“These then are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests, whom he ordained to serve as priests.” (Numbers 3:2–3, NASB95)
In the Old Testament, God set up a system of priests to serve in the Temple as the people’s representatives before God. No one who was not of the Priestly family was allowed into the presence of God in the Tabernacle or the Temple. This plan of mediation was later fulfilled in the Priestly role of Jesus Christ, who becomes our Priest.
In Old Testament days, a person did not decide to become a Priest or hear a call to the Priesthood. Rather, the Priesthood was selected by God in one of the families of the Hebrews. The Tribe of Levi became the Priestly tribe, but only the family of Aaron became priests. One was born into Priesthood, not called. This was fulfilled in Jesus also, when he was born a priest in the order of Melchizadek.
The Priest’s role was to represent the people before God. This is why the Priest did not have a sermon. The Prophet’s role was to represent God before the people. The prophet would speak God’s word; the Priest would stand as God’s people.
In many Christian circles today the Pastor is wrongly called the Priest. Modern Priesthood is a misnomer, since those who fill the role neither meet the genetic qualifications (being a descendent of Aaron). Further, there is no need for the Priest because all mediation has been accomplished in Jesus Christ.
In His Grace;
Dr. Randy White
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