“The Christian: A Priest At God’s Altar – Part 3”
The Christian: A Priest At God’s Altar – Part 3
In the last two installments of this study, we looked at the Christian as a priest. We noted three words in connection with being a priest- honor, holiness, and hopefulness. In this last installment we are examining hopefulness.
The tribe of Levi, from which the priests came, was unique among the tribes of Israel. One of the ways that they were unique was in their inheritance. As you recall, the other tribes inherited a certain parcel of ground. The Levites did not. They were going to dwell among the tribes. Their inheritance was the Lord. We read, ““The priests, the Levites—all the tribe of Levi—shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and His portion. Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the LORD is their inheritance, as He said to them” (Deuteronomy 18:1-2). The Lord was their hope. They were trusting in Him to provide for them.
Today, our hope as New Testament priests is in the Lord. To the Colossian Christians, Paul wrote, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:24-27). Christ is the hope within us. Later, Peter would write, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Because of Christ’s resurrection, we have a living hope. Again, Peter wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3). We have a living hope because we have a living Lord. Jesus declared, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev. 1:18). As priests today, our hope is not in a parcel of land here. It is in Christ.
In the three installments of this study, we have seen that it is a great honor to be a priest, that it requires great holiness to be a priest, and that there is great hope in being a priest. Let’s serve at God’s altar with great favor, great fear, and great fervent fervor.