Summary: We look at the O.T. Priesthood, the many jobs at the Tabernacle, their symbolism of Christ & the Church, requirements of Priests to God, & spiritual ministry today, as Priests.
THE PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS
1 Pet. 2:9
1. An old lady had always wanted to travel abroad. Now that she was getting on in years, she thought she would really like to do so before she died.
2. But until now, she’d never even been out of the country. So she began by going in person to the Passport Office and asking how long it would take to have one issued.
3. "You must take the loyalty oath 1st," responded the clerk. "Raise your right hand, please." The old gal raised her right hand.
4. The first question: "Do you swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all its enemies, domestic or foreign?"
5. The little old lady’s face paled and her voice trembled as she asked in a small voice, "Do I have to do that... all by myself?"
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession[“peculiar people” KJV], that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Pet. 2:9. (See also Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
1. Imagine if I, Joel, and Eli (and other ministers) were the only ones who could come into the church and all the rest of you could only gather in the parking lot!
2. Imagine there was no way you could get forgiveness without coming to the church with an offering and having to confess your sin to the minister!
3. That was the situation under the O.T. dispensation. But now the Scriptures announce the glorious truth that ALL Christians are made priests before God!
4. However, are we aware of what God expects of us as priests? That’s the subject of tonight’s message, “The Priesthood of Believers.”
I. THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE O.T.
A. AARON THE FIRST HIGH PRIEST
Whenever people think of the priesthood they think of the High Priest. That’s because the High Priest was central to everything that took place at the Tabernacle. Aaron was the 1st High Priest.
B. UNIFORM OF OFFICE
1. All priests wore the white linen robe and turban, but in addition to that the High Priest wore a blue robe over their white one.
2. At the bottom of that robe were bells and pomegranates. Over the blue robe the High Priest wore an ephod. It was like an apron that was made from red, blue and purple cloth with a gold strand running throughout.
3. On his shoulder were two gold plate engraved with 6 names of the tribes of Israel on each, and on his chest was a breastplate with twelve precious stones – each stone engraved with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
4. Thus, the High Priest bore the nation of Israel on his shoulders and wore them over his heart. Attached to turban (on his forehead) was a gold plate engraved with the words: “HOLY TO THE LORD”
II. MANY JOBS, ALL NECESSARY
A. TONS OF WORK TO BE DONE:
1. The daily sacrifices had to be offered (9 am til 3 pm)
2. Knives had to be sharpened.
3. Utensils to be cleansed.
4. Wood had to be cut & stacked for the fires.
5. Ashes to be collected.
6. Animal remains had to be removed.
B. WORK ONLY AARON’S FAMILY COULD DO
1. They offered up the sacrifices
2. Took care of items inside the tabernacle: lit the lamps, burned the incense, changed the bread on the table of showbread.
3. But there other things that needed done and so God gave the entire tribe of Levi to Aaron to do those tasks.
C. 3 CLANS OF LEVITE TRIBE & JOBS
1. Kohathites: take care of the ark, table, candlestick, and the altars.
2. Gershonites: care for the Tent, curtains, veil, and ropes, of the sanctuary.
3. Merarites: pack and maintain the boards, bars, sockets, pillars that held the tabernacle together.
D. IMPORTANT & UNIMPOTANT JOBS?
1. One commentator said the Kohathites carried the “important” items of the tabernacle (the ark, the altars, etc.) and the other 2 clans had “less important responsibilities.”
2. NO! The entire tabernacle was holy unto the Lord. All of it necessary. There were NO insignificant roles. It’s the same in the Church. Every function and job, however humble, are essential for the functioning of the whole! All are needed!
3. In order for things to run smoothly, lots of people had to take responsibility for various activities. There were many people had to work behind the scenes, so that others could worship. It’s the same today!
III. PRIESTLY MINISTRY TODAY?
A. TODAY’S HIGH PRIEST & LEVITES
1. Do we have a High Priest now? (Yes) Anybody know who our High Priest is? (Jesus). Heb. 6:20 tells us “Jesus…has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” So, Jesus is our High Priest.