March 19, 2019

No More Alienation

Romans 3:21-26

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...

—  Romans 3:23

We will not understand our position as priests if we don’t understand that we are sinners.

We must recognize that the Bible’s practice of having priests came from our alienation from God. There are no excuses or exceptions: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In 1 John 1:8 we read that if anyone says they are without sin, they deceive themselves and the truth is not in them. This is a fundamental part of the truth we have from God.

Job understood this (Job 1:4-5). Concerned that his children might have sinned, he prayed to God, asking the Lord to forgive and cleanse them. In God’s grace Job took on the role of a family priest and offered sacrifices for his children. In setting up the temple and worship practices of ancient Israel (Leviticus 1-9), God assigned the role of priest to offer sacrifices as a sign of forgiveness of sins for the people.

In its final development, the priesthood is fulfilled in the finished work of Jesus Christ, our perfect High Priest. He shed his blood as the ultimate sacrificial lamb and took away our sins, “once for all” (Hebrews 9:26; 10:10). Because of Jesus’ own work as priest we are no longer alienated from God.

We are forgiven our sins and set free through the blood of Christ, given for us. Let’s celebrate this freedom by sharing this good news today!

We praise you, Lord Jesus, for being our ultimate High Priest. Thank you for paying for our sins through your perfect sacrifice once and for all. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Pete Byma

Pete Byma has served as a pastor of congregations in Michigan and in Washington state. Serving now as a pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he is also a consultant/coach for churches experiencing conflict, and he enjoys equipping and establishing people in ministry. He is married to Cheri, and they have four grown children and six grandchildren. Pete is also a registered soccer official and enjoys bicycling.

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