We have priestly duties today as part of the priesthood of all believers no matter what our vocation is in life. This Royal Priesthood comprises of both men and women, though you don’t need to be in a ministry role to be a priest. We all have spirit-given gifts to enable us to witness and encourage others and those gifts are given by the Holy Spirit irrespective of gender as we can see from the 1st-century church.
…declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession. That you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Peter is referring to the living stones as being the royal priesthood.
Figuratively we are living stones… each stone is a believer built layer upon layer as part of the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells (within each one of us). We are God’s House! And the Heavenly High Priest is Yeshua.
We don’t live in the darkness now but are Children of the light and are His priests performing spiritual sacrifices daily for God through Him and proclaiming His excellencies throughout the world. We do this by bringing the good news of the gospel to the world. We pray and intercede for others including our families. We help, encourage and comfort others especially other believers in the faith.
Only the high priest in the OT could enter into the Holy of Holies… the Levitical priests of the Old Covenant couldn’t. But today, we have direct access to God through Yeshua and as Ephesians says “we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” … access that only New Covenant priests today have.
Our Priestly sacrifices today are not the blood of bulls and goats but prayer, praise, repentance, love, kindness, etc. They are also called:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men 1 Timothy 2:1
living sacrifices Romans 12:1
a sacrificial offering of faith Philippians 2:17
services of love as a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God Philippians 4:18
Through him let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15
Hebrews details this Priesthood of Believers under the New Covenant and the sacrifices we offer as priests.
The high priest of the Old Covenant was the shadow – Yeshua was the reality.
The priesthood of the Old Covenant was the shadow – Believers today are the reality.
All believers have direct access to God through Jesus and his Holy Spirit, and vice versa.
The priesthood of the Old Covenant was led by males only. Today believers do not need husbands, fathers and male church leaders as mediators between them and Yahweh, as all Christians are priests regardless of gender.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, ~ 1 Timothy 2:5
The priesthood of the Old Covenant had to be completely washed in the laver – For believers/priests today it’s through “the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5-6
The priests of the Old Covenant were the only ones allowed to eat the Bread of Presence in the temple – the shewbread.
You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold before the Lord. And you shall put pure frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the Lord. Leviticus 24:5–7
That changed with the New Covenant and its gender-inclusive one body priesthood. Furthermore, just like the priests in the old covenant, we all can enter the Holy Place as God’s original plan, was that all of Israel (men and women) would be a nation of priests Exodus 19 refers.
Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. I Cor. 10:17
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. ~ Hebrews 10:19-22