You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 For [gar] every [pas] high priest [archiereus] taken [lambano] from among [ek] men [anthropos] is ordained [kathistemi] for [huper] men [anthropos] in things pertaining to [pros] God [theos], that [hina] he may offer [prosphero] both [te] gifts [doron] and [kai] sacrifices [thusia] for [huper] sins [hamartia]:
2 Who can [dunamai] have compassion [metriopatheo] on the ignorant [agnoeo], and [kai] on them that are out of the way [planao]; for [epei] that he [perikeimai] himself [autos] also [kai] is compassed [perikeimai] with infirmity [astheneia].
3 And [kai] by reason [dia] hereof [taute] he ought [opheilo], as [kathos] for [peri] the people [laos], so [houto] also [kai] for [peri] himself [heautou], to offer [prosphero] for [huper] sins [hamartia]. KJV-Interlinear
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; 2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; 3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. NASB
The perfect priesthood of Christ was begun from the beginning. This was done in order to teach that man needs an intermediary, and to set out the policy that man can only approach God through a high priest designated by God, so then the office and title of High Priest was begun.
Mankind from the beginning has been taught that there is but one approach to God, and yet mankind has moved in every direction away from God by making up his own rules.
Man is dust. Man is a sinner. God can deal with neither unless they are cleansed. Thus the sacrifices were begun in Adam's day (they wore clothing of skins) so as to teach the need for sacrifice and payment of the penalty demanded by the Justice of God, also to teach that that only one need make that payment, the Savior, the only Son of God, Jesus Christ.
The High Priest was to come from mankind. One of mans own was to take the office of High Priest. Yet all of mankind was sinful and not worthy of that office.
Throughout history peoples scattered throughout the world appointing priest after priest, offering sacrifices after sacrifices. Animals were sacrificed at first, then human sacrifices became popular. Cutting ones throat started from the beginning, but then throwing people off cliffs, throwing people into volcanoes, and sacrificing in even more bizarre ways became the norm in some civilizations.
The principle of one losing their life in behalf of all was still there. Having the high priest performing the sacrifice was still in place, however the true nature of sacrifices became lost as sinful man turned the teaching practice of sacrifices into sinful practices.
Therefore no ritual, no man, can fill the position of High Priest unless God Himself appoints that person. And God appointed the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, to fill that office.
The office of High Priest was to provide an intermediary between man and God such that man would have a means of approaching God. The office of High Priest conducted sacrifices in order to teach that mans sins must be paid for before man could approach God. God will have nothing to do with sin, or sinful man unless and until he is washed thoroughly. Only then can mankind approach God.
I received a joke via e-mail which went something like this.
Usama died and went to heaven. There he was met with many of the patriots of American history from the state of Virginia. One by one they stepped up to Usama and struck him down each one speaking his mind as to Usama's bad deeds. When all of the men had finished with Usama, the Angel approached the badly beaten Usama and Usama complained that this was not what he had been promised when he went to Paradise. The angel said, 'I told you that you would face 72 Virginians. What did you think I said?'
Anyway I thought it was kind of a cute joke. All religions pursue sin in some form to prop them up. Were it not for the enticements of sins of lust for power, or sex, or wealth, self righteousness, or something similar then religions would have no followers. They would be out of business.
Christianity on the other hand rejects all sin and demands absolute perfection. Knowing that none of us will ever be perfect, God found a way to make our perfection possible. And He used only one person to make it so. All we need do is accept His plan and believe in the person of Jesus Christ.
Christ became a man in order to be a priest selected from among man.
Christ endured the temptations and hardships of mankind in order to be understanding and sympathetic toward man.
Christ became our intermediary to provide us with a means of approach to God. No man can approach God directly, but must go through the appointed intermediary - Jesus Christ.
The office of High Priest is not for the purpose of enrichment of the priest, but for the purpose of sympathizing and understanding mankind's nature and providing a path for man out of his infirmities.
The office of High Priest was not for the purpose of demanding or mandating offerings from man, but to receive gifts voluntarily. Mans gifts are in the form of faith, in exchange for Gods work in salvation. Man can neither purchase, nor bribe, nor acquire that which God gives to him freely.
Finally, the High priest being a man, must first approach God and cleanse his own sin first before he can approach God in behalf of others. Though Christ was perfect in every way, He became sin for us, in order to pay the price of sin for all of mankind. Once He paid that price, then He is free to give us all freedom as a gift for our faith in Him. Nothing is demanded of humanity, salvation is offered free only for the simple act of faith - a thought which takes only a moment out of the time of a person's life. 'Father I believe in Christ.'
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.