1 Chronicles 24 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence
This passage contains another long list of names of men that have long been forgotten but who served a very important purpose in the redemption of God’s people. These direct descendants of Aaron were chosen by God to serve as priests in the temple in Jerusalem. They did not volunteer to serve in this capacity, nor were they elected by the people but were appointed by God to serve as mediators between God and men offering the daily sacrifices for sins that foreshadowed the coming sacrifice of Christ. As it is pointed out later on in Hebrews 5:4, none of these men would take this honor for themselves but only when called by God. In the same manner, the Lord Jesus himself did not take this honor upon himself but was appointed by his father to offer his own body as the perfect and final sacrifice for sin.
But why were so many priests needed in the Old Testament to point to the single priesthood of Christ? Well, eventually, all of those men would perish and be unable to fulfill their sacramental duties, whereas the resurrected Christ lives forever and the offering of his righteous body also endures for all time. Additionally, due to weakness, the other men could not continually serve in the temple hour by hour, day by day, without the need for rest, without the potential for sickness, and without the potential for defilement due to their own personal sin. That is the reason that David established a rotation of twenty-four divisions of priests to serve in the temple day and night. And we see this rotation of priests still in place at the time of Christ’s birth, for we see in Luke 1:5 that when Zechariah encountered the angel of the Lord, he was ministering in the temple at that particular time since he was a member of the division of Abijah whose lot had been called for that month. But why is this rotation important?
It was absolutely essential for God to continue to dwell in the midst of Israel that a priest could both perform the daily sacrifices and stand on behalf of Israel to make intercession. Without those sacrifices and without that continual intercession, there could be no forgiveness of sin and no reconciliation between God and man. Because the resurrected Jesus does not grow weary, nor is he subject to sin nor beset with weakness, he is able to “save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them,” as it is recorded in Hebrews 7:25. Thus we see from this long list of names in the Old Testament something of the great necessity and scope of the work of the priests who all point us to the perfect mediator of the new covenant, the Lord Jesus Christ who ushers us into the very presence of God through the efficacy of his prayers and the power of his indestructible life. Every morning and every evening he stands ready to assist us to draw near unto God through the glory of his name.