Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The High Priests of Leviticus & Hebrews

I heard it recommended recently to read Leviticus and Hebrews in tandem: Leviticus dealing with the appointment and duties of the earthly high priest for God's Tabernacle and Hebrews focusing on our Great High Priest, Jesus.  Since I've come to Leviticus in my daily reading time, I decided to skip ahead in my New Testament reading to Hebrews to see what all the fuss was about.

Coming to Leviticus 8, I found the description of Moses preparing Aaron for his duties as high priest
. . . and it wasn't long until I was grabbing my pen to take notes.  Why?  Because I immediately saw Jesus.  The contrasts between the preparation of Aaron and Jesus are striking:

Moses washed Aaron with water.
Jesus was spit upon.

Aaron was dressed in beautiful, skillfully-made clothes.
Jesus was undressed.

A turban with a strip of gold, the holy crown, was placed on Aaron's head.
A crown of thorns was jammed on Jesus' head.

Aaron's head was anointed with oil.
Jesus was anointed with oil . . . after He was dead.

Aaron was sprinkled with the blood of a sheep that he might be holy in God's sight.
Jesus, who was already holy in God's sight, shed His own blood that we might be made holy.

"The LORD commanded the things that were done today to remove your sins so you will belong to him."  (Leviticus 8:34)

"And because his (Jesus) obedience was perfect, he was able to give eternal salvation to all who obey him.  In this way God made Jesus a high priest, a priest like Melchizedek."  (Hebrews 5:9)

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