According to the Old Covenant you had to be a descendant of Levi in order to be a priest. The Levites weren’t allowed to own land, and the other tribes were to pay them a tenth of their income to provide for them.
What I would like to draw your attention to though is the fact that Jesus was not of the tribe of Levi. He was from the line of Judah, and Moses never said anything about a priest coming from Judah. While all of us who are believers would agree that Jesus is our High Priest he never would have been qualified to serve as a priest in the earthly Temple.
I find this whole thing to be fascinating to say the least. The Son of God while he walked this earth would never have been able to serve in the Temple. Is this an indicator that the earthly Temple was always meant to be a temporal thing? Could this be why the Temple is still not present on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to this day?
New Testament believers are a part of a new priesthood. Peter tells us that we believers “are living stones that are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” He goes on to call us “A Chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood, A Holy Nation, a people for God’s own possession.” Since Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection all who have received Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit, are now in the priesthood.
In the old days worshippers had to go to a priest in order to come into contact with God. Now days we are the priest who people come to. Isn’t it wonderful how we can bring people into contact with God and even just in everyday life? We don’t have to go to a Temple, or any other building, we just have to call out to him.
One other thing I would like to mention. In the old system of Levitical Priest’s there would always be a new priest on the horizon. Eventually the priest, being human, would die only to have his son to replace him. In this new priesthood we have Jesus Christ as our high priest, and he is our priest forever, because he has an indestructible life and will never be replaced. “Therefore he is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Sometimes I think we as people don’t know when something is over. I mean we start a program, class or job and have the idea it’s going to last forever. God on the other hand started something with us at the Tabernacle and then a more permanent structure called the Temple, but it did come to an end. He never intended for it to be a permanent system. It was only put in place until he sent Jesus Christ his son to die on the cross. With his death, burial and resurrection God accomplished his goal of freeing us from the bondage of sin. We no longer have need of a sacrificial system, earthly Temple or an earthly priesthood. “Jesus Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness for all who believe.” Jesus completed what the Father sent him here to do. We no longer have need of Old Covenant Law or Priests we are in a New Covenant with a new Priesthood under new Law. Amen!
Written by Louie