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to be offered, when “Christ being come, a high-priest of good things to come, .... neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” But still this was not all. The Lord Jesus Christ was not only to die for our sins, but He was also to rise again for our justification, to prove that his sacrifice had been accepted, and that God had now put away our transgressions, and would no more visit them upon any human being who was willing to cast them in penitence and faith upon the Saviour, and to renounce them for ever.
Here, then, came in the second goat to typify that which had necessarily been left imperfect by the death of the first. The high-priest took the “scape goat," as it was called, and laying both his hands upon its head, confessed over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and then sending him away by the hand of a trusty messenger, into the wilderness. "And," adds the historian, "the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited, and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” How admirable a type of that portion of our blessed Lord's mediatorship, his rising again for our justification; by which not only the free and absolute pardon of our sins is secured, but more than this, by which we are justified, or, as our eleventh Article expresses it, “accounted righteous before God." The Almighty in mercy declaring that He has put away our sins out of his own sight, as well as out of the sight of those who have committed them, as effectually as the sins of the Israelites were here supposed to be for ever hidden, when carried by the scape goat into the strange country which no man inhabited. Let each of us then remember his share in the mystical meaning of this holy day. If the sins of the Israelites had not been laid upon the head of the scape goat, no pardon would have been procured for them, although the rest of the ceremony might have been perfect. Unless we individually bring our sins in deep humiliation and contrite confession and humble faith to the Saviour, mourning and forsaking them, for us, the Lamb of God will have died and risen but in vain.
[Here may be read from ver. 11 to the end of the chapter. Also from chap. xvii, to the end of chap, xxii.]
1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2. Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, enen these are my feasts.
3. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein; it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
4. These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
The chapter which we have now commenced, may be distinguished from those by which it is surrounded, inasmuch as that, although it still treats of ceremonies, it is chiefly conversant with those great annual festivals of the Jews, which are quite necessary if we desire to comprehend any thing of the Lord's method of dealing with his people.
The verses we have read, indeed, are only a repetition of the laws of the sabbath, upon which we have already commented. They are repeated on the present occasion, because all the feasts of the Jews are enumerated in this chapter, and it pleased God to reckon their sabbaths among the number. Again the Almighty, therefore, impressed upon the Israelites the bounden duty of abstaining from all work on this hallowed day, and in addition to this, it is emphatically added, “ It is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings." Well would it be, if Christians would bear this continually in mind, that the Lord's day, is to be the Lord's day, not merely in their churchesand at their ordinances, but “in all their dwellings;' that their thoughts, their reading, and, as far as possible, their conversation, should always in their families bear a reference to the holy duties of this sacred day. That, relieved although we no doubt are from the ceremonial bondage of the Jewish sabbath, when no work of whatever kind was to be performed, or even food to be prepared, we are still to keep the Lord's day, as a feast unto the Lord,” a day of holy rejoicing, a day of rest, a day of devotion, and blessed preparation, as far as we are able, for the good things which God hath prepared for them that love him,
5. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passoder.
6. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
7. In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no seroile work therein.
8. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no seroile work therein.
9. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
10. Speak unio the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the hardest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest;
11. And he shall wade the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepta ed for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wade it.
12. And ye shall offer that day, when ye wade the sheaf a he lamb without blemish of the first year, for a burnt offering unto the Lord.
13. And the meat offering thereof shall be two ten!h deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet suvour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.
14. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the self-sume day that ye have brought an offering unto your God; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
We have here a repetition of the appointment of the feast of the passover, the original institution of which we learnt in the book of Exodus. Some few additional particulars are recorded, which would be necessary when the Israelites came into the promised land. It was to commence on the fourteenth day of the first month, a memorial of their original deliverance from bondage, and was to be celebrated by killing the paschal lamb on the first day, and eating unleavened bread for seven days, the first and last to be "holy convocations unto the Lord,” and no doubt the intermediate days devoutly and appropriately employed.
The following beautiful addition was now made to the ceremony; that as the passover took place just previously to the harvest, every head of a family, before he proceeded to benefit by the grain of the field, before he ventured to touch the new corn with which God had provided him, should carry “a sheaf of the first-fruits unto the priest,” to wave it before the Lord, in token of recognition of the hand from which all our bounties flow, and of gratitude for the harvest which was about to be reaped. There is something deeply interesting in this symbol. The very fact that a whole population should thus openly and publicly exhibit their dependence upon Jehovah, for the supply of all their wants, and their thankfulness to Him for providing for them, might of itself teach a valuable lesson to many among us, who are too apt to look at the produce of our fields, as the result of our own industry and sagacity, or of the improved methods of agriculture, which science has introduced, and of which man, and man alone, is the author.
How especially does this striking and instructive symbol address itself to the cultivators of the soil, who, in all ages, have been prone, we fear, to overlook the Giver in the gift, and in the harvest, forget the great and merciful “ Lord of the harvest” who sends it.