fullest possible identification between Christ and his people (Ephesians 5:30; Hebrews 2:11). The Sanctifier and those who are sanctified are one. We are one with Christ. Christ and his people are distinct and yet one. We are personally distinct. Yet spiritually, representatively, we are one. This personal distinctness enhances the value of the spiritual oneness.

 

The Efficacy of the Blood

 

As the blood of Christ was prominent in all the sacrifices and services of the typical Levitical priesthood, so too was the efficacy of our Savior’s blood. This is the point of Satan’s relentless opposition. This is the point at which self-serving prophets of deceit most quickly compromise the gospel. So, let me make some plain, emphatic statements about the efficacy of our Savior’s shed blood. When I speak of the efficacy of Christ’s blood, I mean just this. — The blood of Christ has effectually accomplished all that our Savior intended to accomplish by shedding it.

 

Š      He put away our sins! — All the sins of all God’s elect! — All the sins of every sinner who believes on him! — All the sins of every trembling soul who comes to God by him!

 

Š      He obtained eternal redemption for all his people! — That is to say, he got the job done. He purchased and secured the eternal salvation of all for whom he died at Calvary.

 

Š      Every sinner for whom Christ shed his blood at Calvary shall, at God’s appointed time of love, be given the blessed anointing of the Holy Spirit. — Every chosen, redeemed sinner shall, at God’s appointed time, be born again by the almighty, irresistible power and grace of God the Holy Ghost.

 

Š      All for whom Christ died shall be saved by the power and grace of God the Holy Spirit. — The efficacy of Christ’s blood is seen in the anointing that follows it. — All for whom blood was shed were anointed with the anointing oil.

 

            That is what was prefigured in the anointing of Aaron and his sons (vv. 12 and 30). But between the anointing of Aaron and the anointing of his sons several things took place. The blood was shed. The fat was consumed on the altar. And the breast was waved before the Lord. Only then do we read — “And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons’ garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him” (v. 30).

 

            Here is the picture. — Perfect atonement has been made by our Lord Jesus Christ. He who died at Calvary under the wrath of God as our Substitute has ascended to God in the power of his resurrection. Immanuel has taken his place in heaven by the merit of his blood. He has taken his place in heaven and has taken possession of heaven as a man for us, for his people. The sweet savor of Christ’s blood sacrifice perpetually ascends to and is accepted by the holy Lord God, our heavenly Father. All this comes between the anointing of the Head and the anointing of the members.

 

            First, we see Aaron alone (vv. 8-12). The anointing oil is poured upon his head. The whole assembly was permitted to see God’s high-priest gloriously arrayed, crowned, and anointed. As each garment was put on him, as each act was performed, as each ceremony was enacted, we read, “as the Lord commanded.” Everything was done by the express revelation of God, by the singular authority of the word of God. There was nothing vague, nothing arbitrary, nothing imaginative. Everything was divinely ordained and meticulously performed. All the needs of the congregation were fully met, and met in such a way that it could be said, “This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done.

 

            Aaron’s being anointed alone shows us a special picture of our Savior. Without the shedding of blood, there could be no union between Christ and his people. The Son of God could never be joined to us, and we could never be joined to him, except upon the ground of justice satisfied. Aaron’s sons could not join him in the priesthood until blood was shed. And there could be no union between Christ and his people except upon the ground of his death and resurrection.

 

            Without shedding of blood there is no remission. Our Lord’s righteous life could avail us nothing, his work was not done, his sacrifice was not complete, until his life’s blood was gone. We could never be united with God in Christ until his blood had been accepted in the holy place. So, too, without shedding of blood Aaron and his sons could not be anointed together.

 

“And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons’ garments with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him.” (v. 30)

 

Atonement First

 

The anointing oil could not be applied to Aaron’s sons until the blood of the sin-offering, the burnt-offering, and the ram of consecration had been shed and the sacrifice presented in the holy place before the Lord. Why were Aaron’s sons not anointed with him in verse 12? The answer is plain. — The blood had not been shed. Only when atonement has been accomplished can grace be bestowed.

 

“And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them.” (vv. 10-11)

 

            Aaron stands here alone. Clothed and arrayed as high priest, with his sons at his side, all eyes are fixed on him. Here is a beautiful and blessed type of Christ with his sons upon the Mount of Transfiguration. Though we could not be united to him until the blood was shed, yet, in the mind and purpose of God the blood of the Lamb was shed before the foundation of the world, and we were accepted in him from eternity.

 

            I can almost hear the Lord God saying, “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of your profession!” This is God’s word to every believing sinner. — “Ye are complete in him!” Why should any look for acceptance anywhere else? All that can give a sinner peace is in this great High Priest, Christ Jesus! We cannot find God reconciled anywhere but in him. It is only in Immanuel and all that he is that our souls’ needs are met.

 

            Moses has gone into the tabernacle. He is busy there. Already all things therein had been sprinkled with blood. The blood had cleansed them. Now the oil sets them apart for holy purposes, solemnly set apart to the Lord. None can ever claim the use of them again. They must be used by no one and for no one, but God himself, used for nothing but the service of his will, used for no other purpose but the purpose of his glory. That is what is meant by Moses’ sanctifying the vessels of the tabernacle.

 

Sanctification Follows

 

Once atonement was made, sanctification followed. Learn what it is to be sanctified. It is to be set apart for God alone. Our Savior speaks of himself like this, as a vessel set apart to be used for God alone, to accomplish God’s purpose (John 17:19). Just as the sanctuary and all its vessels were to be used only to show us the sinner’s way to God, so Christ presented himself to be used by the Father entirely for the purpose of making a way for sinners to come to God. — Glorious Gospel! The use for which the incarnate Son of God was set apart was to make a way for sinners to come to God.

 

            The Father used him in this way coming to us. We use him in exactly the same way in coming to the Father. Christ is a Savior set apart for the use of sinners! — No angel can ever use him for that purpose. He is not a Savior for angels (Hebrews 2:16). But the guiltiest soul out of hell may come to God by Christ Jesus! — He is the sinner’s Savior! — The Lord Jesus Christ is set apart for the unlimited use of needy sinners!

 

            Only Aaron wore the crown on his turban reading, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” His sons had to look to him for everything. So it is with us. We must look to Christ alone for everything before God. We come to him, worship him, believe on him, pray to him, and offer sacrifices to him in the name of him who is our Aaron, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Seven Days

 

Aaron and his sons were shut up in the tabernacle for seven days.

 

“And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Boil the flesh at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and there eat it with the bread that is in the basket of consecrations, as I commanded, saying, Aaron and his sons shall eat it. And that which remaineth of the flesh and of the bread shall ye burn with fire. And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you. As he hath done this day, so the LORD hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you. Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.” (vv. 31-35)

 

            Here we see Christ and his people feeding together upon the results of his accomplished atonement. Aaron and his sons, having been anointed together on the ground of the blood shed, are here shut in within the precincts of the tabernacle for “seven days.”

 

            This is a picture of Christ and his people now. We are shut in with God, waiting for the manifestation of the glory of God. — Blessed position! — Blessed portion! — Blessed hope! Christ and his redeemed abide in the same place, and are preserved upon the same ground, for seven days. Seven is the number of completion and perfection. The picture before us in Leviticus is a picture of complete, perfect salvation in, by, and with our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            We are one with Christ, shut in with God, waiting for the day of glory, and, while waiting for the glory to come, feeding upon the riches of God’s abounding, free grace in Christ! — Oh, for a capacity to take these things in and a heart to enjoy them! May God give us a deep, deep sense of their magnitude. May he grant us grace that our hearts might be turned away from all that pertains to this present evil world, so that we may feed only upon the contents of “the basket of consecrations,” which is our proper food as priests in the sanctuary of God, until the eighth day. The eighth day is the day that has not yet been. The eighth day is the day of the new creation. The eighth day is the manifestation of the glory of God (Leviticus 9).

 

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)

 

            Blessed be God, until that day, we are shut in with Christ where he is in the holy place! — “That ye die not!” Shut up with Christ in the holy place, we cannot perish because here we are secured by the word of God, the blood of God’s Son, and the anointing of God’s Spirit.

 

“Blessed assurance! Jesus is mine!

Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!

Heir of salvation, purchased of God,

Born of His Spirit, I’m washed in his blood!”

 

            That is the saving power and efficacy of the blood, the precious blood of Christ poured out for sinners at Calvary! This is my memorial to my Substitute. — He died for me!

 

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

 

Oh, may God the Holy Ghost would make the Savior’s blood effectual to you, for Christ’s sake!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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