As we transition from Joshua chapter 20 to Joshua chapter 21 … we also are shifting from the Book’s shortest chapter (20) to its longest chapter! Yes, chapter 21 has a total of 45 verses!
Therefore it must be of significant importance, judging from the Holy Spirit’s “emphasis” placed on its content. Yet still, we are in the geographical section of the Book!
More about this later, this “Block” of Scripture will occupy (merit) several days of study, several Lessons.
But for this morning, verse 1 caught my attention. “Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel.” Joshua 21:1
Something about the “Levites,” the men in “full-time” Service for God, they being allowed no other jobs but those involved caring for the things of their Lord. Like caring for the Tabernacle and all its trimmings, its accessories. Hint: they are going to be asking for a place to locate their families! After all, the other Tribes of Israel already have homesteads!
They of course approach their leader “Joshua the son of Num.” But also “Eleazar the Priest!” That would be the “High Priest,” of course.
But what happened to “Aaron?” The original High Priest, brother of Moses? Oh, he died! Numbers 33:38 tells the story, briefly. “And Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and DIED there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month.”
With a dead High Priest, what’s going to happen to the worship patterns of Israel? How will they approach God? How will they deal with their incessant sins?
God, as always, had a remedy!
A nearby verse reminds us: “And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, AND PUT THEM UPON ELEAZAR HIS SON; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount.” Numbers 20:28
One High Priest dead … another one, younger and of the same spirit, waiting to assume that high and holy ministry! Yes, from father to son … both being Levites, would the progression continue for many, many years!
Again, without a High Priest, the religious life of Israel could not have continued! They had to have a “succession” plan in place!
Now to the “point” this morning!
We too, as Christians have a High Priest, Jesus our Saviour!
And He once died!
On Calvary, crucified.
But He was raised from the dead, from the grave! Literally and victoriously so!
Then after 40 days on earth, this living Jesus ascended to Heaven, to His Father’s Side!
Where, now … “He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The “them” being His people, “us” to be more precise, “us” who are born-again Christians! So says Hebrews 7:25. “Making intercession,” that’s as priestly a job as one can imagine!
We, friends, have a High Priest Who will never die!
We therefore shall never experience a single “interruption” in His Ministry to us, Jesus’ serving as High Priest!
“And Aaron was AN HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE years old when he died in mount Hor.” Numbers 33:39, word for word.
But Jesus says: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE.” Revelation 1:18, thrilling! Did you get it? “Alive for evermore!”
Hebrews 13:8 … “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
I’m feeling pretty secure this morning! How about you?
— Dr. Mike Bagwell