Leviticus 9 - The big points:
1) The priestly ministry is officially handed over to Aaron and his sons.
2) After spending a week just sitting in the tabernacle the first thing they had to do was make a sin offering. This shows that no matter how perfect the animal sacrifice the blood of lambs cannot save.
3) The priest had to first make confession of his sin before making atonement for anyone.
The first thing you will notice about this chapter is that even though Aaron and his sons did nothing for 7 days in fellowship with God, the first thing they had to do was make a sin offering for themselves. This was a reminder that hey, the blood of animals only covers your sin for so long and no more.
So Aaron comes out of the tabernacle of meeting and he offers the sacrifices according to the methods described by God. Then, completely outside of the script, Aaron raises his hands and blessed the people. In a show of magnificence, the glory of God appeared unto the people and fire from heaven consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar.
You know what Aaron’s action reminds me of? Jesus. How many times did we read in the New Testament that Jesus “had compassion” or was “moved with compassion” for the people? I find grace in that.
God didn’t send fire from heaven to consume the people; He sent the fire to say: “I approve of you Aaron. I approve your ministry. And I am pleased by your actions.” The fire from heaven was almost like sending a dove from heaven to confirm Aaron's identity.
Now, God could have been mad and said, “Why are you blessing my people? Who told you that you could bless them?” But he didn’t because - It’s about the heart. He saw that Aaron’s heart was in the right place.
Also I think God wanted to let the people know that it was good for a high priest to feel something for the people whom he served.
In that single action Aaron also showed the grace that Jesus would show to the Jews; the grace that he showed to the Gentiles... the grace that He shows to us.
Jehovah we are so thankful that Your heart and that of Your Son’s had compassion on us. If not for Your grace we would have been consumed a long time ago. Thank You for loving us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Read the rest of the Finding Grace in Leviticus series.