An angel with a stamp comes from the rising sun, ready to mark the foreheads of 144,000 of God’s bondservants  (Revelation 7:3). That’s just the spot where Aaron and the other high priests were marked: “Holy to Yahweh” was engraved on the golden blossom at the front of the priest’s turban (Exodus 28:36-38).

Stamped on the forehead, the 144,000 are made priests.

The next time we see them, they are standing on Zion singing a new song and playing harps (Revelation 14:1-3), serving as priests. 

But they are also the “firstfruits” of Yahweh harvest (14:4), and over the course of chapter 14 the firstfruits get harvested. They are the grain and grapes that are snatched up by one like a Son of Man, riding a cloud with a sickle, and then sent into the wine press of the wrath of God.

Jesus is both priest and sacrifice. And as such, he is the model for the 1440,000 saints, who fulfill their priestly service precisely in offering their blood in faithfulness to Jesus.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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