No Jewish High Priest for Me!
September 30th, 2017
(Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four)
JimSpace makes an number of interesting, if ultimately poorly-reasoned, arguments to the effect that Jesus' offering himself as a sacrifice and his serving as our High Priest require that he was raised up as a spirit being, ceasing to be a human being. I will be responding to these argument as he presents them in his post Passing Through the Curtain.
Additionally, as the High Priest carried only the sacrificial blood and not the sacrificed body past the curtain into the Most Holy, so Jesus then as our High Priest carried the value of his lifeblood that he willfully sacrificed in death and not his sacrificed body through the spiritual curtain.
The basic flaw I find in his arguments presently under consideration is that they press OT type and NT fulfillment too far. (It's a similar mistake as taking an analogy to far.) While OT types are fulfilled in the NT, not every aspect or detail of the OT type is fulfilled in the fulfillment of the type as a whole. And, we must be cautious in assuming this or that finds typological fulfillment in the NT.
Specifically, Paul doesn't mention anything about Jesus leaving behind his body, so we should not assume he must have as part of his fulfilling the OT type of the sacrifices prescribed under the Mosaic Law Covenant. Especially is this so where making that assumption would lead us to contradict the rest of the Scriptural witness, including those mentioned in the previous post.
Paul then compares the curtain, which separated the first compartment from the Most Holy compartment, to Christ’s flesh.
Since the Curtain "is" his flesh, why did Jim say that curtain was "spiritual" earlier?
The high priest in passing into the Most Holy, into God’s typical presence, did not carry the curtain with him but passed through that barrier and beyond it, so that it was behind him.
That is correct, but the high priests of the Old Covenant also didn't offer up the "curtain"; but Christ's flesh is both the curtain - which unlike the typical curtain, which prevented access to the Most Holy, facilitates our access thereto - and the offering. So this observation doesn't strengthen his case at all, since it undermines his assumption that there is a point-for-point correspondence between the OT type of sacrifices and its NT fulfillment in Christ.
he had actually presented the value of his sacrificed lifeblood to his Father in the spiritual Most Holy on the day of his resurrection.
A small, and ultimately irrelevant point, but John 20:17 seems to contradict this claim. And, since Jesus indicates that his body was human (and not merely appeared to be human), this would only strengthen my case.
After Jesus died on Nisan 14, the Temple’s curtain was rent from top to bottom down the middle. (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45) The rending was doubtlessly a devastating, unmendable tearing. As the curtain signified Jesus’ flesh (Hebrews 10:20), a symbolic barrier preventing Jesus’ entry into heaven, its rending was a dynamic demonstration that his flesh was no longer a barrier to his entry into the spirit realm or heaven.
Keeping in mind what I've previously said, why should we assume that it was his flesh (human body) pure and simple that prevented him from entering the Most Holy and thus needed to be discarded? Moreover, wouldn't the curtain still exist, and thus Jesus still possess his flesh (in some form)? Assuming that there is a type here, which the Bible doesn't explicitly claim, it would seem to be this: the rending of the literal temple curtain, which enabled entrance to the typical Most Holy place, was a type foreshadowing the fact that Jesus' mortal body must be killed (it was just prior to the rending), to enable access to the Most Holy place. Taken this way, this fulfillment-then-type (a strange order for typlogical fulfillment) doesn't imply that Jesus didn't take on glorified and now incorruptible human flesh after his resurrection.
Therefore, on Nisan 16 Jesus was resurrected and passed through the spiritual curtain with his sacrificed body outside, with the torn physical curtain now having exhausted its purpose before God. . . .
The [M]essiah he would likewise leave his sacrificed body behind, just like the High Priest on Atonement Day who left the sacrificed body outside. Sacrificed bodies always remain outside, as Hebrews 13:11-12 and Leviticus 16:27 make clear, even equating the burned up animal sacrifice outside the Temple with Jesus’ sacrificed body.—Hebrews 10:10
The point of Hebrews 13:11-12 isn't that Jesus left his human body "outside" never to assume it again (in glorified form) but that, since he suffered outside of the city (Jerusalem), we too should suffer outside of the city, spurning it, but hoping for the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:13,14)
As Jesus was born from the tribe of Judah and not the priestly tribe of Levi, he could not serve as the Christian High Priest if he retained his Judahite body.—Matthew 1 and Luke 3 genealogies; Revelation 5:5; Numbers 1:50, 51.
Jim's reasoning seems to be: under the Mosaic Law, only a Levite descended from Aaron could serve as High Priest, so Jesus couldn't be a Judean if he serves as our High Priest. Not only is it not exactly the most convincing reasoning (we're not under the Mosaic Law), but it practically gets things backwards.
Hebrews 7:12-14 - For since the priesthood is being changed, it becomes necessary to change the Law as well. For the man about whom these things are said came from another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord has descended from Judah, yet Moses said nothing about priests coming from that tribe.
It is because Jesus becomes the High Priest as a Judean - and indestructible Judean at that! (v. 16) - that Paul is able to discern that the Law or Covenant is getting replaced by something better, the New Covenant. Paul's reasoning seem to require Jesus being Judean, and thus human - as his used of "man" in the passage quoted above indicates.
And that is a fitting way to conclude this series, with yet another argument indicating that Jesus is a human after all - and one I had not considered until I read his post. I may return this topic in the future.
 And, it seems to me that if Jim thinks the requirements for the OT high priests apply to Christ, he should conclude that Christ must be Levite, and thus human. (But Jim seems to think that the OT requirements only apply a little: Jesus just can't be a Judean.)