FIRST POSTED ON 1 MAY 2019.
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
In our last two sessions, we saw firstly how - through the Law - Israel pointed to man’s utter sinfulness and need for Jesus, who alone could meet all its requirements so that we could be forever reconciled with God. Then we saw how God gave Israel the Tabernacle as a way for a sinful nation to serve as His priest drawing all men to worship Him. More importantly, the Tabernacle reflected God’s desire to be reconciled and dwell among us. Knowing that we are unable to find our way back to Him, God took the first step to find us - all out of Love.
Now, although God gave Israel the Tabernacle, as well as a Priesthood and Sacrificial system to carry out its mission to the world, these were all imperfect and insufficient. Otherwise, there won’t be a need for a permanent solution in Jesus and for Israel to act as God’s lesser light pointing us all to Him. We know from the Bible that God chose Moses’ elder brother Aaron to be the High Priest and Moses’ tribe - the Levites - as priests. But they, like the rest of the Israelites and indeed mankind, were sinful and fallen individuals.
The blood of the animal sacrifices were also only of symbolic value and could not really atone or serve as payment for man’s sin. The author of Hebrews tells us how “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins … [because] it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Heb 10:11, 4). Surely we do not think that an animal could take our place. We are made in the image of God and therefore only one among us - but who is perfect in God’s eyes - could properly represent and pay the price for our sins.
God had purposely made it such because His intention was for Aaron and the Levitical priests to point to Jesus, our true and perfect Great High Priest, whom we saw before was of the mysterious priestly and royal line of Melchizedek, while the inadequate animal sacrifices that had to be offered day after day, year after year, pointed to the all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus the Lamb of God, the one and only perfect and sinless man who could therefore by His one sacrifice atone for the sins of mankind for all time.
As we end this session, we can see how the Law, Tabernacle, Priesthood and Sacrifices, all point to Jesus. May He who fulfills all the Law’s requirements for us, who came as a man to tabernacle and dwell among us, our Great High Priest who now intercedes for us at the right hand of God, and the perfect Lamb of God who died for our sins - Jesus - may He bless you until we meet again in our next session.
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