A Royal Priesthood

8.15.22 Devo Image

“They made the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth—the work of a weaver— with an opening in the center of the robe like the opening of a collar, and a band around this opening, so that it would not tear. They made pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen around the hem of the robe. And they made bells of pure gold and attached them around the hem between the pomegranates. The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the Lord commanded Moses. For Aaron and his sons, they made tunics of fine linen—the work of a weaver— and the turban of fine linen, the linen caps and the undergarments of finely twisted linen. The sash was made of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn—the work of an embroiderer—as the Lord commanded Moses. They made the plate, the sacred emblem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal: holy to the Lord. Then they fastened a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban, as the Lord commanded Moses.”—Exodus 39:22–31 (NIV)

This section on the priestly garments are meant to show us how God’s priests weren’t meant to fit in. In fact, they were to be set apart among those who serve in the sanctuary. This idea lines up with the whole theme of the Old Testament of God forming His people to be a light in a dark world. 

God desires His people to live their lives as His special people, set apart from the world. Their lives shouldn’t be shaped by the patterns of this world, but formed by and through the Lord. In the same way these priests were meant to stick out among the people, so should all of God’s people.

But wait . . . we aren’t priests, are we? 

Actually, according to God we are! God’s original desire in calling His people out of Egypt was to make them into an entire kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:1–6). The priestly institution was only needed because sin still separated mankind from their heavenly Father. At one point in history, we needed priests to be a mediator between us and God, but now, through Jesus, we have direct access to God. This isn’t God doing away with the old covenant, but renewing it and making it better. Same God, same mission.

Listen to what Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:9–10 (NIV): “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, . . . Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

In the new covenant, Jesus is not only our truer and better High Priest, but He also invites us to share in His priesthood. In Hebrews 10, the author shows how Jesus is the ultimate High Priest who not only intercedes on behalf of His people, but actually removes sins and brings restoration to the people of God!

We have become a chosen race, a royal priesthood, all because of the finished work of Jesus. As priests, we represent God wherever we are and honor God in everything we do. We’re called to embody the heart of a priest in every atmosphere and in every environment. We’re ultimately ambassadors of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:20). 

In the same way the priestly garments were meant to display the glory and splendor of the Lord, the entirety of our lives is meant to display God’s glory and splendor. This is why Paul writes in Romans 12:1 (NIV) that we are to present our lives “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”

The good news is, you can be a priest anywhere! You can be a priest where you live, where you work, and where you play. Priests offer the entirety of their lives to the work and mission of God. God desires to be sovereign over every part of your life—your job, your family, and your relationships. It’s in those environments where you can honor God and join Him in His work to make all things new. Just as an Old Testament priest partners with God in His mission, so do you as a Christian. 

Pause: As you start to see yourself as a type of priest, how might that change how you live at home or at your work?

Practice: Think about the areas of your life that seem out of your control. Is it your job, your family, or your relationships? You can give God control by surrendering those cares to Him.

Pray: Jesus, I want to join You in Your mission to make all things new. Thank You for taking me out of spiritual darkness and bringing me into your marvelous light. Thank You for bringing me into Your family, into Your kingdom of priests. Help me to live differently and to live a fully surrendered life to You and You alone. Amen.