Numbers Chapter16:42-50

“Aaron & Jesus The Men In The Middle”


Intro: Chapter 16 of the book of Numbers has to be one of the most radical Chapters in all of the Bible

A) It begins was an attempted insurrection as a Man named Korah along w/ 250 other leaders among the people of Israel – challenge Moses / Aaron


B) And there is this big showdown that is on par w/ Elijah on Mt Carmel against the 450 Prophets of BAAL

1)   They gather in the Presence of the people – to prove who God is w/ and behind – Moses & Aaron or them


C) But this time it isn’t fire from heaven that is the Proof – this time God has the ground opens up & swallow – Korah & his gang – ALIVE!!!!

1) We will look at that Story in detail Wed. Survey  Ch.16 & 17 – Today focus on a part of the story that gets passed over / really the Climax


You see after the ground opened up & swallowed  Korah & those who were w/ him 

A)You would think that the people of Israel would have a clue that Moses is the real deal { Shouldn’t come against him


B) Miriam does & ends up a Leper for 7 days / Korah and these guys come against Moses & the ground opens up & swallows them


C)  You would think the People of Israel would get a Clue / Don’t mess w/ Moses !!! but they don’t in fact we are told in v.41 – the very next day

1)   The people come & are complaining against Moses & Aaron saying YOU HAVE KILLED THE PEOPLE OF THE LORD


D)  IN other words: This is all your fault –because  when you talk to God He listens & it is because of you Korah & the others are dead !!!

1)   When God hears this HIS anger is incensed – that is where I want to pick up the Incredible CLIMAX to this story { v. 42-50

Now here we see that when the people begin complain again that God has had enough – His anger is Kindled

A)He tells Moses & Aaron v.45 – get away from these people that I might consume them in a moment – [Death plague actually begins]


B) But Moses says to Aaron the High Priest – get your censer fill it w/ fire from the altar & take it quickly to make atonement


C) I can see this scene in slow motion in my mind – People are falling over dead left & right – the Plague has started

1) Here is Aaron the High Priest – who by now was over 100 yrs old – dressed in his Priestly garments getting up


D) He grabs his censor – runs to the altar – scoops of the Fire - look of desperation on his face as bodies are falling all around him

1)   It is starting to look  like a Battle field as 14,700 Israelites in one swift swoop of God’s wrath are smitten


E) Aaron begins to Run toward the middle of the camp as he gets there he thrust his censor into the sky –

1)   The living are on one side / those who have died are on the other – there he stands between the Living & the DEAD !!!


It was a radical moment in Israel’s History – 14,700 perished – but over 2 million were spared by the actions of this one Man

A)And This story of Aaron the High priest coming to the rescue is an awesome picture of what Jesus did for us


B) Awesome picture today of how Jesus stands as the bridge between the Living & the dead !!!

1)   For the rest our time today I want us to consider what Aaron did & draw some parallels to what Jesus did for us !!!


C) There are 3 Parallels that I want us to consider this morning


1st Lets look at Aaron as a Lover of People

A)Aaron deserves to be very highly praised for his patriotic affection for a

people who were the most rebellious and stiff-necked that ever grieved the

heart of a good man.


B) We need to remember that when Korah & the others came against Moses / they were also coming against Aaron

1) They wanted to strip him of his Priestly duties / office / robes


C) And the People who were upset that Korah & the others were killed were as upset w/ Aaron as they were w/ Moses

1)   They were seeking his blood; they were desiring to put him and Moses to death,


D) And w/ no thought to the danger that he was in he snatches up

his censer & runs into their midst with a divine enthusiasm in his heart –

1) never considering what they might do to him but demonstrating the greatness and swiftness of the divine impulse of love that was within.



In this we see a Beautiful Picture of Jesus & his love for Man

A)Man that had REBELLED against Him as the eternal God –


B) It was of Him the Bible declares the nations of the earth stood up & said “Let us break his bands asunder, and cast off his cords from us.”


C) And yet our Jesus, laying aside all thought of avenging himself,

becomes the Savior of his people.


It was Jesus who when commissioned by the father didn’t shy away from the Calling but came swiftly & willing to save mankind who was under the Plague of death

A) Knowing full well that the very ones that He came to save would kill him in the Process


B) Aaron might have feared death at the hands of the\people, Jesus Christ did actually meet it.


C) Jesus came voluntarily bound by no Constraint except His undying Love for the very people who had rebelled against Him


D) Aaron deserves to be beloved by the tribes of Israel, because he stood in the gap and exposed himself for their sins;

1)     he stood even in the hour of death, waving his censer, Stopping  the plague, and dividing the living from the dead.


E) While I look with ADMIRATION  upon Aaron, I must look with

ADORATION  upon Christ. –

1) who knew he would be devoured by the very ones that He would save – Yet no man took His life from Him / but He offered it up freely for them


Suppose there was this planet of Dogs – all had Rabies – vicious & they were biting & devouring one another – Doomed

A)You are there in heaven w/ God looking down at that Planet full of vicious dogs{ dying of Rabies – So Sad – Something to do for them


B) Some way to save themGod says there is a way I could send you down there to Help themwell Ok – what is involved

1) You are going to have to become a Dog – they will bite you & you will be infected w/ rabies & die – But in your dying you will save some of them !!


C) In one sense that is what Jesus did for us !!! – He willing came into an infected world – became one of us – Because He loved us

1)   We killed Him – He was infected w/ our Sin – that we might have the opportunity to be infected by His righteousness –


D) He did it ALL FOR LOVE !!!!!!


The cross is a tree set on fire with AN invisible flame, that illuminates  all the world. The flame is love.

2ndly – We see Aaron as the great Propitiator

A)The word Propitiation means to satisfy – something had to be done to satisfy the justice of God – or else the whole nation would have perished


B) Their sin was great & the Bible declares that they wages of sin is death that was the Punishment required

1)And so the Wrath had gone out from God against the people on account of their sin,


C) And  it is God’s law that his wrath shall never STOPPED  unless a propitiation IS  offered.

1) The incense which Aaron carried in his hand was the propitiation

before God,


Aaron as the propitiator, is to be looked at first as bearing in his censer that which was necessary for the propitiation.

A)He did not come empty-handed. Even though God’s high priest, he must take the censor, he must fill it with the ordained incense,


B) Made with the ordained materials, and then he must light it with the sacred fire from off the altar, where the sacrifice for sin had been offered !!

1)   With the censer in his hand he is safe; without it Aaron might have died as well as the rest of the people.


C) The qualification of Aaron partly lay in the fact that he had the censer, & that that censer was full of sweet odors which were acceptable to God.


D) And God saw in that perfume the type of that richer offering which our Great High Priest Jesus is offering this very day before the throne.

1) As He ever lives to make intercession for us !!


E) Listen Aaron had WITH him what was needed for Propitiation to satisfy the requirement of God – the censor filled w/ fire

1)   But Jesus had IN HIM – what was needed –


Behold, then, Christ Jesus as the propitiator for his people.

A)He stands this day before God with his censor smoking up towards



B) He is the  Great High Priest! He sits there w/ his pierced hands, and head that once was crowned with thorns.

1) It is HE alone who puts away the sins of his people.


C) His incense, consists first of all of his positive obedience to the divine law. He always did that which pleased the Father –

1) He kept his Father’s commands; he kept to the full the whole law of God, and made it honorable.


D) He was Sinless - For that Reason his blood was that which could fully satisfy the requirement of God –

1) because it wasn’t contaminated – It was sinless - Therefore he could fully satisfy the Price of our redemption


E) Now He stands before God offering up intercession for us – based on the fact of His perfect Sacrifice that satisfied the requirement of God’s justice


In 1944, C.E. Goodman of Hallmark Greeting Cards wrote a slogan: "When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best." Ever since, that motto has been used to sell greeting cards.



When we look at Jesus Christ, we know that God cared enough to send the very best./

A)He was the only one who had what was needed inside of Him to Satisfy the requirement { to Make Propitiation


B)There is nothing between me and Jehovah’s wrath save Christ? There is nothing between me and instant destruction save Christ?

1)   But he is enough.


C) But there are those who try so hard to Satisfy the requirement of God apart from Christ – They get religious

1)   Church attendance / Baptism / communion / fastings / countless religious rituals


D) Thinking these things will make me right w/ God – these things will Satisfy the righteous requirement of the Law



If you were arrested for reckless endangerment & sentenced to 5,000 fine or 1 yr. In Prison

A)Is the judge going to accept – your good luck charm – Here let me give you my favorite Rabbits foot / Willies Mays Baseball Glove/ Picture of Elvis


B) Nor is the Judge going to let you wash his car 5,000 times – But if someone writes the Check for you

1) The Righteous requirement of the Law is SATISFIED


C) Jesus had in Him what was acceptable to write the Check – Because He loved us so much that is what He did !!!



And now I come to my last point, and that is, Aaron as THE DIVIDER

the picture of Christ.

A)Aaron the anointed one stands here; on that side is death, on this side life;

the boundary between life and death is that one man.


B) Where the smoke of His incense fills the air the air is purified / but where the smoke of His incense is absent -the plague reigns with unmitigated fury.


C) Listen There are two sorts of people in the world today, I am not talking about - the distinction of rich & poor, Learned & unlearned

1)   Padre fan or Dodger fan – No this distinction is much deeper & much more important


It is the distinction between those who are the living & those who are Dead

A) The pardoned, the unpardoned, the saved, and the lost. - What

divides the true Christian from the unbeliever?


B) Some think it is one goes to Church & the other doesn’t– But there are many today who are in Hell who went to Church all their lives


C) Some think it is one takes Holy Communion & the other doesn’t

1)   That  is no division, there have been men who have gone to hell with sacramental bread in their mouths;


D) Others say it is being a good person & doing good deeds – Being Baptized !!!

1)   It is not the act of Baptism that Distinguishes one person from another but it is that their lives have been touched by what Baptism represents



Baptism is the outward expression of the inward work – They have Surrendered their lives to Christ – Trusted in His work of Salvation

A)Old life has been buried w/ Christ in the grave / Now they are willing to walk in the Power of a Newness of life after His spirit – no the flesh


B) It is this simple – here is the Division - . A man in Christ is a

Christian; a man out of Christ is dead in trespasses and sins.


C) Please remember, brothers and sisters, that as Christ is the great divider

now, so will he be in the day of judgment.

1)   Matt 25:32 Jesus will separate People on the day of Judgment like a Shepherd separates the sheep from the goats


D) Many of the goats will be good people who went to Church on Sundays who were Baptized / took communion –

1) But He will say to them – ‘Depart from Me, I never Knew You & will send them into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

And there will be those who will say – But Lord I was a good person – I did a lot of good things – gave to charities

A)He will reply but you weren’t Good enough – No one is / No one can be – the Standard is Perfection – Only way Justice is Satisfied


B) Others will say – But I went to Church every Sunday at CCV – listened to Pastor Rob –

1) He will say but you lived for yourself – M-Sat & much of Sunday for that matter – You gave me 1 hr every week – But I wanted You


C) He doesn’t want us to Know about Him – He wants us to Know Him

1)   Actor & PASTOR – Which are  You – Which side will you be on Sheep or Goats


D) Which side are you on today – Living or Dead ?


I would ask for your attention for one more moment –

A)The hour is coming when our wills and wishes will not matter .


B) God will divide the righteous from the wicked !!! Question : Are we prepared to be separated for eternity?

1)   Husband, are you prepared to renounce to-day your wife for ever, are you prepared to give here a farewell Kiss & say goodbye –


C) All because you will not surrender your heart to Christ –

1)   Grandpa – Are you ready to say to your Kids & grand kids Good bye for ever – spend eternity – separated because you will not accept Christ


D) Kids to your parents – Are you willing to say – goodbye forever – all because you want to remain in your Rebellion


No, your wishes are that you may meet in heaven, but you cannot unless you meet in Christ,

A)You cannot meet in Paradise unless you meet in him. Oh that now

the grace of God were poured upon you, that you might come unto Jesus.