I. AARON BEING FORBIDDEN TO ENTER AT ALL TIMES INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES WITHIN THE VEIL, IN FRONT OF THE PROPITIATORY COVER ON THE ARK, LEST HE DIE
“And Jehovah said to Moses, Tell your brother Aaron that he should not enter at all times into the holy of holies within the veil, in front of the propitiatory cover which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the propitiatory cover” (v. 2). This signifies that man, being sinful because of the fall, is unable to enter into God’s presence by himself.
In the tabernacle there were the holy place and the holy of holies. The showbread table, the lampstand, and the incense altar were in the holy place, and the ark containing the two tablets of the Ten Commandments was in the holy of holies. A veil separated the holy place from the holy of holies. The high priest could come into the holy place at any time. However, because the shekinah glory, the glory of God, was in the holy of holies and because God’s presence was on the cover of the ark (the propitiatory cover), the high priest could not enter that place at all times, lest he die, even as Aaron’s sons died (10:1-2). This indicates that in himself fallen man is forbidden to enter God’s presence, which was concealed by the veil.
II. FOR AARON TO ENTER INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES, HE SHOULD BRING A YOUNG BULL FOR A SIN OFFERING AND A RAM FOR A BURNT OFFERING
“Aaron shall enter into the holy of holies in this way: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering” (16:3). This signifies that man’s coming near to God must be through Christ as his sin offering and his burnt offering.
In chapters eleven through fifteen, we are shown a picture of fallen man. This picture reveals that man is a totality of uncleanness, a totality of rebellion, a totality of leprosy. As such, man cannot enter into God’s presence without Christ as his sin offering and burnt offering.
III. AARON PUTTING ON A HOLY LINEN TUNIC, WEARING LINEN BREECHES OVER HIS FLESH, GIRDING HIMSELF WITH A LINEN SASH, AND BEING ATTIRED WITH A LINEN TURBAN IN ORDER TO ENTER INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES
“He shall put on a holy linen tunic, and linen breeches shall be over his flesh, and he shall gird himself with a linen sash, and be attired with a linen turban; these are holy garments” (v. 4a). This signifies that the one who comes near to God should take Christ as his righteousness and holiness in order that he may cover his entire being and express Christ.
All the linen garments worn by Aaron are types of God’s righteousness and holiness. Both God’s righteousness and His holiness are Christ. Aaron’s wearing these linen garments typifies our wearing Christ today. Whenever we come into the presence of God, we must wear Christ as our tunic, breeches, sash, and turban. Christ as God’s righteousness and holiness must be our entire covering. With Christ covering our whole being, we shall express Christ. Therefore, we need Christ not only as our sin offering and as our burnt offering but also as our covering.
IV. AARON BATHING HIS FLESH IN WATER AND PUTTING THE HOLY GARMENTS ON
Verse 4b tells us that Aaron was to bathe his flesh in water and put the holy garments on. This signifies that one should deal with himself first, and then put on Christ as his covering, righteousness, and holiness. First we should deal with ourselves. This is signified by the bathing in water. Then we should put on the different aspects of Christ as our covering. This is signified by the putting on of the holy garments.
(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 46, by Witness Lee)