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The Priesthood (Part 1 of 4)

What is a priest? Why should I care?

Old Testament scripture tells us how God chose Aaron and his sons to fill a special role in Israel: They were priests (Exodus 28:1).

These men would perform the rituals of worship and make intercession for the people. The priests would shed and sprinkle the blood of animals to make atonement for the people’s sins.

Before the priests could go to work, God gave the spirit of wisdom to some special people who were to create Aaron’s garments.

In Exodus chapter 28, verse 2, God commanded Moses saying,

Thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.

Exodus 28:2

You might wonder what this has to do with you. After all, you’re living thousands of years later. Aaron and his sons died long ago.

To help you understand the relevance of the priesthood, I want to introduce you to the

Symbolism.

Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that

All these things happened unto them [Old Testament Israel] for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1 Corinthians 10:11

We no longer live “under the law,” but under grace (Romans 6:4). Still, we use the Old Testament to help us understand God and His Way.

For example, the Scripture tells us that the tabernacle built by Moses was a “shadow of heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5).

In other words, if you want to know what Heaven looks like (and what happens there), you can look to Israel and their experience.

The Law of Moses, it serves as a schoolmaster that brings us to Christ and teaches us how to live the “with God” life (Galatians 3:24).

The Israelites had a high priest, in this case, Aaron, who would offer sacrifices for his own sins and the sins of the people. Other priests worked with the high priest in God’s service.

Many things have changed from Old Testament days. However, we still need…

A High Priest.

Throughout Scripture, we discover some good high priests and some bad. If you’ll remember, it was the evil high priest, Caiaphas, who delivered Jesus to Pilate (Matthew 26:65).

In other words, having the title, “priest” doesn’t guarantee your beauty and glory.

In the Old Testament, Ezekiel condemned Israel saying,

Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

Ezekiel 22:26

That someone was a priest didn’t mean that person was faithful to either God or the people.

Fortunately for us, Jesus became a High Priest that will always stay true.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

And now,

There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

1 Timothy 2:5

Jesus is the eternal High Priest. He’s after the Order of Melchizedek, with neither a beginning nor end (Hebrews 5:10).

His effectiveness as our High Priest stands because…

Without shedding of blood is no remission.

Hebrews 9:22

Unlike any high priest ordained of men, Jesus provided himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

Hebrews chapter 12, verse 24 speaks of

Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Hebrews 12:24

If you’ll remember, Abel brought an acceptable, bloody sacrifice to God (Genesis 4:4). He also became the first innocent man whom the Enemy killed.

Certainly, Abel’s blood speaks of good things.

Still, being the Son of God, Jesus’ blood surpasses that of Abel.

By all scriptural measures, we have a…

Better situation…

…than those who have gone before us.

When Moses encountered God, he said, “I exceedingly fear and quake” (Hebrews 12:22). That was under the Old Covenant.

Now, under the New Covenant, we can come before the throne of God with boldness in Jesus name (Hebrews 4:16).

We have a High Priest that

After he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Hebrews 10:12

Unlike other high priests in scripture, Jesus made one sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, so that everyone who wants salvation can receive it.

We’re called to a Spiritual Mount Zion and

Unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels…

Hebrews 12:22

I want you to know that Jesus functions as a High Priest. He became both the sacrifice for sin and the one who made the sacrifice.

Consequently,

Christ being come an high priest of good things to come…

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 9:11-12

You should also know that

It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Romans 8:34

Jesus is a better high priest than any other.

He can save you. He can give you direct access to God. Jesus says,

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6

You now know a few things about the office of the high priest. I’ve presented to you our Savior, Jesus Christ, as the ultimate High Priest. Next, I want you to continue this theme by discussing your role as a priest.