Aaron and His Sons Were Priests Then
The features of the Old Covenant that God designed for his minor children involved many visual dramas to help them understand crucially important spiritual truths. One was the priesthood. People are by nature sinful. They are largely ignorant of God’s works and rebellious against what little they do know. Sin separates people from God. It makes us unfit for his presence during our lives and completely unfit to live in his heaven. People can’t bridge that gap by themselves.
They need a priest. Until Christ came, human priests served as temporary substitutes. God told Moses, “Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons . . . so they may serve me as priests. Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron, to give him dignity and honor” (Exodus 28:1,2). Aaron and his sons were set apart, ritually washed, dressed in specially woven priestly garments, and anointed with specially prepared oil.
They represented the people to God—praying, offering sacrifices, leading worship. They represented God to the people—announcing grace and mercy, reaffirming the covenant relationship for time and eternity.
But Aaron and his sons were sinners too, and the validity of their work depended on another greater Priest to come.