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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

But, being a sacrifice for sin, who should be the priest in the case, and enter into the Most Holy with his blood to make atonement, or reconciliation, for his people?

Where there is a sacrifice there is also of necessity a priest.

There were priests under the law of Moses, who went into the Most Holy with the blood of the slain beasts, and sprinkled it upon the lid of the ark called the propitiatory, or mercy-seat, upon which the cherubic faces looked.

But the blood of David's Son was not to be sprinkled there.

It was not to be carried into the Most Holy made with hands, either by himself, or by the high priest of the law: and wherever its memorial was presented, it could only be exhibited by a high priest.

The Son of David could not officiate as a priest on earth so long as the covenant from Sinai continued the law of the land; because it permitted only the tribe of Levi to minister in holy things.

He belonged to the tribe of Judah, "of which Moses said nothing concerning priesthood".

He could not enter into the temple after his resurrection and present himself before the Lord in its most holy place; neither could the Levitical high priest enter heaven with the memorial of Shiloh's death.

What, then, was to be done?

David's son must appear in heaven in his own person, and as the high priest of a new law offer himself before God.

But the covenant made with David, while it speaks of his son as a sacrifice, and, by implication, of his resurrection, and future occupation of his throne for ever; says nothing about him as high priest of his kingdom.

Hence, in order that he might enter his divine Father's presence as a high priest, and hereafter sit as a priest upon the throne of David's kingdom, "the word of the oath" was given for the purpose.

This was necessary; for "no man taketh this honour upon himself, but he that is called of God, as Aaron was".

David's son was called to the high priesthood of the kingdom, as distinctly as Aaron was to the same honour under the Mosaic law.

"He glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee; saith also in another place, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec".

Here, then, are two orders of priesthood -- the Order of Melchizedec, and the Order of Aaron.

Melchizedec's was contemporary with Abraham; Aaron's was not instituted until 430 years after the confirmation of the covenant.

Of Melchizedec, the apostle could have said much more than he did say; but he has said enough to give us an idea of his order of priesthood.

In this he was without predecessor, or successor, without sacerdotal genealogy, and without beginning of official days, or end of life; but, assimilated to the Son of God, abideth a priest continually; of whom also it is testified that he liveth.

The Aaronic priesthood was the reverse of all this.

Its priests were descended from Aaron, their mothers were of the tribe of Levi, their fathers in office before them, upon which they entered at thirty years, and vacated it at fifty.

But the priesthood of Shiloh is not like this.

His pedigree is royal, and not sacerdotal.