“Aharon raised his hands toward the people, blessed them and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings.”-Leviticus 9:22
One of the most moving moments of the special inaugural ceremony of the priesthood we are studying here in Leviticus chapter 9 has got to be verse 22.
We are told told that Aaron raised his hands over the people and blessed them.
We are not given the exact words of the blessing here, but for anybody who regularly attends a Jewish worship service whether Messianic or otherwise, this blessing should be quite familiar.
The great Hebrew sages are unanimous that what Aaron pronounced here is what is recorded in Numbers 6:22-26.
‘Y’varekh’kha Adonai v’yishmerekha.
[May Adonai bless you and keep you.]
Ya’er Adonai panav eleikha vichunekka.
[May Adonai make his face shine on you and show you his favor.]
Yissa Adonai panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom.
[May Adonai lift up his face toward you and give you peace.]’
What happened next in response to Aaron’s blessing was unforgettable.
We’re told that the Lord sent forth divine fire that completely consumed the entire contents of what was on top of the Brazen Altar.
At that precise moment, the nature and character of the Brazen Altar was transformed from merely glorious to divine.
All who were present had no choice but to gasp in awe and fall to their knees in surrender to the Divine Presence who had just manifested Himself.
When the 3rd Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem, an event that I believe may happen soon, we’re going to witness a similar replay of what we’re studying here.
And I believe it will elicit a very similar reaction from all who will be present.
Before closing, there is one interesting connection between what occurred here and what occurred in Exodus at Sinai.
In Exodus, God’s manifestation of His fiery presence is connected to the revelation of the 10 Words of God (what the church calls the 10 Commandments).
However, in here in Leviticus, it is the priestly rituals-the scrupulous performance of the sacrifices by Aaron and his sons-that brings about the awesome epiphany.
This should give all of us serious pause for reflection concerning just how important the Decalogue and the priestly rituals were and are from the Lord’s perspective.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN LEVITICUS CHAPTER 10