The Purpose Of The High Priest
Once per year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest Aaron (or his successors) entered the Most Holy Place of The Tabernacle In The Wilderness (shown in illustration, see also Temples) to offer ceremonial sacrifices for the forgiveness of the people (Hebrews 9:7). The Levitical priest (see Levites) was a type of Jesus Christ, our High Priest (Hebrews 9:11), Who, after His Sacrifice, entered the very Throne Room of God The Father in heaven to make atonement for all humanity (Hebrews 9:11-12).
Aaron and Jesus Christ Appointed
"For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people."
"And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt Himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by Him who said to Him, "Thou art My Son [see The Logos], today I have begotten Thee"; as He says also in another place, "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek."
"In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard for His Godly fear. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered [see Could Jesus Have Sinned? and Why Does God Allow Suffering?]; and being made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 5:1-10 RSV)
Old and New Covenants
"This makes Jesus the surety of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues for ever. Consequently He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."
"For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; He did this once for all when He offered up Himself. Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever."
"Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by The Lord." (Hebrews 7:22-8:2 RSV)
Fact Finder: How was the Day of Atonement observed?
See The Day Of Atonement
This Week's Bible Quiz
1. What is the name of the couple who sold a piece of land and then falsely claimed that they donated the entire sale price to the church?
2. Who is generally regarded as the first Christian martyr?
3. To what city was Saul traveling when Jesus Christ struck him down and converted him into Paul?
4. What was the name of the lady who Peter (by means of The Holy Spirit) raised from the dead in Joppa?
5. Who left with Paul on his first missionary journey?
6. In what city was the Areopagus ("Mars Hill")?
7. In what city did Paul cause a riot when he said that the pagan goddess Artemis was a worthless idol?
8. What was the name of the young man that Paul (by means of The Holy Spirit) raised from the dead after he fell from a third-floor window?
9. What was the name of the island on which Paul was shipwrecked while being taken to Rome?
10. In what sea is the island on which Paul was shipwrecked while being taken to Rome?
For the answers to this September 12 2000 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page