Exodus 27-29: Priests and The Priest
February 10, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
These kind of details seem only interesting to those who love drawing pictures of bygone ceremonies with precise detail. It is hard (at first glance) to establish the relevance of these matters. Why are they here? What do they say to us today, to a people without this kind of ritualized priesthood, and without all the necessary ceremonies that constitute the ordination of that role?
Hebrews 5 is a good commentary. It tells us that what was remarkable about these Old Testament priests was not only that they offered gifts and sacrifices for sins, for people in relation to God, but that they also had to offer sacrifice for their own sins (Heb. 5:1-3). They were then far from being a perfect priest or intermediary between people and God.
However, the book of Hebrews reminds us, we have a “great high priest” (Hebrews 4:14). And because of that we should have great confidence. “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (Heb. 4:14).
In other words, when we read about these chapters in the Old Testament, we are not to think what glory they had, and how diminished we are now without these rituals and ceremonies. Instead, according to Hebrews, we are to think the very reverse. Their glory was passing, their role temporary, their ability to be an intermediary between our sinful selves and a holy God was only marginal, and typological. We however, upon whom the fulfillment of the ages has come, have now a “great high priest.” We have One who was without sin, whose sacrifice was perfect, and who renders those who believe as perfectly righteous, giving us “great confidence” to stand in his presence with awe and joy!
Rejoice, then, Christian in your great high priest!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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