But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…1 Peter 2:9, NASB.
Every Christian today is a priest to God. Accordingly, we can enter His presence and offer sacrifices. This privilege was not extended to the congregation at large during Old Testament days. Instead, the priests from the tribe of Levi went to the Lord on the people’s behalf.
As New Testament priests, what shall we offer to God? The Old Testament priests offered the blood and flesh of animals. These offerings were a foreshadow of the perfect offering that was yet to come, Jesus Christ the righteous. Now that He has come and offered His life for our sins, we have no need to offer animals and their blood. He has made atonement for us once and for all.
As priests to God, we offer those things that abound to His glory. For instance, the Bible commands us to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. That means we must be a living offering to God. This seems like a dichotomy, since a sacrifice denotes something that is put to death. But this is how a Christian is supposed to live—alive to Christ and dead to self at the same time. Blessed is the priest who offers such a sacrifice. All of his ways will please the Lord. Whatever he does shall prosper.
As priests to God, we also offer the sacrifice of praises by exalting the name of our God with the lips of our mouth. God in turn inhabits our praises. That’s why sometimes when we pray to God, we should refrain from asking for anything. Instead, only bless the name of our God. He in turn will inhabit our praises. In the Old Testament, as the priests were doing service to God, sometimes the glory of the Lord filled the place. It was so overwhelming that the priests could not continue their service. This was a sign that their offerings pleased the Lord.
In the Old Testament, the priesthood was limited to the tribe of the Levites. Only they were ordained to do the service of the sanctuary. In effect, the rest of the congregation was at the mercy of the priests. In the New Testament, however, the priesthood has been expanded to all who are in Christ. Today, we are priests to God. We don’t need anyone else to go to the Lord for us. We can enter His presence whenever we want to, as often as we please, and bring to Him our own sacrifices!
[God deserves our best “offering”]
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.
Note: The words of this post were taken from devotion #42 of my recent book, “Transforming Moments with God-Ninety Devotions to Strengthen Your Relationship with God.” You can order a copy of this book from Amazon by clicking here.