Holy Priesthood

Peter told the church that “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5). He also said that the church is “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1 Pet. 2:9).

When the Law of Moses was handed down on the mountains of Sinai and the tabernacle was constructed and finally assembled, God authorized specific people from the tribe of Levi to be the priests of the tabernacle. Moses was told to, “take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.” (Ex. 28:1).

It was the responsibility of these priests to offer sacrifices to God on behalf of the people of Israel (Lev. 1:17). The priests were also made to wear special clothing that would set them apart from others. We are told, “And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” (Ex. 28:4).

But, both the Law of Moses and the Levitical priesthood was taken away when Jesus died on the cross for mankind. Paul wrote, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” (Eph. 2:13‐16). Thus, since the priesthood had changed, it was necessary to change the law (Heb. 7:12).

Under the Christian time, Jesus Christ is our “great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” (Heb. 4:14). Under his teachings, there is no special class of priest among the people. Under Christ, every Christian is a priest and is authorized to go directly to God through Jesus Christ to confess HIS sins and to OFFER up his worship for the Hebrew writer said, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Heb. 13:15-16). How blessed Christians are today to be able to be a priest under our great high Priest!

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