As I stated in my last post, in the Bible the main function of a priest was to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people. The Old Testament temple worship revolved around two altars: the bronze altar in the temple courtyard where animals were offered and the altar of incense within the Temple where incense was offered up.
The Bible keeps that emphasis on offering sacrifice when it talks about Jesus and the Melchizedek priesthood. The book of Hebrews, the only place in the New Testament that describes Jesus as a priest, centers on the idea of sacrifice and that he, by offering himself, offered the final and ultimate sacrifice for sin. (See my last post for one small example of that.) But not once, in the entire book, does it even mention, much less elaborate, on priesthood authority.
This connection between priesthood and sacrifice cannot just be flippantly ignored. This holds true especially because Mormonism says that, through Joseph Smith, the priesthood was restored. Restoring implies that the same thing is involved. I don’t build an airplane and call it a restored car.
This is my question. Just for the sake of discussion, assume that I accept the premise (which most of you know I don’t) that many things about the priesthood have been lost – wouldn’t it still be true if the priesthood was restored that a major function of it would be sacrifice? If not, then wouldn’t it be true that not only would I have to believe that many things about the priesthood had been lost, but everything the Bible says about the priesthood is wrong? What function of the priesthood that the Bible connects to priests does Mormonism still retain? (It doesn’t connect baptism with the priesthood. James 5:14 doesn’t mention priests either.)