Whilst there is no precedence in the New Testament for a clergy laity divide, and absolutely nothing about a separate New Testament priesthood to rule over God’s people, you still need to call the Priest.
You don’t need just any priest
In the Old Testament God raised up the tribe of Levi as priests who would minister to the people on His behalf, and then minister to God on the people’s behalf. This mind set still stands to this day, whether we have a Pope or a Pastor. We are looking for someone to go to God on our behalf.
Jesus is the fulfilment
If you have read my last couple of posts you are likely to recognise a familiar pattern. The Old Testament priesthood was a type and shadow of the Lord Jesus, the priesthood was symbolic whilst Jesus is the substance. The responsibilities and rituals of the priests were all signs pointing to the life of just one person; this person would offer a perfect sacrifice and go before God on behalf of His people, as well as going to the people to declare the name and goodness of God.
Jesus our High Priest
After He rose from the dead Jesus went into the heavenly holy of holies on our behalf, but He didn’t take the blood of an animal. He took His own! For generations the High Priests had entered the earthly holy of holies with the blood of animals, all that time they were enacting a symbol of what was to come. The priesthood was a sign pointing to the destination of God’s provision of eternal redemption. The ministry of the priests was a shadow that was thrown by the light of God into history and showed the outline of what Jesus would one day fulfil.
A new priesthood
Once He rose from the dead, Jesus instituted a brand new priesthood. It was transformed from the males of the tribe of Levi, to all who believe. The Lord Jesus is now the new High Priest who stands before God on our behalf. Qualification for the priesthood is no longer determined by nationality, age or gender, but faith in the Lord Jesus. We aren’t required to offer sacrifices for sin, because this was carried out once and for all by the Lord Himself. Instead we offer praise, our very lives become living sacrifices as we minister the name and goodness of God to the world.
He is everything
Jesus is the temple, the sacrifice and the priesthood fulfilled, it is all about Him. We are now a nation of priests serving under our great and Mighty High Priest. It is true that we need the wisdom of elders in our communities, but there is no clergy laity divide. There is not a more holy group to whom we are subservient, instead there are some who are older and more experienced who serve and equip the wider body.
Church leaders have exactly the same access to God as you.
Because of Jesus, all of us can enjoy unlimited access to the Father. Age, experience, position or gender have nothing to do with how our heavenly Father has made Himself available to us. We can now pray “Our father”.
Who you gonna call?
On top of all this, anyone, saved or unsaved can call on our High Priest, He is a man but He doesn’t work for any denomination. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the one who was dead but is now alive for ever and ever. He is the one who though perfect understands our weaknesses because of His own experience. Because He overcame sin, death, the grave and the devil, He is willing and able to come to the aid of all who call on Him. Call the Priest, He is waiting for you. You know His name, go on… call Him.
Go well my friends 🙂