A HOLY AND ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
In the Old Testament, God's people had and regarded the office of a priest highly. Just as Christians in a church know who their pastor is, God's people in Israel knew who their priests were. A whole tribe (the Levites), was set aside to lead Israel as priests and worship leaders. But in the new covenant, God calls all His children, a holy and royal priesthood.
Reference: 1 Peter 2:5 New International Version (NIV) 'You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.'
In the old covenant, the temple, the priest, and the sacrifice are the three constituents of worship, and it remained so before Christ came. But when Christ came, we became a temple through Him. He is now our Great High Priest and we became priests through Him (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV). He offered Himself as the One and only true sacrifice for man, and now we've become acceptable sacrifices to God through Him (Romans 12:1 KJV). Today all of God's people are a holy priesthood. Why? Because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
Christ's sacrifice is unique and by surrendering Himself, it stands alone in perfection, as being absolute and stainless. His sacrifice as expiation, stands alone in peculiarity, without comparison, and incapable of repetition, imitation, and limitation. So our life should be a living sacrifice, being lived in continual reverence to God. In Christ, we offer the sacrifice of praise and present our 'incense' of prayer to God continually.
By the virtue of Christ's sacrifice, no child of God needs to come to God through any local priest or by anyone's account. We have the right to come and dwell in the presence of God through One Mediator, Jesus Christ (see 1 Timothy 2:1-6). What a privilege we have! This also reminds us that in John 14:6 (NIV), Jesus said, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'
Unlike the Old Testament priests, we don't have to wear any special garments, go through elaborate ceremonies, or live apart from people, to be and dwell in God's presence. His presence is with us and in us through His Spirit, and today, the Holy Spirit at work in us builds us into spiritual house, as we mature in Christ.
Again, in the old covenant, being a priest required an individual calling. But in Christ, every new creature is a qualified priest, and together as born again Christians, we are Kings and priests unto God. Revelation 1:6 (KJV) says, 'And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.' Therefore each one of us is called to walk in the light of our priesthood, holy and dedicated to God. No wonder, the apostle Paul calls us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, which is our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1 KJV).
Our role as priests is to approach God on behalf of others. A priest is an intercessor. 1 Peter 2:9 also tells us that we are a royal priesthood. So we are not ordinary priests. As royal priests, God has ordained us to reign and rule in life, with the consciousness that we are royalties. We have been divinely mandated to exercise authority and dominion over the devil and the negative forces of this world.
The Bible says that you shall decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you (see Job 22:28). Therefore be bold to function as a priest and make decrees as a royalty, in line with the Word of God, and whatsoever you declare shall come to pass.
Scripture Reading - Exodus 19:6; Romans 5:17; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6.
Guided Prayer: Father in heaven, I'm grateful that you've called me to be a king and a priest unto you in my world. By your Spirit, I'm empowered to love, serve and pray for others, and to reign and rule in life. Therefore I live daily as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to you and your kingdom, and I reign in righteousness, influencing my world with the glorious Gospel, in Jesus' Name, Amen!