What Do Priests Do, Anyway? And Why We Need To Know
In my journey through scripture this year, I've arrived in Exodus as Moses leads Israel out of Egypt, arriving at Mount Sinai where he meets with God and receives instructions for how the people are to live.
Moses comes down from the mountain, his face is shining with glory so distinctly he has to cover it up. What an amazing sight it would've been! Yet we're reminded in 2 Cor 3:9-11 the glory radiating from Moses was nothing in comparison to that of the glory Christ. The ministry of righteousness, the new covenant in the finished work of Jesus, far exceeds the old.
"Righteousness is what Christ grants his people by means of his covenantal obedience, sacrificial death, victorious resurrection, and heavenly intercession."
In The Royal Priesthood and the Glory of God the author takes us through a study of the priesthood from Genesis to Revelation, so we can delight more fully in the glory of God's son, our great high priest.
The priesthood seems mysterious - and maybe a little much with all the blood and sacrifices - which makes it all the more important for us to grow in understanding, especially because the theme of the priesthood is significant to understanding the gospel: Consider the priestly offering of Jesus to atone for our sins, or how the church is called to function as priests (1 Pet 2:5).
He defines priesthood in this way: "Priests are consecrated, mediators between God and his covenant people, who stand to serve at God's altar sanctifying God's Holy Place, sacrificing God's offerings and speaking God's covenant."
As he leads us first through the Old Testament, we see every form of worship centers on the priests and their sacrificial duties. We watch as they neglect their responsibilities and the consequences which result. Through the prophets, God speaks of a royal priest, a new and better priest, who will come to create a whole new kingdom of priests.
In the Gospels, we discover Jesus' priestly activities and how the Lord's supper points to the application of blood at Passover, the new covenant being established, and the priestly meal of wine and bread.
After Jesus' ascension, priestly activities are no longer restricted to the priests and Levites, but are now a part of all who love and follow Him. Through the New Testament letters, he shows us how the church sanctifies the house of God, speaks the words of God, and offers spiritual sacrifices.
Friend, you may not be interested in a deep study like this, but as believers our priestly role is important, particularly in these times. We sanctify the church by serving, worshiping and becoming more like our Savior. We speak the words of God as we pray, hear and read scripture, and proclaim the gospel to others. We offer spiritual sacrifices by serving one another, extending grace to each other and sharing the Lord's supper as a community.
Each of these activities points us more toward the worship of God, not the world, nor our selfish desires. May we consider seriously our role within our local body of believers and with one heart and mind worship the Lord.
# of pages: 208
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
My Rating: 5 stars
*A big thanks to Crossway for the complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to post an honest review.