Question: When did Jesus make His consecration to God?
Answer: Jesus evidently consecrated Himself before His water baptism by John at the Jordan (Matthew 3: 13-17); for the real baptism, His consecration, had to take place before it could be symbolized, since we must have the original before we can take a photo of it. We therefore infer that before He started out to be baptized by John, He had consecrated Himself, that is, at Nazareth (Matthew 3: 13). The fact that He made His consecration on the day of atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month, is evident from the following:
The antitypes of institutional types fixed to a date must set in on the day of the type and thus take its place. For example, the typical passover lamb had to be set aside on Nisan 10 and be slain on Nisan 14 (Exodus 12: 3-6), so with Jesus, the antitypical Lamb – He was set aside to be slain on Nisan 10 by the Sanhedrin and was killed on the 14th.
Jesus, a firstfruit, was resurrected on Nisan 16, inasmuch as the typical firstfruit was presented before the Lord on that date (Leviticus 23: 10, 11) (1 Corinthians 15: 20). The two wave loaves made from the flour of the firstfruits were waved before the Lord on Pentecost (Leviticus 23: 15-20); so, the crown-retainers and crown-losers as the rest of the firstfruits had to be presented to the Lord as the antitypical loaves at Pentecost. The typical jubilee cycle’s ceasing in October 627 B.C. gave way on that date to the start of the antitypical cycle. The antitypical Jubilee set in October 1874, exactly at the date when the 70 jubileeless cycles ended. From this we see that the antitypes of institutional types fixed to a date must set in on the date of the type if it had continued.
Accordingly, Jesus’ consecration set in on the tenth day of the seventh month, because His consecration was the antitype of the bullock’s presentation before the Lord on the typical day of atonement, the tenth day of the first month (Leviticus 16: 29) (Hebrews 10: 5). His consecration on the tenth day of the seventh month implies that Jesus was born at Bethlehem exactly 30 years before, that is, on the atonement day. It was a four days’ journey from Nazareth to the reputed place of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, near where it empties into the Dear Sea.
The Feast of Tabernacles began at 6:00 p.m. of what we would call the 14th day of the 7th month, but God calls it the beginning of the 15th (Leviticus 23: 34). Israel’s dwelling in booths (verses 39-43) types God’s real and nominal people taking their standing before Him. Jesus’ only and final standing before God was that of a faithful New Creature. Hence, His antitypical dwelling in a booth had to and did set in at 6:00 p.m. of the 15th of the 7th month, just when the typical Feast of Tabernacles set in. This was just after His baptism on the 14th.
God’s Rousing Jesus to Consecration and Symbolism
God did three things in connection with Jesus’ making His consecration and His symbolizing it:
(1.) God first aroused Jesus to consecrate Himself and encouraged Him to symbolize it. This rousing occurred at Nazareth, at the latest on the morning of the day of atonement. God may have worked on His mind, heart and will to consecrate just before the 10th of the seventh month, as likely the bullock was picked out before the day of atonement.
(2.) On that day, immediately before Jesus set out for Jordan, God worked on His mind to go to John to be baptized; and the obedient Jesus at once started out on the journey. God roused and encouraged Him to do both these things by motives furnished Him in the Word. One of the parts of the Word working to this end was its teaching that at 30 years of age a religious work of one’s calling should be started. Jesus obediently waited until He was 30 years old to begin His life’s work (Luke 3: 23).
(3.) Another thing that God used to arouse Him to consecration and its symbolization was making clear to Him, either just before or immediately after consecration, that His consecration made Him enter into a course of dying for the world and living righteously to work out a true righteousness of justice for it, as well as arising as a New Creature in the resurrection life of a New Creature; for He started out for Jordan to symbolize these things (Matthew 3: 14).