Monday, 6 April 2009

Moses and Aaron - A Picture of Divine Revelation

Ask most Biblically literate Christians how the life of the Old Testament figure Aaron was a picture of Christ and you will no doubt get back the reply that he was the first person to hold the office of High Priest in the nation of Israel, and they'd be right.

But there is something else that is significant too and should not be quickly overlooked. Aaron's role as mediator for the people was bigger than just rites of sacrifice and atonement. Consider the following...

It is a strange thing that whilst he is one of the key figures of the Exodus period of the Old Testament, Aaron is nevertheless only personally attributed with saying four specific things in the Bible. All of them relating to dubious or unfortunate circumstances.

Yet type Aaron spoke into a bible search engine and you can see that he was anything but a man who barely opened his mouth. So what's going on?

Aaron was Moses' mouthpiece. Moses was not a confident public speaker and asked that someone else represent the LORD to the people. The LORD graciously allowed him this and used it as an illustration to show the human race how he relates to them. What do I mean by this...?

Moses received the oracles of God to be passed on to the people. However, the people heard those oracles not from Moses directly, but through the mediation of Aaron. Note that Aaron is considered such a faithful mediator, that the Bible says Moses said to the people, not Aaron said. In essence, whilst Aaron has a will of his own, he nevertheless submits himself to the task of being Moses' loud-hailer. Whilst Aaron was physically addressing the people of Israel and Pharaoh's court, not Moses, it was nevertheless as if Moses himself was doing the talking, (e.g.).

There's a picture here of the Trinity. Just as Moses and Aaron are one in mind and message to Israel, so too the Father and the Son are one in the unity of the Spirit delivering the Gospel to the whole creation.

So when the Word of the LORD appears and speaks or the Angel of the LORD appears and speaks, it is Jesus appearing on on behalf of the Father, submitting his will to speaking all the words the Father has commissioned him to speak. He is so faithful, it is as though the Father himself were speaking in person. This is not Chinese whispers. Jesus does not mishear the Father. The pattern continues all the way through revelation history, and into Jesus' earthly life.

So the next time you come across Aaron in your Bible reading, don't just remember him as the man with many flaws, (e.g.) but be reminded of Jesus and all his tender care for you as your mediator before God the Father -in faithfully communicating to you all that the Father would have you know in making a way for you to be perfect before the Father and in pleading your case before him that you might one day see the Father and the Son together - face to face.

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