Christian Identity: What does it mean to be a royal ‘priesthood’?

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

We’ll talk today more about the ‘priesthood’ part of this verse. Being a ‘priest’ is a really important part of your identity as a Christian. Being a ‘priest’ implies you have functions and roles, and that these were ordained for you by God. Let’s explore what priesthood means for you as a Christian today by taking a look at the very first priestly consecration ceremony in the book of Leviticus. I love looking at Leviticus through the lens of the book of Hebrews, which reminds us that all of these things were just a ‘shadow of what was to come’ (Hebrews 10:1). 

Consecration of the Priesthood

Leviticus 8 describes an elaborate consecration ceremony that was prescribed by God. The Hebrew word used here for ‘Consecration’ is ‘qadash’ and refers to, appointing, setting apart, preparing, sanctifying and making holy. It’s the Hebrew word used when God set apart the seventh day: He consecrated it and made it holy. Did you know that God has set your whole life apart for Himself? Did you know He gives you a hope and a future with specific, appointed purposes? This is not because of anything you or I have done: ‘no one takes this honour upon himself but he who is chosen by God just as Aaron was’ (Hebrews 5:4).


Priestly Consecration by Oil

And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him. Leviticus 8:12 

I believe that the oil here represents God the Father’s consecration. Oil often has a purpose and function. For example, olive oil may be for cooking but myrrh oil for burial preparation. God the Father is the One in the Trinity who holds divine will. Oil is also the rich fuel for burning any aromas or light sources, implying the worship and praise that we give to God the Father.  I just love that each of us are made uniquely to bring to light a specific aspect of our Creator! (Just like the oils in the featured image all have a unique purpose!)


Priestly Consecration by Water

Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. Leviticus 8:6

I think the water here represents the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us as priests by continually refreshing us and helping us to maintain a clean, repentant and joyful heart before God! 

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:38 ESV


Priestly Consecration by Blood

And he brought the second ram, the ram of consecration…he took some of its blood and put it on the tip of Aaron’s ear… Leviticus 8:22-23 

As the priesthood of believers we are made holy by the blood of Jesus Christ, the final and true sacrifice.  Our priestly duties of ministering to God by worshiping Him and following His ways are only possible because of the blood of Jesus. 


Jesus our High Priest

Jesus is the perfect High Priest because He is the one who mediates between God and man. He is the one who has offered up a perfect sacrifice for eternal atonement of sin. Without the consecration of Jesus’ blood we would never be worthy to minister to God in His presence as priests. But because of it, He is not ashamed to call us brethren (Hebrews 2:12). If we ever get confused or feel unworthy of our priestly duties as children of God, we can come ‘boldly to the throne to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16b NKJV).


Dear Lord, would you help me to become the priest you have called me to be? To worship you in your temple with worship that is pleasing to you. To minister to people with love and in holiness. And o live worthy of your consecration of oil, water and blood. I love you Lord. Amen.

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