The concept of a priest has changed a lot in today’s culture. Most people learn about what they do from movies and television rather than actual experience. It’s even odder to envision the role of priests in the Old Testament. Our psalm today is a Davidic song that foreshadowed a priest nobody in Israel’s context could comprehend but would become our Messiah, Jesus Christ.
1. We All Need a Priest
Christmas is a time of year where the holiday messages conflict with struggles that fill many of our hearts. To deal with this dissonance, many of us look to secular priests to intercede for us. For some, it’s the bartender, for others, it’s the yoga instructor, for others, it’s our own children. King David recognized his need for a priest, different and greater than the ones that existed in his day.
2. We All Need a Perfect Priest
The problem is most of the secular priests we seek out aren’t perfect enough for us. They can never truly satisfy our need for meaning, hope, and purpose. David sensed this in his own life. This is why he prayed for a priest in the order of Melchizedek, one who would also be a king who would eternally mediate for his people.
3. We Need Jesus Our Priest
Jesus fulfills David’s prophecy in our psalm. He is able to be our perfect priest because he is without sin, with no beginning nor end, eternally interceding for us at the right hand of God. He is the only priest who became the perfect sacrifice for us. This is why he satisfies the longing of our hearts to find peace for our anxieties, hope in our difficulties, and joy in our sadness.
Reflection & Application Questions
When you think of a priest today, what do you think of? How different is that from the image of the Old Testament priest?
Who are your secular priests? Who do you search out and go to when you feel guilty, sad, or broken? Who do you go to in order to find comfort and peace?
Why do secular priests fail us? Why can they never truly fulfill what we need them to do?
Why does it matter that Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek rather than the normal Old Testament priests we read about? What differences are there?
Why do we need Christ to be our priest? How different are our lives when we look to him to intercede?