The Priesthood of the believer

I would like to conclude the discussion on the priest hood of the believer. We started by saying that Christ suffered in the flesh in order to live by the power of the Spirit. Through His sacrifice, He obtained the inheritance of the eternal priesthood that His Father swore to give to Him (Heb 6: 17,18). We too have been made kings and priests unto our God by inheritance (Rev 1: 6, 7: 15). We need to remember that we inherit everything that Christ has since we are joint heirs with Him (Rom 8:17).
The issues of Christ’s priesthood, the annulment of the law of Moses and the establishment of the new covenant through Christ are so important that Paul uses Hebrews chapters 8 -10 to reiterate the point, appearing to belabour it somewhat. Christ was made the priest of a better covenant which was established with better promises (Heb 8:5).

The first covenant had too many loopholes (Heb 8:7)

  • How could animals’ blood save a man from sin?
  • Why did people have to die mercilessly under the law?
  • Suppose the witnesses were faulty?
  • How could a sinful man (himself at risk of death) offer sacrifices for the sins of people?
  • How long could people hold out under this law without committing a sin?
  • How could heavenly things be purified by tainted blood (Heb 9: 23).
  • How could it get up there, anyway?

The High Priest of the heavenly tabernacle

People lived under condemnation and fear of death. That is why a sinless High Priest had to officiate in a perfect tabernacle that was not made with hands (Heb 9: 11). This priest became the sacrifice and placed His own blood on the altar of the tabernacle on High (Heb 9: 12). When He entered the Holy of Holies in that tabernacle, the Vail in the earthly tabernacle simultaneously and symbolically tore from top to bottom.

I am forced to follow Paul and belabor the point too because he continued to explain in Chapter 10 that God really had no pleasure in the sacrifices and offerings offered under the law (7-8). He sent His son who would delight to do His will. If He really delights in the sacrifices of animals He could get them Himself, because the cattle on a thousand hills belong to Him (Ps 50: 7- 13).

This was His reproof to Israel. They were just going through motions because they were forced to (it was do or die!). They had missed the point that they were told – God really wanted the offerings of Thanksgiving and intercessions in the day of trouble so that his people would glorify Him (Ps 50: 13-15). The law was just a flawed insurance policy, unable to give full coverage – It was not intended to (Heb 10: 11 – 14).

After offering one eternal sacrifice for sin, Christ the priest was also exalted as King, because He now is seated at the right hand of God (Heb 10: 12). What God really wants is a people who would worship, keep His words in their hearts and serve Him willingly, not just to escape death as the Psalmist showed. Christ is now become the High Priest over the house of God (Heb 10: 21). As earthly priests, we therefore have the confidence to approach the throne of grace for mercy to help in the time of need (Heb 4: 14 -15). The Holy Spirit tells us what to pray and helps our intercession with groanings etc (Rom 8: 26-27).

How does this relate to fasting?

When the believer fasts, he/she puts the flesh under subjection so the spirit can become alert. This helps us to achieve experientally the power of the priesthood that Christ gave to us by inheritance since He lives continually to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25). He offered Himself once for our sins (Heb 7: 27) Some believers do not know how to pray and take no pleasure therein. It is a strange occupation. The one who disciplines the spirit through the fast will experience the power of God to intercede mightily in the realm of the spirit. Blessings.