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A View from the Altar / Aaron’s rod that budded (Hebrews 9)
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Aaron’s rod that budded (Hebrews 9)

In Hebrews 9 the inspired writer says the Ark of the Covenant contained a golden pot that had manna, the two tables of containing the ten commandments, and Aaron’s rod that budded.  These were tokens of God’s presence among the Israelites.  They were also unique foreshadowings of the Messiah who was to come.  The manna is not hard to figure out — Christ is the Bread of Life.  The ten commandments are also easy, since Christ is the living Word of God.  The person who was to be the fulfillment of the law would therefore be the incarnate Word and the Bread of Life.

But the budding rod is curious.  Moses tells us it was the rod from an almond tree.  Since it was a rod, it was cut off from the tree and stone dead.  The rod comes to our attention in Numbers 16 when Korah challenged the legitimacy of Aaron’s priesthood and Moses’ rule.  God told the various tribes to present a rod or staff inscribed with the name of the tribe.  The next day, Aaron’s rod blossomed and brought forth almonds, signifying by a miracle that he was God’s choice as priest.

In the middle east, the almond tree is the first tree to blossom each spring.  “Its Hebrew name, shaked , signifying “wakeful, hastening,” is given to it on account of its putting forth its blossoms so early, generally in February, and sometimes even in January.”  (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)   The fact that the true priest’s rod blossomed foretells of One to come who would return to life from the dead.  The Messiah would therefore be resurrected.  The fact that the rod was from an almond tree foretells of One who would be the firstfruits of those who slept.  (1 Cor 15:20)  The Messiah would therefore be the first Man to conquer death.

Note that being the firstfruits from the dead limits the potential candidates for high priest to just one.  There can be only one Most High, and in like manner, there can be only one firstfruits from the dead, and that One is Jesus Christ.  He is therefore the High Priest of the New Testament.  Not only is nobody else eligible; there’s not even anybody else making the claim.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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