I was given a new book by a friend of mine that has been quite eye opening. It’s called The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn and I am continually finding things that just expand my understanding of the worship of ancient Israel. The book is essentially a dialogue between a teacher and his student. Here’s the passage I read today (I’m sure I’ll be sharing more in the near future!):
“If the death of Messiah was ordained by God, an event of the highest holiness, why did it happen through such unholy means?”
“How do you know that the means weren’t holy?” he (the teacher) asked.
“It happened through evil men, through bribery, treachery, brutality, and murder… evil.”
“In ancient Israel, who were the ones ordained by God to offer up the sacrifices?” he asked.
“The priesthood,” I said, “the sons of Aaron.”
“And who were the key people involved in delivering Messiah to his death?”
“Led by the high priest and including chief priests of the Temple, the sons of Aaron, the same ones ordained by God to offer up the sacrifices. Why were thy so obsessed with Messiah? They were the priests and He was the Lamb, the sacrifice. So they were the ones to initiate His death. That was their ministry and calling Only they could deliver the Lamb of God to His death. That’s why they conspired and arrested Him and handed Him over to the Romans to be crucified. It was their ministry to offer up the sacrifice.”
“So they killed him because they were the priests and He was the sacrifice?”
“Not because they knew it, but nevertheless, because they were the ones ordained to do so. And beyond the Sanhedrin, it was the high priest who, alone, was ordained to offer up the most holy sacrifice, the atonement by which the nation’s sins were forgiven. And who was it that presided over the Sanhedrin and was more than anyone else responsible for delivering Messiah to His death? The high priest. His intention was murder. Yet he was the one appointed in the Law to offer up the sacrifice. Messiah was the sacrifice. So it was the high priest who had to offer Him up” (The Book of Mysteries: The Priests of the Offering, Day 77).
Could it be true? The priest – and the high priest in particular – were always the ones in the Jewish sacrificial system to offer the the atoning sacrifice on behalf of the people. It was their duty as priests in their ministry to God.
It seems to make perfect sense to me that Jesus (the greatest atonement sacrifice of all!) would also have been handed over to death by the Jewish priests to be the ultimate fulfillment of the Jewish sacrificial system. It was not at all a mark against the Jewish people for handing Christ over to be killed. It was the DUTY of the priests to do just that! They were ordained by God to do this very thing so that Jesus would indeed be the final end to the sacrificial system.
Would things be different if they had known who Jesus really was? Mind blown…