In working through the beautiful pictures of the ties between Jesus and the historical High Priests in Hebrews 5, I was really stopped by the following:
"Note also that nobody chooses for himself the honor of being a High Priest, but he is called by God to the work, as was Aaron, the first High Priest in ancient times." (Hebrews 5:4)
So let's look for moment at how Aaron himself was chosen and set apart for this high, terrifying honor, back in Leviticus 8 & 9...
First off, Moses heard from the Lord and was told to call forth all the people - the ἐκκλησίασόν, "the Church called together at the trumpet's sound" - and to present Aaron and his sons before the people. Then Aaron was washed in water, dressed in the ceremonial garb, given the Urim and Thummim - representing the knowledge of the Will of God - and crowned with a crown of holiness. Then he was anointed with oil and sprinkled with blood in the process of laying his hands on the animal sacrifices offered for the people; then he was sent to live in the Tent of Meeting - the place of the Presence - for seven days straight. After which, in offering one great and final sacrifice, in full view of all the people again, "the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering... and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces." (Leviticus 9:23b,24)
In essence, the historical High Priest, a solitary human being serving his role for his generation, was the choice of God to be the gathering-point for the Church; washed, robed and empowered with the will of God; anointed with oil, crowned with holiness and sprinkled with the blood of the sin-offering; and the place upon which the fire and glory of God might drop so that all people, everywhere, might fall on their faces in the Presence...
Sound like Anyone Else we happen to know?!