Priestly Imagery in Christ’s Death & Resurrection

This passage from Through New Eyes by James B. Jordan really brought a few things together for me, about what Christ accomplished at the Cross. I’m fully aware that we need to be careful not to get caught up in symbolism in Scripture, and always read the text literally when it means to be taken as such. But, I do believe what Jordan says about the Atonement is absolutely there in the Gospel accounts, and I really appreciate how he brings it to light.

Jordan says,

“The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus involved a double motion, in terms of the Tabernacle. The sacrifice was made outside the Tabernacle in the courtyard on the altar. Then, on the day of atonement the High Priest took the blood into the Most Holy and presented it before the Throne of God (Leviticus 16:15). Just so, we see the Lamb of God sacrificed outside the gate, and then He presents His Death before the Father’s throne (Hebrews 9:7, 23-26). Under the law, when the High Priest came back out from the Most Holy, still alive, it was a sign that God had accepted the sacrifice. The Resurrection of Jesus fulfills that type. Also, when the High Priest offered the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, he put aside his garments of glory and beauty and wore a simple linen garment. Agreeably, when Peter entered the tomb, “he beheld the linen wrappings lying there” (John 20:6), because Jesus had put back on His garments of glory and beauty (Leviticus 16:4, 23,24).”

What Jesus accomplished, and the accounts of the Gospel writers, are full of priestly imagery. Christ, our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) took His own perfect blood into the Most Holy Place, offered the sacrifice before the Throne of God, and came out alive. It is finished – His sacrifice was accepted. The office and duties of the priests of the Old Testament were types of the true, perfect High Priest, and Sacrifice that Christ would become on our behalf.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart

Charitie L. Bancroft


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