TYPES OF CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2000 James Melough
While no spiritual mind has
any difficulty seeing in Aaron a type of Christ as our Great High Priest, occupation
with the larger symbolic picture sometimes causes us to miss the equally beautiful
miniatures presented in the details of the larger portrait.
Aaron on the Day of Atonement is one such miniature (Le 16).
In Le 16:1 we have a
reference to the death of Aaron’s two sons for having acted without a divine
command, reminding us of the awesome holiness of God.
This is the context for the instructions that follow, “Speak unto Aaron ...
that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail ... that he die
not.... Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place.... He shall put on the holy linen
coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a
linen girdle, and with the linen miter shall he be attired: these are holy garments;
therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on,” vv.2-4.
Since the pure white linen
is the biblical emblem of holiness, the symbolic figure before us is that of Christ
clothed in His Own intrinsic righteousness. But
clearly the details, as always, are meant to instruct us.
The coat was the outer
garment, and here it represents that righteousness of Christ which met the eye of
man, whose testimony to the Lord’s perfections is found in the words of Pilate,
“I find in him no fault at all,” Jn 18:38; and confirmed by the centurion,
“Certainly this was a righteous man,“ Lk 23:47 .
The Jews themselves could accuse Him falsely only of blasphemy for claiming to
be what He was, the Son of God.
The “breeches upon his
flesh” were underpants. They represent
that righteousness of Christ which was perceived only by God Who “discerns the
thoughts and intents of the heart,” He 4:12. There
too was found the same perfection as met the eye of man.
The girdle is the Scriptural
symbol of service, and here reminds us that the Lord’s service was also impeccable.
There was never a thought, word or deed that didn’t delight the Father’s
heart. He was never a moment before or
behind the time appointed by God. There
was never a step taken apart from the leading of the Holy Spirit.
All He did, even to His cry, “I thirst,” was “that the scripture might
be fulfilled,” Jn 19:28. His service
was impelled by a pure motive: the glory of the Father, and the redemption of men.
The mitre on the head of the
high priest was the equivalent of the crown on the head of the king, and reminds us
that even as the Lord hung on the cross - the Lamb dying in our stead, the Sacrifice
offered to make atonement for sin - He
was at the same time the Priest, “who through the eternal Spirit offered himself
without spot to God,” He 9:14. He
never ceased to be in control.
The ritual of the Day of
Atonement concluded with Aaron’s divesting himself of those white linen garments,
“And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle ... and shall put off the linen garments,
which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there,” v
23. As the priests resumed their
service, the first thing that met their eyes were those linen garments, the symbolic
announcement of the fact that the sacrifice necessary to put away Israel’s sin for
a whole year, had been offered and accepted. The type was fulfilled on the resurrection morning when “the
other disciple (who) did outrun Peter ... came first to the sepulchre.
And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he
not in. Then cometh Simon Peter ... and
went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,” Jn 20:5-6.
Those discarded linen clothes announced the offering and acceptance of the
Sacrifice that fulfilled all the OT types, but that surpassed them in value and
efficacy. That Sacrifice was none other
than the Son of God, assuring every believer of the remission of sin, not just for a
year, but for ever.