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I'm a Christian, married to a wonderful man, Steven, and mother to a wonderful little son. I have many interests and a few noteworthy journeys in life and I enjoy sharing them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My One and Only High Priest

The other day when visiting my family for an evening, I was told that my dad has been made a high priest. This isn't uncommon for men who have been members and elders a long time. Despite teasing generally having to do with gray hair (which he has little of) and age (he's not that old and looks even younger than he is), I know my family was proud of him, and I doubt he was going to argue with being given that office of the LDS priesthood. All I could say when they told me was, "okay." There was no way I could really give positive feedback, because it wasn't there. Part of me wished they'd ask why I was so neutral, but I don't suppose they wanted to hear that answer.

I cannot accept the Mormon priesthood, but the office of high priest bothers me in particular. Since it has been on my mind, I indulged in posting this on Facebook today:

Numbers 3:10 "Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests; anyone else who approaches the sanctuary is to be put to death.” Leviticus 16:32 "The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement. " Hebrews 5:9-10 "and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all w...ho obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek." Hebrews 7:27 "Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself."

Historically and Biblically, there was and is only ever one authorized high priest--in the Old Testament, it was always a descendant of Aaron. Their purpose was to make yearly sacrifices for sin. Priests of the temple could only ever be from the tribe of Levi. When Jesus came, he was an exception--he was not of the tribe of Levi or a descendant of Aaron, but he sacrificed for sin once and for all, becoming the final and perfect high priest. Because he was not a Levitical priest, he is a "high priest in the order of Melchizedek," because he is like Melchizedek: "one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life." Heberews 7: 16 Melchizedek was a type, or shadow, of Christ (Hebrews 7:3). No one else has that sort of priesthood.
I cannot accept anyone but Jesus as a high priest. No one else has any right to claim that title or that authority. The responsibility of the high priest was to sacrifice for the sins of all. The Old Testament high priest did this through yearly animal sacrifice, sacrificing for even his own sin, an imperfect system that was meant to foreshadow what was to come and make them aware of the imperfection of what men could do, more than anything--as was most of the Law. Jesus fulfilled all of that. Jesus was perfect, and sacrificed himself. Jesus wasn't just perfect--he was God. My maker and creator sacrificed himself for me and became the perfect living high priest forever because he loves me.
 Why would I accept anyone else's claim to being a high priest, in light of that? 

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