A Royal Priesthood

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light -
I Peter 2:9.

    The Apostle Peter calls us a “royal priesthood.” One of the pastors I know shared this insight with me. He said that in the Old Testament the Levitical priesthood would represent the people before God. Jesus is a priest of a different order, a priest after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 5:6,10) who came to Abraham offering him bread and wine. This royal order of priests represents God to the people as Jesus did when He came to earth and represented God the Father. Jesus is the image of God, (Hebrews 1:3.)When Jesus offers us His bread and wine, He is inviting us to partake of His royal priesthood and we are also called to represent God before the people; we are “Ambassadors of Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20.)
    It is a high and holy calling and we are admonished to walk worthy of it (Ephesians 4:1, Colossians 1:10.) How do you think it will affect our behavior in this life if we continually think of ourselves as royal priests?
    This image also has great meaning for those of us who have come out of not so sanctified lineages. Many have struggled to overcome the sins that have pervaded their family lines. The Apostle Paul notes that Melchisedec is “without father or mother” (Hebrews 7:3). There is no earthly lineage associated with him. Can we picture ourselves coming before Jesus our High Priest? Through His cross He has adorned us in His white robe of righteousness. He offers us His bread and wine. We take His offering with grateful hands, and then as we turn to face those He has called us to serve, the dark lineages of our troubled ancestors are deftly severed. Those lines have been replaced with a holy lineage for we have been reborn into God’s eternal kingdom. Jesus is our High Priest who directs our service and we can begin again as a totally new creation in Him.
    You look down at the bread in your hands which represents His Word, and the wine in the cup you are holding which represents His Spirit. They are yours to share.
    Partake of them, rejoice and show forth the praises of the One who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light!

copyright 2009 by H.D. Shively

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