The Word for today:
As we’ve been looking for Jesus in Leviticus, we’ve seen words that may as well be shouting out, “That looks just like him!”
Lamb and blood and fire and offering and flawless and high priest and mediator and substitute and holy and bread and goats and birds and law and access are each telling us more and more about him.
But there’s one word that might as well be shouting out his Name. That word is anointed…
When we are looking for Jesus in the prophetic pictures of the Old Testament, we have to be (like any good detective) very observant of things that, to the untrained eye, might look like mere details. These seemingly minor details can contain our biggest clues.
Let’s carefully read the following often-overlooked verses from Levitcus 8. I’ve been a detective for a long time, so I will help out by highlighting some details that might otherwise go unnoticed:
Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. (Leviticus 8:10)
He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. (Leviticus 8:11)
He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. (Leviticus 8:12)
First of all, whenever we see the word anointed, you can be sure that Jesus is lurking nearby! (You’ve no doubt heard the word “Christ.” Well, Christ is a Greek form of the Hebrew word Messiah, which means anointed. Let’s put it this way, if we were to say “Jesus Christ” in pure English, it would be “Jesus Anointed.”)
Which means he’s very near in this passage. So we’ll look even closer. Notice the word “poured.” Poured is a crucial clue. But it’s only understood relative to the word “sprinkled,” which we find in Leviticus 8:30:
Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments.
Note that oil (the most prevalent symbol of the Holy Spirit in scripture) is poured on the high priest. So, when we are told in the New Testament that Jesus has “the Spirit without measure (1),” it means he’s the real High Priest–the one upon whom the Spirit is poured.
But the oil is only sprinkled on the other priests–who are like the high priest in essence, but not in degree.
Aaron, anointed, high priest, Christ, poured, and sprinkled. Just minor details to many Bible readers, but not to the super sleuths who stand in the rain every day.
Well, that’s enough to process for one day. So come on back tomorrow when we will find more unmistakable clues among the “minor details” of Leviticus chapter 8.
(1) John 3:34