The apostle Peter writes that the Church (the body of Christ) is a "holy priesthood, to offer up spiritualsacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1Peter.2:5-9 / Exod.19:1-6, Rev.1:6; 5:10)
A. The Priesthood began in the Law of Moses
The children of Israel had been delivered from the 400 year bondage to Egypt, gone through the Red Sea and arrived at Mt. Sinai where God gave Moses the law. (Phase 2) The purpose of the Law, which
included the Priesthood(Exod.19:1-6; 28:1-43, Num.1:47-54) was to bring us to Christ.
(Gal.3:24, Matt.5:17-19) When Christ came He said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law
(which includes the Priesthood) or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill (complete) every
jot and tittle"." (Matt.5:17-19, 1Cor.10:1-11, Rom.3:21-31)
Jesus came and fulfilled (completed the shadow of) the Law of the High Priest (Heb.3:1; 10:1-10) and gave us "power to become the sons of God" to fulfill (complete) the shadow of the sons of Aaron who were
the Priesthood. This language is crucial to understanding our responsibilities of being a Priest.
1. The Language of the Priesthood qualifications The apostle Paul writes, do not be ignorant, how that all our fathers (who had just become delivered by the blood of the Passover Lamb Exod.7-13) were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1Cor.10:1-4) This languageis "ensamples"(types / models) to the Church today! a.No stranger
Appoint "Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger (foreigner) that cometh nigh shall be put to death." (Num.3:10) The apostle Paul uses this language and interprets it to mean that those who are "without Christ, are "aliens...and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." (Eph.2:11-19)
b. Must wear the proper garments
The Sons of Aaron must "wear (fine linen) coats, girdles, bonnets for glory and beauty." They were to be anointed, consecrated and sanctified "that they may minister unto me (God) in the priest's office." (Exod.28:39-41) "Fine Linen is the righteousness of the saints." (Rev.19:8, 2Cor.5:21 / Isa.64:6) c. They must wash in the Laver BEFORE they ministered everyday.
God told Moses to"make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord." (Exod.30:17-21, Eph.5:26)The English word "washing" comes from the Greek word "Laver."
d. Limitations if any blemishes were found in the Priest Whosoever he be of thy (Aaron's Ex. 21:17) seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God." (Lev.21:16-24) The apostle Paul writes that Jesus (the fulfillment of Aaron) will "sanctify and cleanse it (His Church / Bride) with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Eph.5:26-27) B. Jesus is the reality of the High Priest
The pattern requires a High Priest and a Priesthood. (Exod.28:1-43, Lev.16:1-2, 17, Lev.10:1-2) The Priests offered these offerings, but the High Priest was the only one who atoned for sin. Therefore "it behoved him (Jesus) to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." (Heb.2:1; 3:1; 4:14-16; 5:1-5; 6:20; 7:1-28; 8:1-5; 9:1-26; 10:1-25)
Note: Just as the High Priest (Aaron) function in the Tabernacle. Jesus, our High Priest, is functioning in the true Tabernacle that the Lord pitched in Heaven itself. (Exod.28:1-43, Heb.8:1-5; 9:24)
1. We are the reality of the Levitical priesthood
Peter followed the same blueprint. We become the reality of the sons of Aaron, the High Priest because The Lord Jesus Christ (John.1:12 / 2Cor.5:17) has given us power to become the sons of God in "heavenly places" (Eph.1:3; 2:6) in the "true Tabernacles that the Lord pitched" (Heb.8:1-5)
2. The language of the priesthoods responsibilities
The apostle Peter writes that the Church, the body of Christ, we are a "holy priesthood, (and are accountable to minister (Num.1:47-54) unto God by offering up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1Peter.2:5-9 / Exod.19:1-6, Rev.1:6; 5:10)
a. Sacrifices are to be without blemish
Whosoever he be of thy (Aaron's the high priests Lev.21:17) seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God...Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them.(Lev.21:16-24, Note.v.18, 23, Eph.5:26-27)
b. Only the Priests offer Sacrifice / Offering
It was only the sons of Aaron (Lev.21:16-24) in the Old Testament pattern that could offer sacrifice.(Lev.1:5; 2:2; 3:7, 13; 6:14; 7:10, Gal.3:24, Rom.3:21-31; 9:1-6)They were responsible for offering the correct offering, in the correct order. They were accountable for each offering, that it was not blemished. (Lev.22:17-25)
c. The Priests were responsible for the Word of God "Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests, the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel. And Moses commanded them, saying...thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing...that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law..." (Deut.31:9-11; 17:18; 24:8, 2Chron.15:3; 34:15, Neh.8:2-8, Mal.2:7, 2Tim.2:15; 4:2 / 1Peter.2:5)
1. Jot - Strong's Con. NT #2503 ἰῶτα iōta, ee-o'-tah; of Hebrew origin (the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet); "iota", the name of the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, put (figuratively) for a very small part of anything:—jot. The Hebrew letter `, the smallest of them all hence equivalent to the minutest part 2. Tittle - a little horn extremity, apex, point used by grammarians of the accents and diacritical points. Jesus used it of the little lines or projections, by which the Hebrew letters in other respects similar differ from one another; the meaning is, "not even the minutest part of the law shall perish." Strong’s Definitions NT #2762 something horn-like, i.e. (specially) the apex of a Hebrew letter (figuratively, the least particle):—tittle. 3. Spiritual Sacrifices - Therefore, as a "new creature in Christ" (2Cor.5:17) we must minister unto the Lord according to this daily pattern of the Priesthood because we are in Christ who is fulfilling this pattern. (2Cor.5:17, Exod.29:44) 4. Ensamples - Strong's Con. NT #1579 †τύπος týpos, too'-pos; from G5180; a die (as struck), i.e. (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy, a shape, i.e. a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specially, a sampler ("type"), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning): —en-(ex-)ample, (1Cor.10:6) fashion, (Acts.7:44) figure, (Acts.7:43, Rom.5:14) form, (Rom.16:17) manner, pattern, (Titus 2:7) print. 5. Stranger - Strong's Con. OT#2114 זוּר zûwr, zoor; a primitive root; to turn aside (especially for lodging); hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane; specifically (active participle) to commit adultery:—(come from) another (man, place), fanner, go away, (e-) strange(-r, thing, woman). 6. Washing - "a bath, a laver" (akin to louo, see above), is used metaphorically of the Word of God, as the instrument of spiritual cleansing, Eph 5:26; in Tts 3:5, of "the washing of regeneration" (Vines Expo, Dict.) λουτρόν loutrón, loo-tron'; from G3068; a bath, i.e. (figuratively), baptism:—washing. (Strong's Con.)