In the Old Testament, the priest stood between God and the people. His role was to relate to the people on God’s behalf, and to God on the people’s behalf. And that’s exactly the role Christians are called to play in our generation.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV) 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; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
We live in a time when the vast majority of people are far from God. Although Christ, by His blood, opened the way for anyone to have a direct, personal relationship with Him, most of our relatives, coworkers, neighbors, and friends seem to neither know nor care about having such a relationship. There is a wide, impassable gulf between them and God.
How is that gulf to be bridged? That’s why God calls Christians to be a royal priesthood. Our role is to stand between God and people who don’t know Him.
Revelation 1:6a (NIV) and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father . . .
We know that there is only one mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5): only Jesus can fulfill that role. But He allows us the privilege of being His instruments in connecting people with God.
First, as God’s priests we relate to unbelieving people on His behalf:
Romans 10:13-14 (NKJV) for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
It is only through Christ’s royal priesthood that people can hear the good news that they can be born again (John 3:7), and have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Our priestly responsibility is to be willing to share our testimony of God’s love with those God has placed in our sphere of influence.
Then we are to relate to God on behalf of the people – praying for them as groups and as individuals that the light of Christ will break through the darkness of mind imposed by the enemy on those who don’t know Him (2 Corinthians 4:4-5).
Being a “royal priesthood” is not about having the privileges of royalty, but about carrying out the responsibilities of priests. Who has God placed in your life in order that you might help connect them with Him? Are you praying for them? Are you sharing your testimony of God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice with them? That’s what a royal priesthood does.