Offering Sacrifices Through God’s Effectual Priesthood
What were some of the pre-Christian ways by which man could approach Jehovah God and commune with him?
There were angels who ministered in a great variety of ways to the needs of man, and by means of them men had contact with God. The patriarchs themselves served as a priesthood or way of approach to Jehovah God for their households, as did, for example, Abraham and Job. (Job 1:5) And with the establishment of the nation of Israel, the Aaronic priesthood, and in particular the high priest, served as a way of approach to God and a means of communication with Him.—Heb. 5:4.*
What qualifications does Jesus Christ have to serve as God’s effectual high priest today?
First of all, because of his perfection and faithfulness to death, he was uniquely able to provide an actual sin-atoning sacrifice by laying down his body and his perfect human life, on the torture stake. He was raised from the dead a glorious spirit creature and ascended to heaven, there to present the value of his sacrifice to Jehovah God. He is alive evermore to serve as a sacrificial priest to all who exercise faith in his ransom sacrifice, and he will restore all obedient humankind to perfection during his Kingdom rule.—Heb. 9:11-14.
What are the requirements or duties of the priesthood today as foreshadowed by the Aaronic priesthood?
Christ’s underpriests today are the remaining ones of his anointed footstep followers. Just as the typical priests saw to it that the animal sacrifices met with Jehovah’s requirements, so Christ’s priesthood of today and their helpers must see to it that each one is offering up a sacrifice of praise commensurate with one’s ability. They are to make clear God’s requirements as to what kinds of sacrifices are acceptable to Him.—Mal. 1:7-9.
Even as the priests and Levites had much work to do in connection with the sacrificial offerings of the people, so today the responsible servants in the congregations have much work to do in the way of drawing up schedules, preparing programs, arranging meetings, organizing effective arrangements for field service, seeing that all matters relating to the Kingdom Hall are taken care of, and that there are sufficient literature and territory available for use by the publishers.—1 Thess. 5:12, 13.
Further, as it was the duty of the priests back there to sound the trumpet for assembling the people and to prepare for battle, so the remnant today and their helpers must sound a distinct call to all to gather to Jehovah’s organization and to engage in spiritual warfare against Jehovah’s enemies.—2 Cor. 10:3-6; Eph. 6:10-18.
Then again, even as the lips of the Aaronic priests kept knowledge, and the law is what the people sought at their mouth, so today the remnant of Christ’s body are obligated to keep on ministering to their fellow worshipers their spiritual food at the proper time.—Matt. 24:45-47.
What obligation do the words at Hebrews 13:15 place upon the anointed remnant and their helpers?
‘To offer the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of their lips which make public declaration to Jehovah’s name.’ One way of doing this is by speaking up at congregational meetings, as counseled at Hebrews 10:23-25. This requires thoughtful and thorough advance preparation. Among other ways this can be done is by going from house to house with the good news of God’s kingdom in printed form, by making return visits where interest in Bible truth is found, and by conducting Bible studies in the homes of those who want to learn more about Jehovah God and his will and purposes for humankind.
Zealous servants of Jehovah will also be alert not to overlook any opportunities to witness incidentally wherever possible. Taking advantage of such opportunities not only brings much joy to the Kingdom publisher himself but time and again has resulted in helping persons get on the road to everlasting life in God’s new system of things.
All of the anointed spiritual priesthood and their “other sheep” helpers will therefore want to be diligent during November by offering sacrifices of praise, glorifying Jehovah’s name.
For details see The Watchtower, June 1 and 15, 1968.