Ray Stedman Sermon April 8th
TOPIC- The Need for a Priest A daily devotion for April 8th
The Lord said to Moses, Bring Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast, and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the assembly gathered at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Lev 8:1-4
These verses give us an introduction to priesthood by describing in very brief compass the ingredients which make it possible. First comes the word of God. A true priesthood never originates from man’s conception of what he needs. It comes from God’s word, God’s thoughts. God knows us and he has designed this for us. It doesn’t come from a pope, nor a council, nor a convention, nor a synod of bishops, nor any other form of human committee.
The second element is Aaron and his sons. Aaron was the brother of Moses. He and his descendants were the only family in the entire Old Testament authorized to serve as priests. In this family Aaron himself was to be the high priest. As the book of Hebrews makes very clear, we too have a high priest. Aaron is the picture of that great high priest, Jesus Christ our Lord. And his priesthood is as necessary to us as Aaron’s was to the Israelites. Aaron’s sons represent every believer in Jesus Christ. Everyone who knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is constituted a priest to the other members of the human family. John says that Jesus has made us a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:6).
The third ingredient of the priesthood is the garments. In the symbolism of Scripture, garments are always a revelation of the character of the individual who wears them. So as we examine the list of garments we will understand what a priest is, what he does, and how he functions.
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The fourth ingredient of the priesthood is the anointing oil, which, in Scripture, always speaks of the Holy Spirit. This means that a priest, to be effective, always must be walking in the Spirit. You will never be an effective priest unless you learn the ministry of the Holy Spirit, learn how he works in you and through you, imparting the life of Christ to others through you.
The next ingredient is the sacrifices. These always speak of redemption, of the need for dealing with the problem of sin and guilt. Since Aaron and his sons were but men, they too needed sacrifices.
The sixth element of the priesthood was the fact that God told Moses to bring all the congregation together. God insisted that all the adults and children be there. He wanted the humblest and the greatest in Israel to be present. Moses had to assemble the whole congregation — more than a million people. That must have created quite a seating problem! Perhaps they erected grandstands. But in any event they were all to be there in order that God himself might teach them what a priesthood meant.
Our Father, help us to lift our eyes unto this great high priest who is within us, ready to release to us all the mighty resources available to him. Help us to begin to lay hold of these resources and to understand that you have made provision to meet all our needs.
Every aspect of God-ordained Priesthood has been fulfilled in our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. When He enters as our Savior and Lord, He ministers to all our need, and invites us to serve as His representative priests. Have we entered into this amazing inheritance?