(Feast: Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest)
Jeff Cavins in The Bible Timeline Programme tells us of the office/position of the Eldest Son, that of being the Priest of the Family. It means he is priest of the whole extended family of uncles aunts, cousins and which usually was the whole village. The eldest Priest Son was the link between God and God’s People. After understanding this, you see the importance of the final blessing of the Patriarchs before their death, and also why the significance of Jacob stealing this Blessing, and why Esau was angry. Genesis also tells of a strange meeting of Melchizedek – King of Salem and Abraham. This King offers Bread and Wine as sacrifice to Yahweh and also blesses Abraham. Some scholars identify this King as Shem the Eldest Son of Noah, who was Priest-Son, and who passes on the Role of Priest of the Family of God to Abraham, in this event.
Jesus on the cross is the New Eldest-Son-Priest of God’s family, and he offers the pleasing sacrifice of himself to God. Interestingly, Hebrews identifies Jesus’ role of the Eternal High Priest not with the Aaronic Priesthood, which was instituted post the Golden Calf incident at Mount Sinai, but with Melchizedek. St. Paul’s Centre has a nice audio study of the Feasts of Faith of the Hebrews in the Old Testament. It helps us to understand how these feasts make sense in Jesus Christ. One of the Feast – The Day of Atonement, required the High Priest to enter the Holy of Holies, first offering sacrifice to cleanse himself and then entering the Holy of Holies and pouring the blood of sacrifice on behalf of the Nation in the Holy of Holies. If the High Priest was found to have entered without doing the prescribed rituals correctly to purify himself, there was fear that the High Priest would be struck dead by God who resided in the Holy of Holies of the Temple. But Jesus once for all as the New High Priest of an everlasting Covenant, enters the true Holy of Holies (Heaven) on the Day of Ascension. And as one who was found pleasing in his self-sacrifice and raised up to Ever Lasting Life, he now stand before the Father, making intercession, on behalf of his Family, eternally.
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” many a times we are like general crowds and blind followers. But we find in this text Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, who cries a loud “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” He could actually sense Jesus as The Messiah. “Son of David,” we need to be persistent in our crying in and conversation with Jesus and he will definitely heal us, touch us, and bring forth the fruit of faith and simply but faithful following of him, like Bartimaeus. Our faith will help us to recognise and ask in full confidence our needs. And Jesus will bless us persistence to come before him, just like blind Bartimaeus. Forget about the crowd around you, like him show your faith and confidence in Jesus, and he will be near to you in every way. Most importantly, Bartimaeus understands Jesus has healed him, so he can Follow-him, and so starts to do so. Do we want to stay blind OR are we ready to be persistence in our asking Jesus to make us whole, are we ready to show are faith in action, are we ready to follow him?