Thursday, January 10, 2013

Priesthood and Self-Sacrifice/Service

Living as priests to God is a mind-blowing reality. God looks to each of his children as living sacrifices. This, in turn, requires responsibility on our part. Unlike the passive (dead) sacrifices of the O.T. system, we are sacrifices who are very much alive.

As sacrifices, it is not surprising that God's expectation is that we will live lives of self-sacrifice and service. This is almost always in relationship to other people. Even a cursory reading of the New Testament shows us that Christ's expectation is that his followers will think of others before themselves.

For example, Paul writes in Philippians 2:3-4, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Paul then provides his readers with the greatest example of service and sacrifice: Jesus Christ himself in the Christ Hymn of 2:5-11.

I love the irony in the bible. Jesus Christ is both our High Priest and our sacrifice. In turn, as Christ-followers, we are priests who are to live sacrificially as sacrifices to God (that sounds redundant but is not intended to be).

As priests, we have been given great responsibility. As sacrifices, we are to live sacrificially. That would be a burden except that Christ has gone before us. He is the ultimate priest and sacrifice. We just follow along is his blessed footsteps.

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