Jesus, Our Man in Glory
Man is at Fault
Alienation was not God's fault. It was man who alienated himself. Man is away from God, like a little island that has pulled away from the mainland. Drifting out to sea, it has lost the attraction of its original position. So man has morally pulled away from God and from the attraction of God's fellowship. Man is alienated, without hope and without God in this world.
The important element in God's concept of the priesthood is mediatorship. The Old Testament priest provided a means of reconciliation between God and man. But he had to be ordained of God. Otherwise, he was a false priest. In order to help man, he had to be appointed by God.
God, for His part, needs no help. There never was an Old Testament priest who could help God. The work of the priest was to offer a sacrifice, an atonement, so that alienated man could be forgiven and cleansed. In the Levitical order, an offering had to be made to God by the priest on behalf of the sinner. The priest was appointed to plead the case of man before a righteous God.
That ancient priestly system was not perfect. It was only the shadow of a perfect, eternal priesthood to be brought about by the Savior-Priest, Jesus Christ,the eternal Son. Every priest in the order of Levi knew only too well his own sin. This was the point of the breakdown. When that priest stood before God in the holiest place to present an atonement for the sins of the people, he was face-to-face as well with the reality of his own failures and shortcomings.
In our own day, we recognize what this means to us as liberated and forgiven believers. Singing the hymnody of Isaac Watts, we revel in Christ's atonement and God's forgiveness.
Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away the stain.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name,
And richer blood than they.
The Old Testament priest knew that the ritual of sacrifice could not completely atone for sins or change man's sinful nature. In that priestly system, God "covered" the sin until the time when Christ would come. Christ, the Lamb of God, would completely bear away the sin of the world.
Jesus our Lord qualified completely to be our great High Priest. He was ordained and appointed by God. He was the eternal Son of whom the Father said, "Thou art a priest for ever" (Psalm 110:4). He made reconciliation for the people. He showed the only genuine compassion for lost mankind. The Scriptures affirm that in these qualifications as priest, Jesus our Lord became the Author, the Source, the Giver of eternal salvation.
Next time we'll cover Part 6 - What Jesus' Manhood Means to Us.
Hope y'all are enjoying this read. I love reading about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Love to all