Our responsibilities as God’s ‘Holy & Royal Priests’: The Bible is clear that we are now both the ‘holy priesthood’ (1 Peter 2:5) and the ‘royal priesthood’ (1 Peter 2:9) of God. We will continue in this role as "...priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Rev 20:6).
Our reading today highlights the consecration and the start of the priestly ministry of Aaron and his sons, and there are some learning points for us as we reflect on Leviticus chapters 8 & 9:
- In Leviticus 8:7-9, we read that Aaron and his sons were dressed up with the priestly garments consisting of the tunic, sash, robe, ephod, breastplate, turban and crown. As the ‘royal priests’ of God fighting the ‘good fight of faith’ (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7), we also have an armor of God to wear, which include the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:11-17).
- In Leviticus 9:7-14, we see that Aaron first offered the sin and burnt offerings for himself, and thereafter he presented the offerings for the other people (Lev 9:15-21). Our role as priests unto God is also to “…offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5), which are praises to God. “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Heb 13:15).
- In Leviticus 9:22-23a, we see that Aaron blessed the children of Israel after offering the sin, burnt and peace offerings on their behalf. We are also instructed as ‘priests of God’ to bless others irrespective of their behavior towards us (Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14; 1 Cor. 4:12).