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II. His pre-eminence above them -*
This part of the subject also would open a large field for discussion: but, confining ourselves to the text, we shall notice his pre-eminence only in the particulars which are there specified. -
1. He officiated in a far nobler tabernacle
- [As he belonged not to the tribe to which the priesthood attached, he could not exercise his ministry within the precincts allotted to them. The tabernacle therefore, in which
he officiated, was his own body, while he continued upon
earth; and the heaven of heavens, when he ascended within the vail." How infinitely does this exalt him above all the Aaronic priests! We allow that the tabernacle was glorious: but what glory had it, when compared with Christ’s immaculate body, in which, not a mere symbol only of the divine presence dwelt, but all the fulness of the Godhead? And what was the holy of holies in comparison of heaven itself, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God? Surely in whichever light we view the tabernacle, in which Christ officiated, we must acknowledge it to have been far “greater and more perfect, than that which was made with hands.”] ... . . t 2. He offered a far more valuable sacrifice [The high priests could offer nothing but the blood of beasts, which had not in itself the smallest efficacy towards the expiation of sin: the virtue, which it had, was wholly derived for its typical relation to the great sacrifice. But “Christ is entered into the holy place with his own blood;” and there presents it before God as a propitiation for our sists. • Compare the sacrifices then, the blood of goats and of calves, with the blood of our incarnate God: who does not see the worthlessness of the one: and the infinite value of the other: No wonder that the former needed to be “offered year by year continually,” since it had no power to take away sin, or to pecify an accusing conscience: but the latter fully satisfies for the sins of the whole world, and, having been once offered, perfects for ever them that are sanctified by it."] 3. He obtained far richer benefits for his people [The utmost that the high priest obtained for the people, was, a remission of those civil or political penalties, which were annexed to their several transgressions: with respect to real pardon before God, the annual repetition of their sacrifices sufficiently manifested, that that was beyond the sphere of
i Heb. vii. 13. k Heb. viii. 2. The “tabernacle” seems primarily to refer to his body. Compare John i. 14. ‘Ezzavorey with Col. ii. 9. But it may also relate to heaven, since it certainly was a
figure of that also, ver. 24. | Heb ix. 9. in 1 John ii. 2.
Heb. x. 14.
(110.) AND THE LEvitical priests. 37
their influence." But Christ has obtained for us redemption from all the bitter consequences of sin; as well from the sufferings, which we should have endured in the future world, as from the bondage, to which we should have remained subject in this present life. Nor are the effects of his sacrifice transient, like those under the law: it excels no less in the duration than in the greatness of the benefits it procures; it obtains for us, not redemption only, but “eternal redemption.” Well
then may he be called “an High Priest of good things;” for
there is nothing good in time or eternity, which he does not procure for those who seek an interest in his mediation.] This subject may serve to sh Ew us 1. What use to make of the Levitical law [If we read it merely as a system of rites and ceremonies, without considering the end of its institution, it will appear absurd, and utterly unworthy of its divine author: but, if we view it in its relation to Christ, it will appear beautiful and very instructive. There is no longer a vail over it with respect to us;" let us look at it therefore as at a mirrour, that reflects his glory; and we shall have no cause to regret the time and labour, that we employ in exploring its mysterious contents.] 2. How to appreciate the blessings of redemption [We may form some judgment of them by meditating on the terrors of hell, and the glories of heaven: but there is nothing that can so fully discover their value, as a consideration of the price paid for them. Who can reflect on “the precious blood of Christ by which we are redeemed,” and entertain low thoughts of the blessings purchased by it? Would men be so indifferent about salvation, if they thus considered how great it was? Surely, it would be impossible: callous as the human heart is, it would melt into contrition at the sight of an expiring God.P Let us but habituate ourselves to such views as these, and neither earth nor hell shall ever hold us in the bonds of sin. With such a sight of the prize, we shall newer cease to run, till we have obtained it..] . 3. What grounds of hope there are for the very chief of sinners - . . [Had any other price been paid for our redemption, many might have doubted, whether it were sufficient for them: but who can doubt, when he knows, that he has been bought with the blood of Christ? This will expiate the foulest guilt: the difference, that exists between one sinner and another, is lost, when they apply to Christ's infinitely meritorious atonement: its efficacy is the same, whatever degrees of guilt we may have. contracted: it will avail for one, as well as for another; nor is there any “sin of such a scarlet or crimson die, but it shall be
* Heb. x. 1, 4, 11. • 2 Cor. iii. 14. P Zech. xii. 10.
made white as snow,” the very instant it is washed in this fountain: “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.” Let none then despair: let us rather consider what “an High Priest we have over the house of God;” and “come boldly to: the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in the time of need.”4]
CXI. Jos H U A A TYPE of cHRIST.
Deut. iii. 28. Charge joshua, and encourage him, and strength-
en him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.
IN reading the records of God’s dealings with the Jews,
we are sometimes tempted to bring him to the bar of human reason, and to arraign his characteras severe. Such hasty judgment, however, would be impious in the ex
treme; since we are wholly incompetent to decide upon
matters, which are so far beyond our reach. There may be, and doubtless are, ten thousand reasons to justify his conduct, where our slender capacities cannot find any: and such light has been cast upon his procedure, in many instances, by the gospel, as may fully evince the necessity of shutting our mouths, and of giving him credit for perfect equity, even where his dispensations most oppose our natural feelings. We may instance this in the exclusion of Moses from the promised land. He had brought the people out of Egypt, and, with most unparalleled meekness, had endured their perverseness forty years in the wilderness: yet, when he had led them to the very borders of Canaan, he was not suffered to go in with them; but, on account of one single offence, was obliged to devolve on Joshua his office, his authority, his honours; yea, he was forbidden even to pray for an admission into that good land.” Dark as this dispensation must have appeared at the time, we are enabled to discern a propriety and excellency in it. It was altogether of a typical nature: for while he represented the law, Joshua, his successor, was a very eminent type of Christ. The text
* Ver. 23–27.
(111.) Joshu A A TYPE of christ. 39
naturally leads us to shew this: and we shall trace the resemblance of Joshua to Christ
I. In his name The name of Joshua was intended to designate his work and office [His name originally was Osea, but was altered by Moses to Joshua.” This, doubtless, was of God's appointment, that he might be thereby rendered a more remarkable type of Jesus. This name imported, that he should be a divine Saviour;" and though, in the strictest and fullest sense, it could not properly belong to him; yet, as he was to be such a distinguished representative of Jesus, it was very properly given to him.] The name of Jesus still more fitly characterized the work that was to be performed by him [This name is precisely the same with Joshua in the Greek language; and repeatedly do we, in the New Testament, translate it, “Jesus,” when it ought rather to have been translated, “Joshua.” It was given to our Lord by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb." and the express reason of it was assigned, namely, that “he should save his people from their sins.” To him it is applicable in the fullest extent, because he is “God manifest in the flesh,” “Emmanuel, God with us;” and because he is the author, not of a typical and temporary, but of a real and eternal salvation, to all his followers."]
This striking coincidence, with respect to the name, may prepare us for fuller discoveries of a resemblance
II. In his office
Joshua was appointed to lead the Israelites into the promised land
[Moses was certainly intended to represent the law, which
was admirably calculated to lead men through the wilderness, but could never bring them into the land of Cañaan: one offence against it destroyed all hope of salvation by it:5 it made no provision for mercy: its terms were simply, Do this and live:” and, for an example of its inexorable rigour, Moses himself was, for one unadvised word, excluded from the land of promise. The office of saving men must belong to another; and, for this reason, it was transferred to Joshua, who had been both appointed to it, and thoroughly qualified by God for the discharge of it...]
* Numb. xiii. 16. • Jah, which was prefixed to his name, is the name of God. d Acts wil. 45. Heb. iv. 8. e Matt. i. 21. * Heb. v. 9. g Gal. iii. 10. h Rom. x. 5.
‘Deut. xxiv. 9.
Jesus also was commissioned to bring his followers into the Canaan that is above [He, probably in reference to Joshua, is styled the Captain of our salvation:* and he appeared to Joshua himself in this very character, proclaiming himself to be the Captain of the Lord's host. “What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,” the Lord Jesus Christ came to effect." He has been divinely qualified for the work; and, like Joshua, was “encouraged to it, and strengthened in it,” by an assurance of God's continúal presence, and support." He leads his people on from grace to grace, from strength to strength, from victory to victory." Nor will he ever desist from his work, till he shall have subdued his enemies, and established his people in their promised inheritance.] *
Happily for us the resemblance may be likewise traced,
III. In his success Nothing could oppose any effectual bar to Joshua's progress [Though Jordan had overflowed its banks, its waters were divided, to open him a path on dry land.P. The impregnable walls of Jericho, merely at the sound of rams’ horns, were made to fall," Confederate kings fled before him." City
after city, kingdom after kingdom, were subjected to his all-
conquering arms: and almost the whole accursed race of Canaanites were extirpated, and destroyed.” The promised land was divided by him amongst his followers:" and he appealed to them with his dying breath, that not so much as one, of all the promises that God had given them, had ever failed."]
And shall less be said respecting our adorable Em
[He “triumphed over all the principalities and powers” of hell; and causes his followers to trample on the necks of their mightiest foes.” He leads them safely through the swellings of Jordan, when they come to the border of the promised land; and, having given them the victory, he divides among them the heavenly inheritance. When he comes to number them at last, even though they may have sustained the sorest conflicts, it will be found, that not so much as one of them is lost:" and he will be able to appeal to the whole as
- g k Heb. ii. 10. ! Josh. v. 13–15. - m Rom. viii. 3. n isai. xlii. 1. 4, 6. ° Ps. lxxxiv. 7. 2 Cor. iii. 18. Rev. vi. 2. p Josh. iii. 17. ‘l Josh. vi. 20. Josh. x. 16. Josh. xii. 7, 24. t Josh. xi. 23. and xviii. 10. * Josh. xxiii. 14. * Rom. xvi. 20. with Josh. x. 24. y Isai. xliii. 2. z Matt. N. × . . $4. * Nunn. xxxi. 49. with John xvii. 12.