NUMBERS 29


2 And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto Yahweh; 1 young bullock, 1 ram, and 7 lambs of the 1st year without blemish:

The chapter is all about the sacrifices the children of Israel were to offer in the land...These things are all in abeyance at the present time, but they have not lost their power to teach.

They are all parts of a law which was "a shadow of good things to come," and which constituted in its entirety, "the form of knowledge and of the truth" as Paul informs us in Rom. 2. Let us consider them in this bearing, and see how much they tell us remindingly of the precious things of Christ.

First of all, the lamb is present in all these ordinances: a lamb daily, two lambs on every Sabbath, seven lambs on the first day of the month, seven lambs at the feast of the passover, and seven lambs at the feast of first fruits.... Jesus is introduced as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world;... The breaking of bread was instituted at the eating of the passover lamb; and concerning Jesus, who is memorialised in the breaking of bread at that time appointed, Paul says:

"Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."

Also in the visions of the Apocalypse, Christ is introduced as "a lamb slain"; and his name in this respect is continued in the figure of the Bride as the Lamb's wife, and in his description as the Lamb against whom the world at last makes war, and whose wrath (the wrath of the Lamb) is a destructive agent in the breaking-up of the present evil world. Consequently, it is no imagination or gratuitous exegesis that sees Christ in the lamb so frequently mentioned in Num. 28.

How pleasing is such a figuration of Christ - a lamb - the most gentle and in-offensive of animals-suggestive of nothing but peace and safety. What a contrast to a dragon - the symbol of the sin-power of the world. So great is the contrast between the things symbolised.

Human government is unfeeling, rough, unscrupulous, destructive. Nothing is more dreadful than to get into the clutches of the law. Even the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. But of Jesus, we read that he is a good shepherd, who will gather the lambs in his arms. He testified of himself as a reason why his invitation should be accepted,

"I am meek and lowly of heart;" "I am among you as one that serveth." And Paul speaks of "the meekness and gentleness of Christ."

How consoling in the midst of life's rough ways to think of Christ in this character. Every true heart has the comfort of thinking that, however roughly men may use them, there is a tender and loving man at God's right hand who is terrible only to his enemies; who, to those that love and obey him, will be a merciful and faithful high priest now, and a kindly and encouraging dispenser of the bread of life eternal at the appointed time.

Sunday Morning 299