Our High Priest

"The remaininng tribes of Israel received land in Canaan as allowed by Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the tribal leaders."  Joshua 14:1

From the beginning, those called by God to be priests were to consecrate themselves before they came near to Him, lest He break out against them.

"Even the priests who regularly come near to the LORD must purify themselves so that the LORD does not break out and destroy them." Exodus 19:22

It was their responsibility to be sure they were right with Him, and had observed His ordinances according to His directions rather than present their own efforts to serve Him. Remember Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, who tried to use fire for the altar that hadn't come from God? The flames exploded from God's presence and consumed them (Leviticus 10).

The priests had to be clean--consecrated--before they could approach God on behalf of the people. They couldn't expect to learn the will of God if they came any other way than on God's terms and in the place He chose to dwell.

One of the ways God made His will known to them was through the Urim and the Thummim. These were the sacred lots borne on the ephod the priest wore. The manner in which they appeared after being cast signified God's will to the people.

"When direction from the LORD is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim--one of the sacred lots cast before the LORD--to determine His will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do." Exodus 27:21

The priests' job was full. Their duties included replenishing the oil in the lamp stand, providing the showbread for the tabernacle, maintaining the fire on the altar, offering morning and evening sacrifices and prayers three times a day. In other words, they were constantly busy. They weren't sitting in a camp chair outside their tents waiting for the next sacrifice, 

The High Priest had the additional duty of offering sacrifice to mediate for the nation. If there was anything out of line with the sacrifice or his fulfillment of his duties, the penalty was death. God is serious about the respect due His name and He is to be approached the right way.

Today, we have a High Priest who intercedes for us non-stop. He doesn't slumber or sleep. He is constantly speaking for us. He, who knows us so intimately that He can tell each of us how many strands of hair we have on our heads, is continually talking with Father God about His plans for us and what our needs are. He loves us exactly how we need to be loved. Jesus is actively guiding what's going on here on earth, as well as preparing our dwelling place in Heaven with Him. 

He doesn't need to cast lots to know the will of God. He is the perfect sacrifice, accepted by God and in unceasing communion with Him. He is the Word of God.

"We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the LORD and not by human hands. And since every high priest is required to offer gifts and sacrifices, our High Priest must make an offering, too. ... Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for He is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises." Hebrews 8:1-3, 6

The old covenant provided a way to cover sin temporarily. The new covenant, Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross, took away our sins. "It is finished," He said. Done Deal.

What about you? Have you acknowledged His sacrifice is for you? Is He mediating in Heaven for you? It doesn't take specific words. All it takes is a simple agreement from your heart. Believe. An act of your heart. 

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." Romans 10:9-10

If you have followed this action, please go find someone to tell so they can rejoice with you.

by Marilyn Allison