For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron
The writer of Hebrews now starts to explain the role of the High priest. This is essential to our understanding of our salvation. God’s plan started way back in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve sinned. It was not just a haphazard thing God threw together as He went along. In the garden, God had to cover Adam & Eve with the skin of an animal, and sin has had to be covered by a blood sacrifice ever since. Abel offered from the flock and his sacrifice was accepted. Cain did not and his was not. Abraham offered sacrifices to the Lord, and was willing to give his son if God required him too. Moses listened to God in the wilderness and set in motion the reason for and type of sacrifices at God’s command. The book of Leviticus spells this out. But even before that, God required a blood sacrifice to keep the death angel from destroying the Israeli first born during the first Passover.
Once the nation of Israel was in the wilderness, God gave Moses the design for the temple and the types of sacrifices needed. The book of Leviticus spells these out in great detail. The burnt offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, the peace offering and the meat offering were all required from the people. I won’t go into detail on these, but it would be good for you to read about them if you have not. The first 10 chapters of Leviticus are hard to read, but so fundamental in our understating of the price Christ paid. Jesus fulfilled all of these sacrifices for us on the cross. What a Savior!
Then Moses gave instructions for the high priest, his garments, his anointing. This was Aaron at the time. His job was to oversee all the sacrifices given, and there were plenty. It was a bloody place all the time, and the aroma of the sacrifices went up through the camp at all times. He had the rest of the priests and the Levites to help him carry out this task. These priests were chosen out of the tribe of Judah because the firstborn was spared in the land of Egypt. God required the firstborn, yet He allowed the Israelites to offer the Levites instead of their firstborn. Thus, the tribe of Levi became the priests and servants of the temple. This was there calling from the day they were born until the day they died. And one man was chosen high priest, for he was the one who would offer that special offering on the day of atonement, which we will discuss at length in a future study. The duty of the priest was to have compassion on all and to accept their sacrifice to God for whatever reason they were giving it. He offered for all the people and for himself.
This position was not one that the priest just one day decided he would take up. It was a calling from God. In Old Testament times, the priest was from the tribe of Levi. Today, the priesthood is a calling from God as well. In fact, any ministry is a calling from God. We tend to look at some ministries as les important than others, but God only looks at faithfulness to what He has asked us to do. Are we doing what he asks us to do? This was the duty of the [priest then, and it is the duty of every Christian today because Peter tells us we are a royal priesthood. It is our duty to bring the gospel to others, and to let them know their sins have been forgiven by the bold of Christ. As we continue through Hebrews this whole picture will unfold. What are you called to do? Some are sowers of seed, and pass out tracks, and witness endlessly. Some are worship leaders, or Sunday School teachers or VBS helpers. Some are janitors, or cooks, or dishwashers. Some sell, some make things, some fix things, some observe things. No matter what your calling is, you were given the ability and the desire by your creator, and should always keep that in mind when carrying out your duties. We could do nothing without Him. The more we can tune into His voice, the more He can show us the way through the problems and adversities that will come up while we carry out our calling. They are bound to come. Jesus told the disciples that in this world they would have tribulation. He knew they would face difficulties and would be rejected and laughed at. But then He said that He has overcome the world, and that we should not be afraid to do what He asks us to do. What am I waiting for?