Welcome to the Word of Life Study Series- The Priesthood! So far we have learned that when God gave the law, He also established a Tabernacle, a sacrifice system and a priesthood. The Tabernacle was a physical representation showing the people how to approach God. Tabernacle worship centered around the offerings; each offering uniquely revealed something about the nature of the final sacrifice when God would give Himself on man’s behalf. According to Exodus 28:1; 29:9, God chose Aaron and his sons to serve Him as priests. The priesthood was to be exclusively theirs. No one else could function in the priestly office. Aaron was the first High Priest. At his death, he would be succeeded by his oldest son. This way the priesthood could be passed down from generation to generation.
1. Old Covenant High Priestly Garments
The Central figure in the Old Covenant system was the High Priest- Exodus 28. He was the most important person in the entire nation, because he represented the nation before God. The High Priest stood out above everyone else. This was not only because of his office, but also because of his dress- he wore seven different pieces of clothing. In the Bible, the number seven represents perfection.
2. The Day of Atonement
The High Priest had many duties and responsibilities, but his most important duty was to minister on the Day of Atonement- Leviticus 16; 23:26-32. This corresponds to the Gentile months September-October. The Day of Atonement is also known as the Day of Forgiveness. The Jews call it “Yom Kipper.” The Day of Atonement is the most solemn of all days. This is the day for making atonement or covering for the sins of the entire nation of Israel.
3. New Covenant High Priestly Garments
Now a perfect High Priest has come to fulfill what the Old Covenant High Priest could not do. Philippians 2:5-11 gives us some details. It says that Christ, being God, having the same nature and attributes of God laid aside all of His divine abilities in order to become a man and identify with His creation. Other scriptures describe His pre-existing glory; the prophet Isaiah saw Him high and lifted up on His throne, and His glory filled the heavenly Temple- Isaiah 6:1-5.
4. The Sin Offering for the World
The High Priest after the seed of Aaron was a sinner just like everybody else; however, Jesus was a High Priest, being in nature God. He came from God the Father, He was God but also very man. He was perfectly righteous from within and knew no sin. He did not have to make a sacrifice for Himself. Instead He sacrificed Himself for us, He who knew no sin became sin for us according to 2 Corinthians 5:21. He became that once and for all perfect sacrifice. He got up on the altar by His own free will- that altar was the cross.
5. The Perfect Priest
For unlike the Old Covenant High Priest, Jesus lives forever. Since He lives forever, He is always there to remind God the Father that He has paid for our sins with His own blood. Therefore, He is exactly the kind of High Priest we need. He is not going to have a heart attack, He’s not going to die and have to be replaced. For God the Father has given Him the place of glory and honor in heaven.
6. The High Priest on the Throne
When Jesus sprinkled His blood on the Mercy Seat, He did something that the Old Covenant High Priest could not do. He sat down on the throne- Ephesians 1:20; Revelation 3:21; 21:5; Acts 2:30. This High Priest is on the throne, because His work is complete- Zechariah 6:13.Support the show