A priest continues on as planned
Obedient to God’s command
He has a weighty charge to plead:
This is the day he’ll intercede.
Who is this priest whom we describe?
A faithful man from Levi’s tribe
His lineage perfect for the task
God’s mercy on the Jews to ask.
Atonement must be made for sin
Israel is not a guiltless kin
Jehovah’s anger won’t withdraw
From men who broke His holy law!
Silence befits the charge at hand
All Jewish work today is banned
The people wait in great suspense
Each pondering their own offence.
Even the priest should not commune
Of sinful deeds his life is strewn
Afraid! He is a sinner frail
Yet he must go beyond the veil!
So first he’ll slay a guiltless beast
To cover his own sins as priest
And then for Israel’s sins at last
A lot among two goats he’ll cast
One goat shall be slaughtered today
The other must be sent away
To wilderness will soon be lead
With Israel’s guilt upon its head!
His hands prepared with sweet incense
A greater task he’ll now commence:
He trembles now with daunting fear
Men only enter once per year!
Beyond the veil, most holy place
For Yahweh’s glory fills that space!
The priest in reverence is awed
By such great glory of his God!
He drips blood on the mercy seat
Seven times, done, this work’s complete.
But even this will not suffice:
It points to future sacrifice.
A Priest, He suffers on a hill
For sinful men His blood to spill.
So willingly He’ll pay the cost
And die upon a Roman cross!
Who is this Priest whom mockers prod?
The very living Son of God
The serpent-crushing woman’s Seed
Jesus, Messiah, Lord indeed!
No man can recognize His face
Enduring such a great disgrace
A painful death without relief
Treated as though He were a thief!
In agony for the perverse
How willingly He takes their curse!
The Sinless One, the Father shunned
Communion blackened like the sun!
“Eloi, lama sabachthani?”
“My God, have you forsaken me?”
At last an end comes to His cries:
He yields His spirit up and dies.
Yet following His last exhale
Apart is rent the temple veil
The ground, it jolts with tremored roar
Saints come to life, t’were dead before!
Lo, three days later from the grave
Christ rose, eternally to save
Ascended after forty days
To Him be glory, laud, and praise!
This High Priest paid our debt in full
That couldn’t be done by goat or bull
Priests used to be replaced at death
But Christ is source of every breath!
Right now He’s sitting at the throne
And interceding for His own
So then if satan dares condemn
Christ still declares “I paid for them!”
‘Tis written in the scriptures true
He pleads for sinners, not a few
A multitude, none knows the sum
From every nation, tribe, and tongue.
A priest so humbly bows his head
He knows Christ suffered in his stead
Yet still it seems him very odd
That he should be a priest to God!
Who is this priest and royal heir?
A Gentile seeking God in prayer
He seems to have no outward worth
He wasn’t even Jew by birth.
T’was sinner, dead, in need of grace
Condemned like all of Adam’s race
He lived in vain pride, lust, and strife
Yet one day he was brought to life!
And now he sees things as he ought
There is no need to be distraught
Though God his awful deeds has known
He still comes boldly to the throne!
No temple veil to hold him back
In Christ, his priesthood has no lack
He’s not restricted “once per year”
His great High Priest is always near!
No need to sacrifice a lamb
To stand before the great I AM
No cause for sulking in distress
God sees him in Christ’s righteousness!
Thus as a joint-heir with the Son
Partaker of the age to come
He’ll tell the world of his release
And point them to his great High Priest.