Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble… For whoever would love life… must keep his tongue from evil... He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:8-11 (NIV) Whoever...
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. 1 Peter 2:5 (NIV)
The normal assumption in our culture is that anyone can approach God however he or she wants to, but the Old Testament teaches us exactly the opposite.
In the Old Testament, the priests were the only ones who had access to God. The priests were a very exclusive group. To be a priest you had to be a male descendant in the line of Aaron. So a Scottish man or a Swedish woman had absolutely no chance!
You couldn’t walk into the inner courts of the temple any more than you could walk into the Oval Office in the White House today. The priests would go into the inner area of the temple and offer sacrifices. The idea that anybody can come to God in any place and at any time is completely foreign to the Old Testament.
Worship in the Old Testament was a spectator event. The priests had all the action. The role of the people was simply to watch. The reason for this was that before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ access to God had not been opened up. The Old Testament priests were illustrating for us what would happen when Jesus came. The promise was that one day all of God’s people would be priests. In fact, more than that, they would be royal priests (2:9).
Peter writes to ordinary Christian believers and he says, “As you come to Christ, God is making you into a holy priesthood.” We do not come to worship as observers, but as participants.
Are you coming to worship as an observer or as a participant?