THE MEAL OFFERING (Leviticus 2 - cont)
Let us now examine the significance of the oil being applied to the fine flour, speaking of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Man Christ Jesus. There are three ways in which the oil is referred to in the chapter: mingling (v.4); anointing (v.4); and pouring (v.6). The mingling with oil is surely linked with the birth of the Lord Jesus (Lk 1.35); the anointing with oil is linked with the Lords entry into His public ministry (Lk 3.21,22); the pouring of the oil is linked with "Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit" (Lk 4.1).
What a glorious event was this, a human impossibility, only made possible by the operation of the Holy Spirit. What a day when the Word, who ever was, began to be in time! He, who from eternity to eternity is God over all, blessed forever, took servant form and was found in fashion as a man, when He who is the Son of God became the Son of Mary. Rejoice to notice the accuracy of Matthew 1.16: "Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ". In our language there is a possibility that this could have been taken to mean that Joseph and Mary were the parents of the Lord Jesus, but not so in the original language. That word "whom" in the Greek text is feminine and includes only Mary. Truly born of Mary, but not begotten of Joseph, the seed of the woman was He. The Lord Jesus was her first born because of the Holy Spirit. Again, think of the accuracy of Romans 8.3: " God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh". It is not "in the likeness of flesh" or He would not be a real man; it is not "in sinful flesh" or He would be a sinful man; but it is "in the likeness of sinful flesh", a real man but a holy man without a trace of Adams sin, a man "unique in origin". He walked and sat, ate and drank, He wept and worked, slept and spoke, cried and sighed. The Scriptures speak about His hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, heart, soul, spirit: a true man but not a mere man; all that a man should be.
One further point regarding anointing with oil should be noted. Anointing was done to kings, prophets, and priests as they were about to enter into public ministry. He fills all three offices.
In the Old Testament, when Aaron and his sons were presented for priestly service (Ex 29), there were sacrifices killed, and blood was shed and applied before the oil, but there was no mention of sacrifices or blood applied to this blessed Man before the Holy Spirit came upon Christ in Luke 3.21,22. There was no need for blood or bathing to take place first. The Spirit had come upon men and then departed, but He alighted on Christ and abode. Jesus will later be seen as the man approved of God by miracles, signs, and wonders. Here, however, He was commencing His public ministry anointed of the Holy Spirit without water or blood, no need for sin to be atoned for, no need for defilement to be cleansed, no need for a mediator to take up His cause. It is interesting that Mark, speaking of the Perfect Servant, uses the same word to describe the opened heaven as he does to tell us of the rent veil (Mk 1.10; 15.38). The rent heaven shows Gods approval of Christs life. The rent veil shows Gods satisfaction in His death.
Note also the answer in the Lords life to oil poured out. No amount is mentioned; there is no limit. Two passages of Scripture confirm this in relation to the Lord Jesus. "God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him" (Jn 3.34), and, "Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan" (Lk 4.1).
The similarity and yet the distinct difference between Luke 4.1 and Ephesians 5.18 has been often noted. In Ephesians 5 it is an exhortation to saints to be filled. There is so much of the flesh about us; we need to be emptied of all that grieves and hinders the Holy Spirit from filling us and, working in us and through us, producing the fruit mentioned in Galatians 5.22-23, but not so in Christ. Therefore Luke 4.1 is not an exhortation but is a statement of fact. There was nothing to hinder, grieve, or quench the Holy Spirit in Christ. There was love, joy, and peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, and temperance. It will be sweet and of more lasting value if we all seek to manifest the fruit of the Spirit. The key is in the lock, and as we turn it, and view with wonderment that luscious fruit in the life of that Spirit filled Man moving for Gods glory, bringing undiminished delight to the heart of the Father, it should cause us to desire to be like Him.
Let us now observe a few things about salt, with which every meal offering had to be seasoned (Lev 2.13). Think of it in relation to the offering of first fruits (Lev 2.12, 14-16). The Lord Jesus lost nothing in His death. He was as perfect and pleasurable to His Father after the cross as He had been from the manger to the cross. There was no deterioration, no diminishing, no lessening of the Fathers delight. With us meekness often deteriorates to softness, obedience becomes merely duty, faithfulness sinks to obstinacy, harsh and unsympathetic, consistency tends to become lifeless legalism. Not so the Lord Jesus! Meekness never caused Him to surrender the truth or accept wrong things. His firmness had always a healthy sweetness about it. His consistency was not doing the same things the same way all the time in every circumstance. No; He viewed every case in the light of prevailing circumstances and acted perfectly and righteously in each situation. That is true consistency, entirely different from our lifeless legalism.
It should be noted that in Exodus 30.35 concerning the anointing oil, the word "tempered" is translated "salted" in the AV margin. There are two things stated about the anointing oil. The ingredients were to be tempered or salted together of a like weight, pure and holy. What rich unfolding truth is here for us in relation to this Man. Nothing prominent or predominant. Everything was there that ought to be there, and all in proper proportions; nothing was there that should not be there. It has been stated that the Lord had no strong points because He had no weak ones. Men have become known for certain features, not so much because they are strong in these graces but rather because they are weak in other things. The Lord Jesus was equally balanced. He was full of grace and truth (Jn 1.14). He loved righteousness and hated lawlessness (Heb 1.9). He sent a word to adjust John the Baptist, but He praised him before the multitudes (Lk 7.18-28). He at times gently reproved His mother (Jn 2.4), but before His death He made sure that she was provided for (Jn 19.26-27). He commended Peter for clearly confessing that He was the Christ, the Son of God (Mt 16.16-17), but just as clearly condemned him when he tried to hinder Him going forward to the cross (Mt 16.22-23). In grace He said to the woman taken in the act of adultery, "neither do I condemn thee", but in faithfulness He told her to go and "sin no more" (Jn 8.11). He lavishly supplied food for the multitude to eat until they were filled, but in carefulness commanded the fragments to be gathered up so that none might be lost (Mk 6.35-44). In the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11) there are five graces tempered together of like weight: Jesus loved (v.5), He waited two days (v.6), He wept (v.35), He prayed (v.41), He cried with a loud voice (v.43). Compassion was there (v.5), patience was there (v.6), sympathy was there (v.35), dependence was there (v.41), power was there (v.45) - all tempered together during this one miracle.
To be continued.