Last night she was explaining to me the process that Jews went through when they offered animal sacrifices in atonement for their sins. She was telling me about the different steps they had to go through in order to kill the animal and how the sacrifice really represented them offering up and "killing" their own sins. Things I had never really realized.
Hebrews 5 touches on this a bit. Jesus offered atonement for sins in a personal and direct way but with even greater power and connectivity than had been offered when the sinner brought animal sacrifices to the priests. Verses 5 and 6 reference Psalms 2:7 and 110:4 which prophesied Jesus' divine appointment as a priest. A priest prior to this had to be from the lineage of Aaron. John the Baptist was from Aaron's family but Jesus was from David's. It is my understanding therefore that Jesus could not have been a priest in the traditional sense. Instead, he was divinely appointed by God, His father, to serve as our direct connection and to offer us His saving grace. Yet another paradigm shattered by this teacher from Nazareth.