Pastor Granillo: A Royal Priesthood…

By Pastor Raul Granillo
Los Alamos

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood…” (1 Peter 2:9 NASB).

Being God’s chosen people is simply being the people who have accepted the love-founded-grace that God extends to every person through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of course, Peter reminds the reader that we are more than just a “chosen people;” we are also a “royal priesthood.”

To be honest, I have to wonder how many of us have a misperception of what that means. When we hear “priest,” we may think of the head of the local church who has authority over his congregation; we may think of a person who is closer to God than we are; we may think of the person who lives a life of poverty and celibacy; and unfortunately, for some, it may provoke thoughts of abuse of power.

How do we respond to this title of royal priesthood? We could certainly do a study of what God originally said of the priests and of His chosen people in the Old Testament. This would serve us well. But for the sake of brevity, let’s begin by taking a look at Jesus. The book of Hebrews goes to great lengths to explain that Jesus is the high priest forever (Hebrews Chapters 2-13; especially 6:20).

If we are to be the royal priesthood, then our course of action should be to emulate Jesus. The apostle Paul agrees, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV).

So what did Jesus’ life look like? He took on the burdens of others (Matthew 11:28-30). Obedient Christians take on the responsibility to care for other people and their burdens so that they may be encouraged.

Jesus’ goal was not to condemn those who sin, but instead to free them from bondage (John 3:17). The royal priesthood hates condemnation and instead is driven by love to free their fellow man from bondage.

Jesus had a real compassion for people that always resulted in taking action to meet the needs of others (Matthew 15:32). As priests, we are to care enough about people to do more than talk and feel bad; we are to immerse ourselves in whatever action it takes to actually meet the needs of others.

Jesus mourned with others (John 11:33-35). Being the royal priesthood means loving our neighbors so much that their pain is our pain and their burden is ours. We must be the people who can mourn with the mourners.

Jesus loved the marginalized and tended to them (Matthew 8:1-3). Obedient Christians have a love for those people that others have written off as a lost cause, or as a burden to society. This love will always take the royal priesthood into the most repulsive places on earth to serve where others refuse.

Jesus had a heart for the lost and displaced (Matthew 9:36; 18:11-13). As the royal priesthood, our hearts should drive us to reach out to those that feel they have no hope. We are to reach the unreachable, love the unlovable, and bring hope to the hopeless.

Jesus always looked to bigger picture (Luke 19:41-44). The royal priesthood serves in the present but realizes that life is eternal. Thus, our actions should lead to eternal hope and salvation, not just temporal things.

There is certainly more to be said about being the royal priesthood, but we can say nothing less. We can claim to be saved and serve others only on our terms; or we can be obedient and become the royal priesthood that reflects God’s glory back into creation the way He has commanded us to.

Let us be the royal priesthood that strives to imitate their high priest!

To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org or email me at raul@lavistanaz.org. Follow Pastor Raul on Twitter @RaulGranillo007

Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!

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