BAPTISM and the Nation of Israel
Numbers 4:1 “And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron saying, Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers, from thirty years old and upward even up to fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation. This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath.”
This chapter takes all of Aaron’s sons and tells them what responsibilities they have in the Priesthood; the responsibilities that each department will to have to do; and notice that their service for God as a Priest cannot begin until they are thirty years old and are to retire when they are fifty years old. Between 30 and 50 is when a Priest can function in the office of Priest.
Luke 3:21 “Now when all the people were baptised, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptised, and praying, the heaven was opened and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and the voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in whom I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be thirty years of age, being as was supposed….” and he goes through his genealogy.
Now you know Luke tells us that Jesus Christ was baptized “when he began to be thirty years of age”. That must have been right at his thirtieth birthday for him to say it that way. And why would Luke tell us what age Jesus Christ was when he was baptised? Also, at the beginning of verse 21 it says, “Now when all the people were baptised..” All the people here is the nation of Israel and John the Baptist was baptizing the nation of Israel. (By the way, John the Baptist is the son of a priest.) He’s baptizing the nation of Israel and among those that are being baptised in Israel is Jesus Christ. And, Jesus Christ is thirty years of age.
Now we know something about the age thirty don’t we? Look back at Exodus 29:1, “ And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office…” That is, here’s how you’re going to consecrate a priest. Here’s what has to happen before they’re initiated into the priesthood:
“…Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish, And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them. And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket , with the bullock and the two rams. And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.”
Now ultimately this bullock and all this meat offering they’re putting together is going to be burnt as a sacrifice. When they were told there to take that bullock and the two rams did you notice it said without blemish? Remember when Jesus Christ was baptized what God the Father announced? This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. There’s no blemish in Jesus Christ. Jesus represents all those sacrifices. He doesn’t need a sacrifice on his behalf as an offer to be a priest because he has no blemish. God looks down and says, this is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased. He didn’t say that about anyone else in the Bible. This sacrifice in Exodus 29 is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. It then says in verse 4 to take Aaron and his sons and bring them to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and “shalt wash them with water”. They are to be taken before everybody, with all the congregation in attendance, and before they can enter in, Aaron and his sons are to be washed with water. That’s water baptism in the old testament.
Now why are they washing them with water? This is part of the anointing of them for the office of a priest! Jesus Christ was baptised when he was thirty years old. You know why he was baptised? Because he became Israel’s high priest. He’s going to be the means by which Israel has a way unto God. The Book of Hebrews talks about Jesus Christ being their high priest. Christ means anointed one: the anointed prophet; priest, and king of the nation of Israel. And to be their priest, at thirty years old he stands at the door of the congregation, and he’s washed with water before all the people.
You know, people say we ought to be water baptised, because Jesus was. Why? Do you want to be a priest? And why was all the nation of Israel being baptised? Remember the covenant God made with the nation of Israel: “Ye shall be a kingdom of Priests” Exodus 19:6. That’s why water baptism belongs to the nation of Israel.