Having indulged in quite a bit of negative commentary in the past few years on subjects and events related to the priests of Roman religion,¹ I thought it was high time that I shared some more positive thoughts.
In other words, this is about what priesthood is, and/or should be, from biblical points of view.
John to the seven churches that 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 of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Rev. 1:4-6)
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Rev. 20:6)
Here, both texts from the Johannine Revelation refer to large, apparently inclusive groups, labeling them “priests.” There doesn’t seem to be a particular emphasis on the nature of the priesthood, but it’s something positive.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1Peter 2:9-10)
I had a bunch more commentary written, but in the end, I decided my words were adding nothing of value. Whatever it is that priests are, it’s good. And it seems to be everybody, not an exclusive class. With the advent of Jesus and his way, all were considered to have “priestly” access, rights, and responsibilities.
I’ll close with worshipful words about the High Priest:
There is no other sacrifice —
No one to pay the ultimate price —
But the one, perfect Priest on high:
King everlasting, our Christ!
from “Worshipping You Alone”
words and music by Brian Casey
Next: Nations (and this won’t be about geopolitics)
¹ Find a couple repudiations of Roman religion here: