During this time of sheltering in place, our family has watched some old movies that are simply fun and entertaining. Last week we watched Hook, starring Robin Williams as Peter Pan.
At the beginning of the film, Peter returns to Neverland, but he is now an adult and has forgotten who he is. He can’t fly, he can’t crow, and he can’t fight. It’s not until he remembers who he is that all his “Pan” skills return to him in their full array.
That story, coupled with our current situation in which we cannot meet face-to-face for church services or even small groups, reminded me of something similar. As followers of Jesus, He calls all “priests,” but I fear we’ve forgotten who we are.
In Revelation, the Apostle John writes, “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)
The Apostle Peter put it like this, “As you come to Him, the living Stone…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4-5)
When Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). In this way, God was showing us that anyone can approach Him through Jesus Christ. We no longer need an earthly priest as a middleman between us and God. Jesus Christ is our only mediator and high priest and He has made us priests to God (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
What is a priest? Biblically, a priest is someone appointed by God who can approach Him and represent Him to others, offering gifts and sacrifices on behalf of others and themselves. But many of us have forgotten who we are.
It’s all too easy to slip into a mode of letting the trained professionals fulfill our role as priests. Christ gives pastors and teachers “to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (Ephesians 4:12) The “works of service” are our priestly duty. It’s not the pastor’s job to do the “works of service,” but to help equip us to do them. As followers of Christ, we are the Lord’s priests.
I believe it’s vital that we remember who we are especially now, but also when this COVID-19 pandemic is past.
As priests of Christ you and I:
- Represent Him well to each other and others. We lead people to Christ. We show and tell others how loving, kind, and merciful He is. Through our life and words others see what it looks like to follow Jesus.
- Offer to God works of service in loving and caring for others. (Ephesians 2:10)
- Pray with and for others.
- Offer praise and thanksgiving to God. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)
- Offer our “bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” (Romans 12:1)
Whether you are a father, mother, husband, wife, man, woman, or child, if you are trusting Christ as your Savior, He says you’re a priest. And as priests of Christ, we have a holy calling to serve Him well.
Our niece and her husband are modeling this so well with their four children right now. Each day they hold family devotions together, reading the Word and praying for each other and others. The kids are memorizing portions of Scripture as well.
You don’t need a trained professional to do that. All you have to do is remember who you are in Christ.
Happy Easter! Christ is risen!