Working on a Dream




Sunday, March 31, 2013

Reading between the Lines: The High Priest pt.1

You can tell a lot about a person by the things that they wear.

Take for instance, Harvey Spector.  He is all business; dressed to the nine's.
His suit probably costs more than every piece of clothing that I own. 
Then, there is this human that apparently orders her clothes from the butcher shop. 
Yes, she likes her cut of meat tender and slightly above the knee-caps.
You can tell a lot about a person by the things that they wear. Let's do one more ...

The High Priest. Let's start things off with the Earth's highest quality Blue, Purple & Scarlet threads, then throw in some super precious stones, and finally solid gold headband & bells.

So what can we learn about this mysterious High Priest that lived in the Ancient world?We have some clues from the 28th chapter of Exodus.  When opening this chapter, we find ourselves right in the middle of a long list of instructions for the construction of the Tabernacle (place of worship for Israel). 
Then, we read the following:
“Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty..."

Lesson number one can be found the fact that the High Priest was called out from among the people.  This teaches us two very important elements about the High Priest, but ultimately about God. (A) That God uses average ordinary men & women to accomplish His purpose.  If I had a motto for this point, it would be that the High Priests were, "of the people, by the people, for the people."  The High Priest could minister effectively among the people because he was someone that everyone could associate with.  He knew names, birthday's anniversary's, Etc.  Secondly , (B) it teaches us that God is compassionate & is wise.  We all know someone that has walked beside us when tragedy hit or we struck for proverbial oil.  This means that the High Priest could not only express sympathy (when you have compassion, but you don’t necessarily feel another person's feelings) but could go further and be empathetic (understand and feel for someone).

The second lesson can be found in verse 2. The High Priest was someone that was distinct from the people.  If you notice the High Priest's outfit, you will see that it puts the F in fancy. Remember, in this time there were priests, BUT THIS WAS THE HIGH PRIEST.  The Donald Trump of Business. The Micheal Jordan of basketball. The Bruce Springsteen of Rock.  Ok, I think I made my point...
Despite the similarities between the High Priest and the rest of Israel, these men where set-apart.  And one major way that they were set-apart was through their once a year offering on the Day of Atonement in the Holy of Hollies.   This teaches us that although the people needed a High Priest to simultaneously represent them, they needed someone set apart in full-time service to the Lord.  Continual sacrifices were necessary because they represented a community that continually sinned.

For those of you that are keen enough to read between the lines, I wonder if you can see any type of foreshadowing with the High Priest?  Did you know that the NT book of Hebrews states that, "The law, is a shadow of the good things to come and not the very image of things?"  B.B. Warfield famously described the Old Testament as a room “fully furnished but dimly lit.” And Jesus in the 24th chapter of Luke taught perhaps the greatest Bible study in all of history when "beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he (Jesus) explained to them (disciples) what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.”

I'll let you chew on this for a few, then I'll close the loop this week with how the above made it into my Easter Morning Sermon. Feel free to leave a comment!


Ann Mullen said...

I thought it before you brought it out. There is only one person who perfectly meets all the requirements you mentioned. Thanks, Anthony.

Anthony Kladitis said...