1 Peter 2:9-10
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Verse 9 sounds quite like Exodus 19:5-6 “Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.”
Those same wonderful phrases “my own special treasure”, “my kingdom of priests”, “my holy nation”.
But there are two significant differences:
- The enabling condition has changed from us obeying and keeping the covenant to God bringing me out of the darkness and into his light. We now know that we could never have kept the covenant based on obedience to the law. But Jesus did.
- The “will” in Exodus is replaced by “are” in 1 Peter. Jesus has already fulfilled the covenant for me, so I have now received mercy; I am now one of his people; I belong to Him now as his royal priest.
In each case, what Jesus did between Exodus and 1 Peter makes all the difference.
I love being chosen. I love being his treasured possession. But I’m especially struck by “royal priests”.
The Latin word for a priest, “pontifex”, literally means “bridge builder”. Because He’s called me from darkness into his wonderful light, I can “show others the goodness of God” (NLT). I can take my part in building that bridge between God and people who are still in darkness. (Jesus does the hard building work, but he graciously gives me a part too.)
And more than that, as I tell others of His goodness I do so with royal authority: Not a timid priest; a priest backed by the power and authority of the king of kings.
All of that in two verses. I love God’s word!
Written by David Cornell