A Royal Priesthood
I am wading through Leviticus again. What a tough book to connect with! – at any level. I remember a few years ago being asked by a friend who was reading through the Bible as a new believer, “I just made myself read Leviticus. What in the world am I supposed to take away from all of those sacrifices and laws?” About all I could come up with on the spot (and I suppose it’s as good an answer as I could give still) was, “God is holy. And we are not. And without an acceptable sacrifice, we are all in a heap of trouble.”
But, as I have mentioned before, I see new things every time I read through the Bible. A bright spot in Leviticus that jumped off the page a few days ago was in the section in which Moses is given instructions for consecrating Aaron and his sons as priests. Given that the New Testament likens the people of the church to a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), this passage might have some anticipatory application to us.
Leviticus 8:5-13 speaks of the vesting ceremony for the priests of the tabernacle, Aaron and his sons. Moses is instructed to wash them; to put the official garments on them (which were beautiful); to put a turban on Aaron’s head which had a plate on the front (called a crown) that read “Holy to the Lord”; anointed them; and sprinkled the with blood.
A prophet like unto Moses, One greater than Moses, has come – Jesus our Prophet, Priest and King. I would apply the above passage to us this way:
Jesus has cleansed us – we have been washed and made clean through the blood of Christ (1 Cor 6:11, Rev 7:14)
Jesus has clothed us – we have been clothed in the beautiful robes of Christ’s righteousness (Gal 3:27, Rev 19:7-9)
Jesus has crowned us – we have been given glory and honor as Christ shares his kingdom and his dominion with us (Rom 8:16-17, even 1 Cor 6:2-3)
Jesus has consecrated us – we have been set apart as ambassadors of reconciliation, commissioned to labor for the world’s reconciliation to God (2 Cor 5:17-21)