Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Priests Leviticus 21

Leviticus 21:1 "And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:"

v1 Of the priests mourning
v6 Of their holiness
v8 Of their estimation
v8.13 Of their marriages
v17 The priests that have blemishes must not minister in the sanctuary

The key phrase to understand this chapter is in verse one: "Speak unto the priests."

The way I understand the priesthood of the old testament is that they were to be as the offerings, without spot or blemish. They served as a bridge between the offering and the holiness of God.

I've read of the practice of putting bells on priests so that if the bell stopped ringing, it was assumed the priest was dead, those outside could pull the dead priest out of the holy place from behind the veil by a rope attached to their foot.

We can understand in this time, that Christ had not yet died on the cross and shed his blood for our sins. In the old testament ceremonies of offerings, there was a point when the offering for sin had not yet been made, since it had to be done over and over again.

The priest were a part of the tabernacle, servants of the holiest place and must be clean to stand before God.

It is difficult to express the difference between then and now. For now, we, as Christians are all priests with our sins forgiven and covered, yea, removed, by the blood of Christ.

Hebrews 9:1 "Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. v6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God."

v8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing."

Then arose another line of priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7:11 For Christ came of the tribe of Judah Hebrews 7:14.

Hebrews 7:12 "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Revelation 1:5-6 "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. v6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

1 Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

So with Christ things changed totally. No longer is it the Aaron priesthood but the priesthood of Christ. We as Christians, are called priest and so offer up our praise to the Lord. Because of the shed blood of Christ, we are accepted with all our faults and failures and made perfect in the sight of God because the Father does indeed see only his son when he sees us.

Matthew 27:50-51 "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"

Jesus was not liked by most of the Jewish leadership. Their jobs were to keep the law of Moses as they saw it. They were smothered in traditions of men which included much that had to do with the decisions of man and nothing to do with the actual law of Moses. They had made the law a burdensome tool that oppressed the people. Then along came Jesus, claiming (and was) to be the Son of God and determined to teach a new way. It was an affront to the leadership. It told the whole nation that they were wrong. It placed the kingdom of God in the hearts of man and not in the hands of the priesthood. It is no wonder that the priests, having lost their love and awe for God, and wrapped up in the mechanics of the law, were pierced to their soul by the teachings of Jesus. They would simply not allow it.

Yet, in the effort to stop Jesus from his goal. His goal was accomplished. The redemption of mankind.

Had they been listening, they would have known that he came to die, so that he might provide sinless blood as an offering for the sins of the whole world. No longer does the priesthood exclude all but the Jewish nation but excludes only those who reject Him as Savior. That exclusion being made by the individual choice for he did indeed die for all.

Even Abraham said to Issac when Issac was taken to the mountain to be sacrificed:

Genesis 22:8 "And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."

And then from God:

Genesis 22:18 "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou has obeyed my voice."

So the Lord was telling them and us all along of the sacrifice to be made. The establishment of the nation, the giving of the law, the priesthood, all lead up to the cross on a hill where Jesus died and the garden where he arose again on the third day.

Psalm 40:4 "Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies."

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