A Royal Priesthood

If you’re a follower, online or in real life, you know how I feel about the Old Testament: everything is a metaphor.  The nation of Israel, sacrificial system, temple, alter, high priest, exodus from Egypt, brass serpent, passover, circumcision, etc. are all symbolic of what Christ does in the New Testament.  You’ve probably heard me say (or at least read) that Moses leading the Hebrews through the wilderness is a portrait of Jesus leading us through this present wilderness.  They were marching toward the “promised land” and so are we.  Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac… you get the point.  Is there an analogy left that I could possibly make?  Why yes, yes there is.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  –1 Peter 2:9

We – all Christians – are priests.  Under the old covenant there was only one high priest at a time but many priests.  In a greater sense, the entire nation of Israel served as priests.  God dwelt among them, and they were his messengers to the entire human race.  The Hebrews were given the Law, the prophets, and the Word of God.  He told them they would know his name; they were his people and he was their God.  Belief in the one true God was not restricted to them only.  Anyone in their gates or their house was to observe the Sabbath.  Others could observe the Passover.  There were other Jewish worshipers besides ethnic Jews.  Look no farther than the day of Pentecost.  Believers had come from all over to Jerusalem, from distant lands speaking foreign languages.  The Hebrews were chosen by God to disciple the nations.  They were his chosen people – his priesthood – to the rest of mankind.

The Hebrew people in the Old Testament are a metaphor for modern day Christians.  We possess the Good News and are alive in Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The world around us needs the salt and the light that we possess and are called to share.  Jesus Christ is the High Priest; he continually goes into God’s presence to make intercession.  But we are all ambassadors for the Kingdom.  We are God’s people in this world that know and call upon his name, so that through us all people may know him.

All Christians – church pastors and truck drivers, seminary professors and brick layers – are to do the work of an evangelist.  Regardless of profession, race, gender, social or economic status we are all disciples.  We are called to imitate Christ and continue doing the things he did while on earth.  Our true identity is found in hidden in Christ, and in him we are all somebody.

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One thought on “A Royal Priesthood

  1. Memories . . . Soon after my conversion which was a few months before becoming a nun in the Roman Catholic Church, I told a priest that I was now a priest, and the look on his face changed from shock and horror to anger.

    Truly we serve an amazing God who has given us sooooooooo much. It will never cease to amaze me that the almighty creator God, perfect in every way, would WANT me and would adopt me into His own family and be with me at all times.

    What an amazing God!
    What a wonderful Saviour!

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