Welcome to the New Priesthood
8 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” 6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
Take a little bit to be amazed at the covenant God made with His people. The Tabernacle, the Law, the holidays, the sacrifices, were all an elaborate structure of lifestyle to help people see and obey God. The year was marked by festivals and travel. The food was regulated and stringent. The way you’d clean your house and the things you said when you first woke up were all part of the structure of the old covenant.
Now as all-encompassing a lifestyle as that was, as much as living that way would bring about a complete exterior change to your way of life, the lifestyle Jesus brings is so much better.
- This lifestyle is from the inside out, changing us on the inside to affect our outward lifestyle.
- This lifestyle is free, based on a relationship with the living God and lived out of love rather than fear of breaking a law.
- This lifestyle is radical because it is the fulfillment of millennia of preparation and foreshadowing by God Himself.
Now we live out, in Christ, the things that the temple, the Law, and the prophets foretold. Our High Priest, modeled in the Law but now in reality through the fulfillment of the covenant, is living and working in us and for us to do the work of the priesthood. As amazing as the old work of the Levitical priesthood was, our current-day life in Christ is a bigger deal.
Loving our neighbors, doing good to those that curse us, proclaiming the forgiveness of sins and the presence of the Holy Spirit are all the work of this new priesthood. Enacted on better promises than any Law could ever give, the priesthood of grace is our new calling and act of service.