1 Peter 2:5
5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
I have been working my way trough the book of Exodus over the last month or so in my daily reading. The last few day have been in chapters 29-32. In these chapters God lays out His plans for how He wants to be interacted with by the people of Israel, whom God has chosen to worship Him. Specifically, he lays out the regulations and duties for the priesthood.
In these regulations God describes what the priests should wear and how they were to perform sacrifices. He regulates what they should eat and how they should setup the area of worship. Through these regulations God establishes a protocol though which the people of Israel could properly worship God with limited access to Him through the priesthood. Essentially, the general population needed the mediation of the priesthood to interact with God.
What then do we make of Peter’s declaration that Christians are “a holy priesthood”?
First, it means that we are no longer without direct access to God. For me this is a great truth that is most often taken for granted. The reality is that the supreme power that created everything from nothing has an open door policy. How incredible is that? Think of all the people you don’t have access to. I mean, can you call the president on a whim? There are times I can’t even get ahold of my wife who loves me dearly, but yet God is always available.
Second, Peter is challenging us to remember that one of the reasons we have been reconciled to God through Christ is so that we may minster to the Father and to each other. Many times we read the writings in the Old Testament and wonder how does this apply to anything today. In this instance God’s regulations for the priesthood demonstrate that God requires from the priesthood daily worship and daily sacrifice. These duties are performed not only to God but also as a way to minister to the people.
What is the application?
I think the application is that we need to embrace our roles as holy priests. We do this by:
1)Recognizing that part of our duties is to daily offer worship and sacrifice to God. We have access through Christ. This challenges us to not just show up at church on Sunday, but to earnestly and daily seek ways that we can praise, sacrifice, and bring glory to the Father and His works.
2)Recognizing that part of our newfound priesthood is that we are called to minister to each other. Jesus told us that loving God was the number one priority in this life. The second priority was loving one another. This is challenging because we are taught culturally that we have to look out for ourselves. We are taught to only show love to those who reciprocate it back. As holy priests we are called to extend the same grace and forgiveness that Jesus extended to us to reconcile us to God.
Heavenly Father, thank you God that we have an open line to offer up this prayer. Thank you Lord Jesus for your atoning work on the cross. We worship you today Father and you alone. You have called us to worship and sacrifice. Forgive us where we have regulated you to a secondary concern in our lives. Help with temptations and to recognize those things that draw our worship away from you. Father help us love others the way you have loved others. Help us forgive the way you forgive. We lift this day to you. Bless us, your holy priesthood. In Jesus name. Amen.