Priests on duty

I am giving you the priesthood as your special privilege of service. Any unauthorized person who comes too near the sanctuary will be put to death

(Numbers 18:7).

Priests in the old covenant stood as intermediaries between God and man. The priesthood was God’s gift to Israel, for without the priest, the people could not approach God. As long as the priests and the Levites obeyed the order, there would be no judgment against the people.

The priestly ministry was a sacred matter, for if the priests did not follow God’s instruction, they might die. They were not also to permit a stranger to come near the tabernacle of the congregation. God held Aaron and his sons responsible for offences committed against the sanctuary and the priesthood.

There is however, a tremendous contrast between the priesthood of Aaron in the Old Testament and the priesthood of Christ in the New Testament. Aaron and his descendants were the only ones who could carry out the duties of the priests and approach God’s dwelling place. Now that Christ is our High Priest – our own intermediary with God, anyone who follows Him is also called a priest (1 Peter 2:5,9). In the Old Testament times, people did not approach God directly. A priest acted as intermediary between God and sinful man, in the act of mediation. With Christ’s victory on the Cross, that changed. Now every believer can come directly into God’s presence without fear. That’s the essence of priesthood, and this is the sense in which we are to view our place as priests . We are given the responsibility of bringing others to Him also through personal sharing of the word of God with sinners. (Hebrews 4:16; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

As members of His body, true Christians are joined in His priestly work of reconciling men unto God. Therefore, every Christian is to arise as the “royal priest of Christ” and judiciously make use of this priestly office such that sinners can be reconciled unto God and saved from everlasting torment.
Any believer who does not give due prominence to evangelism and intercession has no right to claim being a priest or a king! Passive priesthood is not recognised by God.

As an active “priest and king”, the believer’s privilege has no comparison.
Let’s carry out the ministry of reconciliation and intercession, and let us always stand in the presence of God daily, offering the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to the King of kings.

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