Hawthorn Baillie, N. Ireland
Days in Scripture have their significance to the believer in Christ, and in turning to the Book of Leviticus we find the Eighth day mentioned several times. In Chap. 9:1-4, we read: "And it came to pass on the Eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel: and he said unto Aaron take thee a young calf for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord, and unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, take ye 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, also a bullock and a ram for a peace-offering to sacrifice before the Lord; and a meat-offering mingled with oil: for today the Lord will appear unto you" (vs. 22-23) "And Aaron 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-offering and Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people."
Observe verses 22-23. The sin-offering, burnt-offering and peace-offerings are offered. Moses the mediator and Aaron the priest go into the sanctuary. Here we have a typical forshadowing of our Great High Priest on the eighth day, or resurrection day, after going to the cross as the sin-offering, burnt offering and peace-offering for His people. He ascended on high as mediator and priest. "Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in," were the heavenly strains that hailed the Victor of Calvary, as He took His seat "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come."
Behold Him there, the once slain Lamb!
My perfect, spotless Righteousness,
The great unchangeable "I am,"
The King of Glory and of Grace.
In verse 23, Moses and Aaron came out and blessed the people and the glory of the Lord appeared. Thank God our Great High Priest is coming out again and bringing the glory with Him. "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13) is the sheetanchor of the believer in these dark days.
And though awhile He be, hid from the eyes of men,
His people look to see their Great High Priest again:
In brightest glory He will come, and take His waiting people home.
On the eighth day the male child was to be circumcised (12:3). We cannot be occupied with Christ in Glory without knowing a little about true circumcision, "No confidence in the flesh." "They that are in the flesh cannot plead God." "The flesh profiteth nothing." "He that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption." Let us read it in full: "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power; in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:10-11). "For we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3). How often we see a denial of all we confessed in our baptism. "The old man of whom ye spake, is he yet alive?" Yes, Amalek still lives; he can be seen parading the platform at our conference meetings; he thinks the meeting is not a success except he has a place: he may appear in the form of a learned address or in the garb of mock humility; often he breaks the silence of our worship meetings - he thinks the pause is too long; in a pious way you can hear him read about the sufferings of the Saviour and he will be on his feet two, three, and perhaps seven times, he is the first and the last. He is very daring with his censor; would seek to enter the sanctuary; he prays long and wearies everybody but himself. Saints refuse to come to the prayer meetings because of his long prayers; he prays about everything and asks for nothing- never gets inside the veil, for "nothing that defileth shall enter there."
Let us turn away from this old enemy and dwell in the places where He was crucified. "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" (Gal. 2: 20).
We find in chapter 14 vs. 10-20, it was on the Eighth day the cleansed leper came to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with his trespass-offering, log of oil, sin-offering and burnt offering. Prior to this he had used the razor and water, and now with blood and oil on his ear, hand and foot, he is consecrated to God. Here we are reminded of the order of Romans 6. After the exhortation to reckon ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, we are asked to present our members instruments of righteousness. We think of chapter 12, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2).
When we, through the mercy of God, were saved, like the cleansed leper, we came to present ourselves for consecration; in our first love we wanted our hands filled for God. Many could sing in those days "Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to thee." Alas! what coldness has crept in, what world conformity; its nude dress, its glorying in its shame, with its love for pleasure more than love for God has left its mark upon many of our young brethren and sisters. May we take heed to those words in 1 Cor. 6: 19-20. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are Godís."
In turning to chapter 15 of Leviticus we learn it was on the Eighth day the unclean person came with his sin-offering and burnt offering: here we see Godís provision for defilement. The Apostle John wrote: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:1-2). We cannot bury unconfessed sin, it will come out. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whose confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Prov. 28:13). If we have wronged any fellow saint let us hasten to put it right for there is no communion or cleansing apart from it. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong, a perfect plea;
A great High Priest whose name is love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
Let us turn to our last word in chapter 23:11. The wave sheaf was to be offered. "The morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it." Let the reader note it was the morrow after the sabbath. On the Jewish sabbath Jesus lay in Josephís new tomb, on the morrow after the sabbath he rose from among the dead "Christ the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christís at his coming" (1 Cor, 15:23). He is the first-fruits, the harvest is bound to follow, gathered in from north, south, east and west. "He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied" when His Church shall be presented to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing."
What rush of Alleluias fills all the earth and sky;
What ringing of a thousand harps bespeaks the triumph nigh;
O day, for which creation and all its tribes were made,
O joy, for all its former woes a thousand fold repaid.