The Book of Hebrews – Typical High Priest

Posted on Posted in The Book of Hebrews

“Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses.  That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as theirs.” Hebrews 5:1-3

The sacrificial system was a type and shadow of what was to come. It represented a picture of the true sacrifice that would be made by the Messiah. It was used to remind those making the sacrifices of their sin. They experienced this symbolism year after year looking forward with anticipation to the Christ. When making a sin offering the worshipper had to provide a perfect, spotless lamb. Laying their hands on it to symbolically transfer their sin and guilt, the animal was then sacrificed as a covering for sin. The sacrificing of animals was never able to remove sin as evidenced by the conscience of the worshipper and the repetitive act of bringing sacrifices. This sacrificing was done by the typical high priest.

This scripture identifies one of the defining marks of Judaism. Israel could trace a succession of high priests back to Aaron. Aaron, brother of Moses, was the first high priest and representative of the people, chosen from among men. Who chose him? Did the people through some kind of democratic process choose him? No. Only God appointed high priests. Israel saw the appointment of the high priest as a demonstration of God’s sovereignty. God used angels and other agents to declare Christ’ divine appointment, God alone ultimately appointed Jesus Christ the High Priest. The purpose of God appointing high priests was so that the high priest could act for the people; it was necessary for the high priest to be chosen from among the people. He represented the people as he ministered in the most holy place before God. When the high priest performed sacrifices, burned incense, offered gifts, and did other priestly duties, he did it on behalf of Israel. Aaron and his successors were the typical high priest. Jesus Christ is not your typical high priest.

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