Sometimes we are asked if we
consider Christians to be "priests".
Three types of priesthoods are mentioned in the Scriptures, two on earth
and one in heaven: the Jewish Levitical, the Christian International and
the Heavenly Spiritual. The truest priesthood is the heavenly
spiritual one; that of Yeshua as our high priest in heavenly places
(Hebrews 7, Psalm 110). Every believer in Messiah Yeshua has a right to be
a spiritual priest through prayer and praise under the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit (I Peter 2).
On earth there are two general types of priesthood: the Levitical and the
International. The Levitical priesthood is connected to the Temple
or Tabernacle. The Levites were one tribe among 12 others. I am Jewish but
have no proof of Levitical descent; therefore I would not be considered a
Levite. Today there is no Temple; therefore, the Levitical priesthood has
lost most of its functions. However, rabbinic Judaism seeks to preserve the
framework and worldview of the priesthood through religious symbols and
There is also an international priesthood, found today in the
various streams of Christianity. It had an early expression in Melchizedek,
who offered bread and wine to Abraham (Genesis 14). Those symbols are seen
today wherever the bread and wine of communion are offered (I Corinthians
11). The bread and wine are parallel to the animal sacrifices of the
Temple. The international priesthood does not replace the Temple, nor does
it offer animal sacrifices (Joshua 22); it is an extension and enlargement
of the Jewish priesthood.
We respect the priestly elements in both Jewish and Christian traditions,
and we recognize that the symbolic signs all point to Yeshua's
spiritual priesthood in Heaven.
This article was previously published on March
on the Revive Israel website, and on March 27th
2017 here on the Kehila News Israel website.