Leviticus 23:9-17; Leviticus 24:5-7.
While we do not find one reference to the truth of the body of Christ in the Old Testament, we do find references to the company of whom this great mystery is true; and so, from these Old Testament Scriptures, I wish to follow what has already been said, that Christ will stamp His features on every family brought into blessing in the world to come and will thus fill the whole scene with the impress of His grace and of His glory.
The Sheaf of Firstfruits with which we begin, is one of the early pictures of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from among the dead. Higher up, in the feast of the Passover, we have in type the Lord going into death; but here we have His resurrection before us with many of the implications which flow from it. The first one to notice is, "When ye be come into the land," v. 10. This feast is evidently connected with the time when they crossed the Jordan and entered the land. As already noticed, the pre-eminent place where we have the answer to this in the New Testament is the epistle to the Ephesians. "Blessed . . with all spiritual blessings," would be the answer to "the land." That this began with the resurrection of our Lord is evident, and now He is crowned with glory and with honour at the right hand of God.
In the margin you will see a note that this Sheaf is really an "omer." In the giving of the manna you remember, God said, "an omer for every man." Whether one gathered much or little, it was all measured so that each one had his full quota, "an omer for every man." A full Christ for every man was the thought of God. At the end of that chapter, Ex. 16:33, we read, "Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD." An omer then was the measure of Christ coming into this world to meet the need of man and in doing so, manifest the grace and glory of God. We read in this chapter, it was also an "omer" of firstfruits where we now have His resurrection. The One who descended into this world is the One Who ascended back to God in all His glory. This time, it is connected with "the harvest." The harvest for us is our association with Him as brought into all the blessings that are in Him in the presence of God.
There was also brought with this Sheaf a meat offering of "two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil." I do not know what these measures mean but one thought I have often connected with them is, that ten is the number of responsibility in man, love to God and love to man. While every other man failed to render to God what was His due and to his neighbour what was his due, one Man has completely answered to both, for our Lord never failed in either. Brought in here with the Sheaf, this meat offering would remind us that the Man who has gone to Glory as raised from among the dead, is the same Man Who ever glorified God in this world in every step of His pathway. The angel said of Him, "this same Jesus" as He went into heaven, and now He is the pattern of that new heavenly family as we read in 1 Cor. 15:48.
That links on with the next feast, "a new meat offering." We know that the fifty days mentioned here are the "Pentecost" at the beginning of Acts 2. There we have the record of the descent of the Holy Spirit from Christ in glory. What I want you to notice is, the Spirit came down from that Man Who is typified by the meat offering of "two tenth deals," to form a "new meat offering" in this world. Could we ever think that the Spirit would effect anything in the saints which was not already established in that Man at the right hand of God? If then we know this "new meat offering" has in view the formation of the Christian company, it is interesting to note that the loaves were also to be of "two tenth deals," for the Spirit has come down to form a company in this world having the moral features of Christ. I am assured it was there originally on the day of Pentecost, and today, through the ministry of the word, the Spirit is continuing to form Christ in the saints. Our new spiritual history began with this, as Paul intimates in Gal. 4:19, and all the subsequent ministry of the Spirit to our souls is to reproduce the features of the Second Man so that God may now find His pleasure in us, as He ever found it in His well-beloved Son. The marvel is, leaven is found in this "new meat offering," because it speaks of us; yet we can come together and, in spite of the evil within us, be occupied altogether with Christ and His interests. May it not only be teaching to us, but may it transform us so that His features may be seen more and more in each one of us.
Turning now to chapter 24, we have Israel in their ordering under the eye of God for His pleasure, and without doubt the place they will fill in the world to come. So we read of these cakes once again, "two tenth deals shall be in one cake." I believe this looks on to the day when Israel will be gathered and brought into relationship with God on the basis of the new covenant. In some way they too will take on the features of Christ as suggested in this same measure of "two tenth deals." Just how and how much that will be I do not profess to know, but that it will come about in some way I believe from this picture. We have to remember that what we have in Ephesians in relation to the purpose of God goes beyond the assembly and Israel, for it is to "gather together in one ALL THINGS IN CHRIST." We may have fallen short of this in our apprehension and our expressions, as though the assembly were the only vessel of the purpose of God. The greatest vessel, it does appear to be; but let us not forget that Christ is so great that His greatness will be stamped upon all in the world to come. "All things" in chapter 1 and "every family in the heavens and on earth," (Eph. 3:15. N. T.) have a place in that purpose and will be set in relation to Christ in glory. "The fulness of Him that filleth all in all" assures us of this.
We have attempted to show from these typical passages that those blessed features seen in Christ while in this world are being formed in the assembly today and will yet be formed in Israel in the world to come. What a scene it will be when He will be seen characteristically in every company brought into blessing, and God will look down in complacency upon a scene where Christ is manifested as filling all in all. It is our privilege as the answer to the new meat offering to manifest those features today.