Dr. S. Lewis Johnson provides a detailed and informative comparison of the Levitical priesthood and how it was designed to reflect the role of Christ in connecting his believers to God.
[Prayer] Again, Father, we turn to Thee with thanksgiving and praise for the ministry of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. And we thank Thee also, Lord, for these wonderful pictures from the Old Testament of the person and work of our redeemer. We thank Thee especially for those that remind us that he is our great high priest, who ever lives to make intercession for us, who has offered the sacrifice by which the new covenant has been inaugurated and through which we have the forgiveness of sins. And we thank Thee, too, for the instruction that comes to us as he through the Sprit engages in his teaching ministry. And, Lord, we pray that this meeting tonight may be blessed in that he is our teacher through the Spirit and we with responsive hearts are able to hear the word and respond to it in a positive way. We thank Thee for the grace of God manifested to us and, Lord, we pray that grace may be operative in us through Thy word tonight.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
[Message] Our subject for tonight is Aaron and Christ or the typology of priesthood and I must confess that I had a little bit of difficulty in trying to organize in what I want to do tonight because there is so much on the subject of priesthood in the Old Testament. So I finally decided that I would go through a rather extensive outline in a rather hurried fashion and then turn for a few moments if we have time to Leviticus chapter 8 and point out one or two of the outstanding ways in which Aaron and his sons typify the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ as the priest after the order of Melchizedek. So since we are going to go rather rapidly let me begin by saying just a word or two about priesthood as a neglected topic.
The subject of the priesthood of the Bible, the priesthood of Aaron or the priesthood of Melchizedek or the priesthood of Jesus Christ, is one of the great neglected doctrines in the Christian church. Evangelicals are usually so ignorant of the basic elements of the subject that when one begins to expound it the congregation lapses into a blue funk. And if the Melchizedek priesthood is mentioned Hebrews 5:11 through 14, is fulfilled all over again. Many years ago, fifteen to be exact, I heard Dr. Carl Amerding, one of the fine expositors of the Bible over the past generation, recount an experience that happened when he was in a congregation hearing Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse preach and in this church he preached on the subject of the Melchizedek priesthood. Now, Dr Armerding was in the audience and he himself was a very, very well-taught and mature Christian expositor. At the conclusion of the message as he walked out the pastor of the church who had been thirteen years in the church was heard by Dr. Armerding to comment after Dr. Barnhouse preached on the Melchizedek priesthood what a daring thing for Donald to do. To preach on the Melchizedek priesthood seemed thoroughly strange to him.
The importance of the priesthood lies in the fact that access to God is the end and aim of all spiritual ministry, and it is the priests who was the source of spiritual knowledge and the channel of communication in the spiritual life. If you have been a member of the congregation of Israel you could not help but have been impressed with the importance of priesthood in the Levitical economy and that would, it would seem to me, that God himself regarded this as an extremely important part of the instruction that Israel was to learn from that temporary economy of the Old Testament. When you turn to the New Testament, you find in the Epistle to the Hebrews which is the epistle of the priesthood in the New Testament that in the second chapter when the high priest is mention or when priesthood is mentioned there is no attempt on the part of the writer to explain what he means. He assumes that those who are reading the epistle will know all that there is to no from the Old Testament about priesthood and so he just mentions it and launches into the significance of it without any word of explanation concerning that office. Priesthood then springs out of the deepest need of the human soul. It is the sense of the need of forgiveness and also the sense of the need of access to God. Everyone who has had the Holy Spirit work in his heart and bring him to the desire to know God to know the forgiveness of sins and then to know fellowship and communion with him would, I think, respond to the idea that is found in priesthood because it is through priesthood that our sins are forgiven and it is through priesthood that we do have fellowship and communion with God.
Well, let’s launch into our discussion and Roman I in the outline that I have before you the term “priest.” The English word “priest” is derived, ultimately, from the Greek word presbuteros. Now, you recognize presbuteros as being the word from which we get “presbyter” or “presbytery.” So that the term “priest” is really a simple form a shortened form of the word that means elder. The primitive meaning of the Hebrew word is not easily ascertained since the verb in its radical form doesn’t occur anywhere. It has been suggested that the priest or the term “priest” is describes one who presents an offering, one who stands to represent another. And it has been suggested that it comes from an Arabic word meaning a soothsayer; the earliest type of Semitic priest in Arabia. I don’t think it’s important for us to know the derivation. The term “priest” has as its primary idea the thought of mediation. That is someone who stands between other people and in this case between God and man.
Roman II, the divine basis of priesthood. Priesthood by logical implication and by expressed scriptural declaration is grounded in the divine choice. In other words, a person who says that he will exercise priesthood, if he is to exercise priesthood with God in heaven, must be called by that God in heaven. It is not the right of a man to act as a priest apart from the divine call.
Now, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews expresses that in his epistle in the 5th chapter, and let me read a few verses because we’ll refer to them again later on. But in Hebrews chapter 5 in verse 1, the writer of this unusual exposition of the Old Testament says, “For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.” Now, notice particularly this 4th verse, “And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.” So the very first requirement for the exercise of priesthood is it’s the fact that it is God who calls individuals to priesthood. It has as its roots and foundation a divine basis.
Now, that is why it is impossible for anyone else who has not been called by God to act as priests. I could never act as your priest. No other human being could act as your priest because we have one high priest our Lord Jesus Christ who has been called to that office. He is the high priest in the family of God. We are priests who serve under him and we only are able to serve as priests if we have been called into the service of priesthood. And that comes when we have by the grace of God been brought to faith in Jesus Christ.
Roman III, the qualifications for priesthood. The qualifications for priesthood in the Old Testament are set forth normatively in Leviticus chapter 21, verse 1 through 24. We don’t have time to read that section. I suggest some time you take a look at the requirements for the priests in the Old Testament. There are some very interesting things said about them. He should be ceremonially pure and holy. That is, he should not be a violator of the Levitical economy. He should be without physical defect. A person who had a physical defect could not serve as priest. His wife could only be a pure Hebrew virgin. He could not be a priest if he had non-Hebrew wife. He could have no contact with death. In fact, when you read through that chapter the one thing that stands out is that he is a representative of life. Death did not exist for him in so far as he was a priest because he was designed to represent the living one. So there’s a great stress in that chapter then on the fact that the priests stands as a representative of life.
Roman IV, the duties of the priesthood and capital A, the general duty. In general the high priest and his order were responsible for the worship of the community. You know when God set up the Levitical economy he had the Levites, the members of the tribe of Levi, to serve in the tabernacle and about the holy things. The priestly family was the family of Aaron and the high priest the direct lineal descendant of Aaron. And they were responsible for the worship of the children of Israel. They were ideally to be a kingdom of priests in a holy nation and it was this tribe that was responsible for the maintenance of the relationship between the Lord and the priestly nation of Israel. So the priest was God’s mediator toward this end. He was not just an official ministrant. He was to take a larger view of his work. That is, he was not simply to carry out certain duties by route but as the Old Testament says and as the New Testament confirms he was to be a man who was not only human, of a certain tribe, as we read in the book of Hebrews, but he was to be humane as well. He was to be a person who carried out certain duties but he was to carry them out in the spirit of love and compassion for the children of Israel. So he was to be human and he also was to be humane, a man of compassion for the people.
And he was a representative of the people. He was a representative for good and for bad. We read in connection with the sin offering that when one of the priest’s sinned it was necessary for an offering or rather when one of the people sinned, it was necessary for the whole community to be involved. If the priest sinned, I should have said, if the priest sinned the whole community was regarded as having sinned we saw that back in chapter 4 in about verse 3 where we read, “If the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord a bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed.” So he was a representative for the people and his actions were for them. All the Israelites were reckoned to be in the priests just as all of our Lord’s people are reckoned to be in him. When our Lord carried out his saving ministry he carried it out for all of us who are in him. So the priests in the Old Testament, he acted for Israel and so when he sinned Israel was regarded as sinning. When he acted for them they were considered to have acted and we shall see this more fully when we get to the Day of Atonement when he carries out the ritual of that day for the children of Israel and confirms the covenant with them for one more year acting as their representative.
Now, if we had time to discuss this and if we had a chapter open you would no doubt be able to see this more clearly when you looked at the kind of garments that the priest wore, because you’ll remember that he wore a garment in which he had a breast plate and on the breast plate there were the tribal names and on the shoulders he also wore the names of the tribes of Israel. So even in his garments they saw the high priest as a representative man no matter what of the twelve tribes they were a part of they saw their name on the breast of the priest and so on the Day of Atonement when he carried out his ministry they saw very visibly that he was doing work for them. So he was a representative man.
Capital B, his specific duties. The specific duties of the high priest could be subsumed under the term mediation, but I want to speak of two or three of the specific ones for a moment; first of all the offering of sacrifice. The sacrifices provided for atonement or acceptance in the sanctuary and we have been looking at them as we have considered the offerings. You remember that when an individual brought one of the offerings he brought the offering to the priest and the priest after he had slain the animal the priest took the blood and made atonement by the sprinkling of the blood upon the proper pieces of furniture. So it was the priest’s duty to offer the sacrificial blood. That means that he was the officiant and the ceremonies of the feast all of the daily services offering of sacrifice and this of course he is represented of our Lord Jesus who offers the once for all sacrifice that removes sins effectively.
Second, he made intercession. Now, the Old Testament does not say a great deal about the priest’s intercession, but there are some passages that specifically set it forth. I just listed here for lack of space only one of them Numbers chapter 16 verse 1 through verse 50, but if you are taking notes you can put down Numbers chapter 25 verse 1 through verse 13, and also Numbers chapter 6 verse 22 through 27, and Numbers chapter 9 verse 22 through 24. The priests of the Old Testament did make intercession. They made intercession for the people of God. They made intercession on the basis of the blood sacrifices that they offered.
The third thing that the priest was responsible for was the giving of instruction. Some of you will remember that when we were studying the Book of Malachi last year in chapter 2 in verse 7 of Malachi we read, “For the lips of the priest should preserve knowledge and men should seek instruction from his mouth for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” So it was one of the responsibilities of the priests to know the truth of God and for him to be a source of instruction in the word of God for any who wished to learn about the things of God. The prophets were like charismatic men. They no doubt did a great deal of teaching but it was the priests who carried on the regular kinds of instruction in Israel and they were responsible to know the truth of God. So they gave instruction.
Roman V, the history of the priesthood. Just a few comments here, I know, it’s not of great interest to us and really not of such great importance. If you read in the Old Testament you notice that it was later on that God instituted the Levitical priesthood. The priesthood existed from earliest times. In the patriarchal times, the office was held by those who possessed some form of natural headship. For example, a father was a priest for the family. That was true before the time of the Levitical priesthood and its inauguration so that the head of the family carried out priestly duties for the family.
You see, the idea of representation is in the Bible right from the beginning. God is trying to instruct people in the fact that there is one man who represents us in the Garden of Eden and is responsible for the fall of who are in him, and then there comes the last Adam the second man and he is by his saving work the representative for all who are in him. So that when our Lord goes into his work of atonement and dies and is buried and is raised again he carries all of his people with him through that experience. And now that he’s at the right hand of the throne of the Father Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 that we have been we’ve been raised up and we have ascended and we are seated with him in heavenly place in Christ. That is our position because he is our representative man. Isn’t it a great thing to realize that he has already accomplished that work for those who are in him and we are already positionally seated at the right hand of our Lord on high? Now, that’s amazing. “How can a man possibly ever drown with his head that high above water?” [Laughter] one of the Irishmen once said. In Mosaic times there was established the regularly priestly succession in a particular family but the idea of headship is still there. It’s no longer the father who is the priest for the family but it is the Levitical tribe and specifically the Aaronic family that is the ultimate representative for all of the twelve tribes. So Aaron acts for them. Now, in certain exigencies in the Old Testament you will find others offered priestly sacrifices to God but generally this was the Old Testament pattern.
Sixth, the organization of the priesthood, capital A, its stages. The priestly set up in Israel may be described in four parts. First of all, there was the whole people of Israel and remember they are said to be a kingdom of priests. That was what they were to be ideally. In exodus chapter 19 and verse 6, we read of this. In verse 4 we read, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” So Israel’s destiny was to be a kingdom of priests, royal priests. So the first stage is the stage of the whole nation. They were a priestly nation ideally.
And then second there was the Levites, the Levites, the members of the tribe of Levi engaged in the priestly services. They carried the furniture of the Tabernacle when they made journeys, they were responsible for the more menial appearing tasks of the tabernacle and the temple but which were of course necessary and important for the worship of the people of God. Then there were the priests themselves who were the sons of Aaron. From Aaron’s family there came the priests and his sons were the heads of the priestly families. And fourth there was the high priest who was the direct descendant of Aaron himself. So there is the high priest, Aaron, his own personal family and the office of high priest came by hereditary member then the Aaronic family or Aaron’s sons and their descendants were the priests the whole of the Levite tribe, a priestly tribe, and the people of God the children of Israel designed to be a priestly nation. Those are the stages.
Capital B, its institution. There are two important stages in the institution of the priesthood and they are as follows. First the appointment of the priests and I want you now to turn with me to exodus chapter 28 and verse 1. We have already looked at Hebrews chapter 5, where we have read that a priest was taken from among the people. The reason for this, incidentally, is that if the priest is to represent other people he must be one of the people. Just as our Lord Jesus if he is to be our high priest he must be one of us. Now, in Hebrews he had said for every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in the things pertaining to God, but Exodus chapter 28 in verse 1, spells out exactly what that author means. You know when you read the Epistle to the Hebrews what you’re really reading is a New Testament author’s exposition of the Scriptures of the Old Testament. It’s one of the richest expositions of the Old Testament. Romans is probably the second richest exposition of the Old testament but the Epistle to the Hebrews is almost confined to the explanation of the Old testament and particularly the priesthood.
Notice the words of Exodus 28, his argument is drawn from this verse, “The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Then bring near to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, to minister as priest to Me, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.” Now, notice the priesthood began with a call from God. Notice it was not, “O Lord we want to have a priesthood. Give us a priesthood.” It is God who initiates the priestly work. He calls men into priesthood. No man can act as a representative between men and God who is not called by God to that test. By the way that means in very practical terms that it is impossible for a person who is not born again to offer a prayer that is acceptable to God engages in priestly ministry when he offers his prayer and you cannot engage in priestly ministry apart from divine calling. So when an unsaved man offers his petition or carries on any religious activity it’s unacceptable to God. His priests are called into the office by him. They have to have divine right to exercise priesthood. So he says, “Bring near to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, to minister as priest to Me.” So the appointment of a priest begins with the divine call of the priests into the office.
Now, second the consecration of the priests. Now, here we want to look at Leviticus chapter 8, for a few moments. I want to show you, at least I hope I can, how this chapter is typical of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ; the consecration of the priests and Aaron. Let’s just notice two or three things of what takes place in Leviticus chapter 8, let’s begin reading at the first verse, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take Aaron and his sons with him.” In other words, here again we have that same thing that Exodus 28 says, “It is God who takes the initiative in calling priests to office to represent him.” “Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments and the anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering, and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread, and assemble all the congregation at the doorway of the tent of meeting.” So Moses did just as the Lord commanded. When the congregation was assembled at the doorway of the tent of meeting, Moses said to the congregation, ‘This is the thing which the Lord has commanded to do.”
Then Moses had Aaron and his sons come near and washed them with water.” I want you to notice the contrast here. These priests in order to serve in office had to be washed with water. Our Lord Jesus, of course, being the sinless Son of God has no need for any kind of personal cleansing. “He put the tunic on him and girded him with the sash, and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him; and he girded him with the artistic band of the ephod, with which he tied it to him. He then placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim.” Now, no one knows what the Urim and the Thummim were. You can study through the Old Testament and it’s impossible to come to any settled conclusion. If you could through the study of the Scriptures prove what the Urim and the Thummim were somewhere sometime a theological institution would be glad to give you a doctoral degree because no one has been able to discover finally what is meant by the Urim and the Thummim. Literally the words mean likes and perfections. And there are one or two incidents in the Old Testaments that seem to suggest that they were a kind of charismatic way of discovering the will of God on a particular occasion at a particular time. I remember one Bible teacher saying that he thought that what was referred to by the Urim and the Thummim was the word of God and that we really ought to read this with the Scriptures in your hand that you ought to use’em and thum’em. [Laughter] They’re referring to the study of the word of God but that interpretation did not get a doctor’s degree for the person who thought of it.
Now, we read on in verse 9, “He also placed the turban on his head, and on the turban, at its front, he placed the golden plate, the holy crown, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses then took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. And he sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times and anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, to consecrate them.”
Now, notice this twelfth verse, “Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him.” Now, what I want you to notice here is that in the consecration of Aaron in the office of priests the oil is poured on Aaron’s head and you will read through the rest of the chapter and you will find that no one else has oil poured on their heads. This is the only occurrence of the word yatsaq which means “to pour” in this particular chapter. So Aaron has something uniquely done to him. The oil, which in the Old Testament is very frequently a type of the Holy Spirit, is poured out upon Aaron the high priest reminding us of certain passages in the New Testament with reference to the Lord Jesus which is our great priest that the Spirit is not given to him in measure. “Thou hast anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows,” the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says. Only upon Aaron is the oil poured; for Aaron, the high priest, is a type of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, notice another thing, the oil is poured first in the ceremony with reference to Aaron. Let’s look at verse 23, “Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot.” Now, notice this. The oil is poured upon Aaron before the blood is applied to him. Now, in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ when he was anointed as the Messiah in Israel to engage in his priestly work of atonement we know, of course, that he did not have to have any sins forgiven. So in his case the Spirit was given to him fully. There was no need for atonement first and then or forgiveness of sins first and then empowerment for service and the same is true of Aaron. He has the oil poured upon him before the blood is applied to him and notice the blood is applied to the lobe of his right ear the things that he hears are to be devoted to God. On the thumb of his right hand all that he does is to be done in dedication to the Lord and on the big toe of his right foot all of his work all of his walk is to be totally dedicated to the word of God. It is what is meant when the Lord Jesus says, “For their sakes I sanctify myself,” his thoughts, his activity, his words are all devoted to the service of God. So Aaron stands as a type of the Lord Jesus who has the oil of the Holy Spirit poured upon him and also dedicated wholly to the work of God but now let’s notice how the consecration of Aaron’s sons proceeds. Look at the 24th verse, “He also had Aaron’s sons come near; and Moses put some of the blood on the lobe of their right ear, and on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. Moses then sprinkled the rest of the blood around on the altar.
Now, look down at verse 30, “So Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he consecrated Aaron, his garments, and his sons, and the garments of his sons with him.” Now, if you’ll read back in the preceding part of the chapter you will find that no oil was poured on Aaron’s sons, no oil was sprinkled on Aaron’s sons until the blood was applied to them in verse 24. In other words, the order is reversed for the sons of Aaron; for Aaron the oil is poured upon him first and then the blood applied to his ear and to his hand and to his foot suggestive, I say, of the filling of the Holy Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ and his total dedication to life for the Lord. But in the case of the sons of Aaron who typify you and me priests the blood is applied to them first in verse 24, and then the oil is sprinkled upon them because in our case in order for us to serve as priests we must have our sins atoned for. So the different order of the anointing of the high priest and the sons is typical beautifully of our great high priest who stands apart from us with respect to the necessity of the forgiveness of sins. It’s beautiful really. There are many other wonderful things in this chapter, I suggest you read them sometime when you have a little time but we must hurry on.
Roman VII, the antitypical priesthood of the New Testament. We come now to the ideal climactic priesthood suggested in the Old Testament. You remember that in the Old Testament as Israel year after year century after century sought to serve God under the Levitical economy around the year one thousand David by inspiration of the Holy Spirit cries out concerning the messiah thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. What an amazing thing there is coming a priest who is not after the order of Aaron a priest after the order of Melchizedek it is the priesthood that nullifies the Old Testament priesthood the Old Testament covenant the Old Testament sacrifices and consequently to hang on to the Levitical economy in the time of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is to hang on to that which God has put away.
Many years ago I heard Kenneth Pike who was with the Wycliffe Bible translators telling then an experience of reading the translation of the epistle of the Hebrews for the first time to an Indian congregation in Mexico. And this Indian congregation of members of the tribe were in a priest ridden area, and so they know about priests but they didn’t know anything about the New Testament priesthood and he was reading the translation seeking to see how well they were understanding their Bible which they were getting for the first time on the epistle to the Hebrews. And he said that while he was reading the text he didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in them getting it because they were in a priest ridden area and the Epistle to the Hebrews is not easy. But he said while he was reading the text an old Indian lean back and said, “I see it now they are just trying to prolong their destiny,” and it had dawned upon him that these priests who were in his own community were trying to carry on the ministry of the Old Testament after our Lord has come and has done away with the priesthood and established a new priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.
By the way that means that all of the things that we see in the Christian church today in which there are carry overs from the Levitical sacrifices are an attempt to prolong the destiny of the Levitical priesthood. There are men who enter the pulpit and they have on the different clothes from the rest of us. They have a robe or they have a kind of collar that is different. All of this is an attempt to carry over the idea of the Old Testament that the Levitical priesthood or something like it is still in existence. God did away with all of that or if we have church with camels or incense or a church with a great deal of liturgy, the most beautiful liturgy in the world was the service of the children of Israel on the Day of Atonement but God did away with it. Any attempt to substitute liturgy from the true worship of the Lord in spirit and in truth is to prolong the Old Testament covenant beyond the day of its termination.
The high priest just quickly his installation. The high priest of the New Covenant was appointed in eternity our Lord Jesus Christ. He was consecrated not by a ceremony but he was consecrated by his sufferings on the cross at Calvary and he was installed and recognized as our great high priest at the resurrection, his order. The Old Testament priesthood depended upon heredity. Aaron’s sons succeeded him and Aaron’s son’s sons succeeded Aaron’s son and so on. Our Lord Jesus Christ’s priesthood depends upon his own personality. He lives in the power of an indissoluble life. How do you like that word? An indissoluble or indissoluble if you like to pronounce it that way. The word order, incidentally, refers to the person of our Lord not his ministry. By reason of its order this priesthood has a full purse of better features. Listen to them. The Aaronic priests were dying priests our Lord is an eternal priest. It would have been nice to have a good priest in Israel but you could never be sure you’d have one because he might die. Our Lord is always a good priest and he ever lives to carry out his office.
Second, the Aaronic priests were not confirmed by an oath but he was confirmed by the oath of God. The Aaronic priests were priests of a legal covenant that provided a temporal redemption. These are priests of a better covenant providing eternal redemption. And fourth the Aaronic priests ministered in an earthly sanctuary. He ministers in the genuine the heavenly sanctuary. They could keep you in touch with God only in the Levitical sense but this one ministers in the tabernacle in the heavens and all is the ultimate reality with him. Fifth, the Aaronic priests were priests with infirmity. He is a perfected priest infinitely compassionate. The most compassionate of the Levitical priests have never served with the compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sixth, the Aaronic priests were priests offering impotent sacrifices that can never take away sin. He offers the one sacrifice this is potent and sufficient to take away all the guilt of our sin. And, finally, the Aaronic priest was only a priest. Our Lord is a king priest. He not only has affection but he has the power to do what his heart desires for his own. He functions just like all the priests and in this sense his functions are foreshadowed by Aaron’s functions foreshadowed by Melchizedek’s and he executes his functions after the pattern of Aaron but his own life is after the order of Melchizedek the eternal priest type.
The priesthood of the church well we’ve said a lot about that. The priesthood of Israel is a priesthood that still is to be, ultimately, realized in the future. Priesthood it’s the way that we come to fellowship with God and what a tremendous blessing it is to realize that we have a great high priest whoever lives to see that those who he represents have a relationship of the Lord and whoever lives also to maintain that relationship. What an invitation addressed to the people of God to come and dwell in the holiest by the blood of our Lord Jesus, our great high priest. Be terrible to know all this and not take advantage of it wouldn’t it. You know in the light of this the great part of our free time ought to be spent in the holiest by the blood of Jesus. It would make a difference. It would make a difference in your life and it would make a difference in others with whom we come in contact. It might even affect us for a good too.
Let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for these wonderful truths contained in Holy Scripture. We thank Thee for our priests, loving, compassionate, powerful forever lives to represent us with Thee. We come to Thee through him, Lord. And we thank Thee that we have the access that our hearts deeply desire. O God, by thy grace, enable us to realize our priestly service through him in a deeper way.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen