The Aaronic priesthood was established in the Old Testament as a means of facilitating the relationship between God and his people, Israel. The priests were responsible for performing various religious duties, including offering sacrifices and conducting worship services.
The purification ritual you mentioned involved the transfer of sins onto an animal, which was then sacrificed, symbolically removing the sins of the people and allowing the priests to serve God in a state of purity. This ritual was necessary under the Old Covenant, as it was the means by which God had provided for the forgiveness of sins.
However, with the coming of Jesus Christ, a new covenant was established. Jesus became the final sacrifice for sins, and through his death and resurrection, he provided a way for all people to be forgiven of their sins. This new covenant made the old way of approaching God through the Aaronic priesthood obsolete.
In the book of Hebrews, the author explains that Jesus is the high priest of a new and better covenant, one that has replaced the old covenant and the Aaronic priesthood:
“Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent, was warned, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises” (Hebrews 8:1-6).
In light of this, there is no longer a need for the Aaronic priesthood as it was under the Old Covenant. The role of the high priest has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ, and he alone is able to intercede on behalf of his people before God.
The idea of the Aaronic priesthood and its rituals can be found in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Leviticus. The priesthood was established by God through Moses and was specifically designated for the tribe of Levi, from which Aaron was a descendant. The priests were responsible for performing various duties, including offering sacrifices and maintaining the sanctuary.
One of the key rituals performed by the priests was the Day of Atonement, which is described in Leviticus 16. On this day, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and offer sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. This included transferring the sins of the people onto a goat, which was then sent out into the wilderness, symbolically removing the sins from the people.
However, as you noted, the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant was ultimately fulfilled by Jesus Christ. He became the final sacrifice for sins, and his death and resurrection provided a way for all people to be reconciled to God. This is described in several places in the New Testament:
- John 1:29: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
- Hebrews 9:11-14: “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
- Hebrews 10:11-14: “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
In light of these scriptures, it is clear that the role of the Aaronic priesthood and its rituals was fulfilled by Jesus Christ. He became the final sacrifice for sins, and his death and resurrection provided a way for all people to be reconciled to God. Therefore, there is no longer a need for the Aaronic priesthood as it was under the Old Covenant. The role of the high priest has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ, and he alone is able to intercede on behalf of his people before God.