The Christian is a Priest
A priest is a religious leader with the authority to perform rites or rituals. Priests offer sacrifices and communicate with Deity. We most often associate priesthood with the Mosaic Law. Under the Mosaic Law, priests were authorized to burn incense, make certain sacrifices, and anoint persons or objects for holy purposes (Numbers 4:16). They even acted as medical examiners (Leviticus 14). The role of priest predates the law of Moses. Offerings were made to God beginning with Cain and Abel (Genesis 4). However, the first Biblical reference to a priest is found in Genesis where we read of Melchizedek. Abraham had successfully returned the captives and possessions taken after the defeat of the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Zeboiim and Zoar. Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. (Genesis 14:18 NKJV) Melchizedek proceeded to pronounce blessings upon Abraham after which Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:1-20)
For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek”; (Hebrews 5:1-6 NKJV)
Qualified priests were descendants of Levi. The first High Priest was Moses’ brother, Aaron. “Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. (Exodus 28:1 NKJV) The Priesthood was reserved for Aaron’s descendants. However, Jesus presently serves as High Priest. Although a descendant of Judah, Jesus is qualified to serve because all priests are appointed by God to serve (Hebrews chapters 5 and 7). The new appointment required a new law with new priestly qualifications and duties (Hebrews 7:12).
This new position of High Priest was permanent. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever. (Hebrews 7:24-28 NKJV)
Under the new law, God’s entire spiritual nation serves in the priesthood. Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:4-9 NKJV)
John also acknowledges that those in the Lord’s church serve as both kings and priests. John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:4-6 NKJV)
Every Christian is a priest and king. Do not abdicate your role. Do not neglect your duties.