[quote=Giver](1 Peter 2:9) “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
This isn’t the first time that God has called his people to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation. God also did so to ancient Hebrews.
“’…Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
Now, the question is this-- God wanted his people to be a kingdom of priests since way before Christ and before the Law. Does this correspond to the Protestant interpretation of the royal priesthood as to everyone having equal power and authority?
From Revelation 1:5-6:
5 …To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
6 who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever (and ever). Amen.
Where you see a contradiction between God calling certain people to share in His priesthood and the way the Christian people form a royal priesthood there is none. Priesthood is what we’re going to have to explore.
First, we need to look at Leviticus, 7:11-21. Here we have regulations set down by God for offering sacrifice. Only in the peace offering can the giver of the victim partake of the sacrificial meal. Usually only members of the priestly family can eat sacrificial offerings.
10 "Neither a lay person nor a priest’s tenant or hired servant may eat of any sacred offering. 11 But a slave whom a priest acquires by purchase or who is born in his house may eat of his food. 12 A priest’s daughter who is married to a layman may not eat of the sacred contributions. 13 But if a priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced and, having no children, returns to her father’s house, she may then eat of her father’s food as in her youth. No layman, however, may eat of it.
Now, when it came to be that a man of the priestly clan was disqualified from the exercise of the priesthood (offering sacrifices), he could still partake in the sacrificial offering.
Leviticus 21: 21-23
21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any such defect may draw near to offer up the oblations of the LORD; on account of his defect he may not draw near to offer up the food of his God. 22 He may, however, partake of the food of his God: of what is most sacred as well as of what is sacred. 23 Only, he may not approach the veil nor go up to the altar on account of his defect; he shall not profane these things that are sacred to me, for it is I, the LORD, who make them sacred."
This is a distinction between the priestly ministry and the dignity of the priestly clan. Thus in Christ’s Church, priests are set aside to carry out sacred functions (especially the Eucharist, or as Lutherans term it, the Lord’s Supper). Priests also are official preachers of the Church. Everyone else, all the members, form a priestly people because they are called to unite themselves to Christ’s sacrifice by partaking of the Body of the Lord.
Hence, 1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light
With 1 Cor 11:26
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
Remember, of course that baptism gives us entrance, quite explicitly, to the altar.
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water
10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.
(“Serve the tent,” in the RSV translation i.e., the old covenant priests.)
In the Old Testament, priests were called from among Aaron’s descendants who were a priestly clan within God’s people. NT priests are chosen from among baptized people, who are children of God, brothers of Jesus, and members of God’s family. The members of God’s Church form a race of priests. The ministerial priesthood is a special calling.