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Exod. xxix. 38—42. "Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year, day by day, continually. The one lamb shalt thou oner in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer in the evening: and with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil ; and the fourth part of an hin of wine, for a drinkoffering. And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shall do thereto, according to the meatoffering of the morning, and according to the drink-offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the Lord. This shall be a continual burnt-offering throughout your generations, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the Lord; where I will meet you to speak there unto thee." In reference to these sacrificial lambs offered, in the daily offerings, the baptist stiles Christ, the Lamb of God; and said to, the people, " Behold; the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
The burnt-offering in the scripture of my text, was not a lamb, but a bullock; nor was it the daily, but an occasional sacrifice. It was, a free-will offering; and as such wasa shadow of the voluntary engagements of our Lord Jesus on the behalf of his church and people; and of his will being deeply engaged in performing his covenant engagements, and becoming the sacrifice for sin, which is clearly and fully expressed in these words, in the fortieth psalm, "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire—mine ears hast 4hou opened; burnt-offerings and sin-offerings hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo! 1 come: in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O! my God; yea* thy law is within my heart."
Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to his cove* nant engagements with his co-equal Father, became incarnate, and freely substituted himself in the room of the law sacrifices, and answered the whole end, and fulfilled the whole design of them, by purging away sin by the oblation of his body and soul, in union with his divine person, and thus he removed sin out of the sight of God, and before him, and from his people, so that they are freed from the imputation of it. The psalmist expresses the perfection of our Lord's removing sin thus ; " As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us," Psalm ciii. 12.
All the sacrifices were memorials of Christ's oblation, as well as this. The one offering of Jmmanuel, was the ground and foundation of them. His was the substance, these were the shadows; but his was so infinitely perfect, that the virtue and efficacy of it, could not be fully conceived by one sacrifice; therefore burntofferings, sin-offerings, peace-offerings, meat and drink-offerings, were instituted to shew how our Lord's offering would be a complete remedy for the whole disease of his church and people. Sin would be removed—the curse would be abolished—peace would be made, and he would be all in salvation work—the whole glory would belong to him—the whole work would be performed by-him. And, like as sin laid typically oa the burnt sacrifice, was with it consumed by fire, and perfectly annihilated; so sin laid on Christ by imputation, would be abolished out of the sight of God, by the sacrifice of Christ's death. I proceed,
Secondly, To explain the services, and sacrificial actions, and shew how Christ was thereby set forth as crucified.
As the tabernacle was a figure of Christ's body, in which dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead; and the various sacrifices were memorials of the oblation of himself; so the services and sacrificial acts, were divinely prescribed, and were each and every one of them very sig^ nificant and expressive.
Aaron's sons, the priests, were the persons appointed to offer them. No man could offer his own sacrifice, as no man can make atonement for his own sin; it belonged to the priest to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin. He was herein a type of Christ, the true priest of his church and people.
The bullock for the burnt-offering, being killed before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, it was to be flayed, and cut into his pieces. As the animal was a type of Christ, so the slaying it, sprinkling its blood, flaying it, and cutting it into its pieces, set forth the following particulars relative to Christ.
The bullock, a strong creature, suggested the strength of Christ, who as the man of God's right-hand, the Sou of man made strong by Jehovah for himself, would display the greatness of his strength, in bearing the sins of his people in his own body on the tree.
The pouring out the blood at the bottom of the altar, shewed that Christ would pour out his soul unto death, and give his life a ransom for many.
The sprinkling it round about the altar, shewed that it is "the blood which maketh an atonement for the soul." Its being sprinkled by the priest on the offerer, and pronouncing him clean, shewed, that the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth from all sin.
The flaying the slaughtered animal, was very descriptive of the stripping Christ of his clothes, when he was given up into the hands of sinful men, and suffered death upon the cross.
The cutting the sacrifices into his pieces, pointed out how Messiah's sorrows and suffer*ngs, would reach arid extend to every faculty of his soul, and to every member of his body.
Its being washed with water, was expressive of the incouceivable and immaculate purity of Christ's body and soul, which he offered for sin. It follows in the words of my text, "And the sons of Aaron, the priest, shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head and the fat in order, upon the wood that is on fire; but his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord."
The altar according to our Lord, Matt, xxiii. IP. sanctified the offering. His own essential Godhead, was the altar which sanctified the oblation of his human nature. The fire on the altar was expressive of the wrath of the Father, with which Christ was parched through and through, when it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and put his soul to grief. The laying the wood in order upon the fire, and then laying the parts of the sacrifice, the head, and the fat thereon, was figurative of Christ, as laid on the cross. The inwards and legs washed in water, was expressive of the purity of Christ's heart, and the perfection of his obedience, which was without spot.