Sacred Food for the Priests of God
According to the regulations and laws of the old covenant, only the members of the priestly family could eat from the most sacred food.
Leviticus 22:10 No one outside a priest’s family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it.
The food offered to God in the sanctuary was called “sacred food” because it came from the sacred place that is sanctuary, the dwelling place of God. And God allowed the sacred offerings to the family of the priests, the descendants of Aaron the first high priest chosen by God. According to this regulation the right to eat the sacred offerings was given to the Levites among the 12 tribes. It was because they were chosen as people to serve in the sanctuary, serving God.
However, all these things are just a copy and shadow for the real things that are going to be fulfilled by Christ in the new covenant. Paul testifies that the sanctuary and its regulations in the Law of Moses were just a copy, not a reality, for the things to come.
The Reality of the Sanctuary
Hebrews 8:5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
Here, Paul says that the sanctuary in the old covenant was a shadow for the real and heavenly sanctuary revealed in the new covenant by Christ. And the ministry of the old covenant (the Order of Aaron) was also a shadow for the ministry of the new covenant (the Order of Melchizedek), which was established by Christ and superior to the priesthood of Aaron.
The Order of Melchizedek
What does this mean then? If there is a heavenly sanctuary as reality, there should be the heavenly high priest and other members of the priestly family. And also they should eat from the sacred food coming from the heavenly sanctuary. Let us find answer for all these questions.
First, who is the heavenly spiritual high priest who ministers according to the regulations and laws of the new covenant which contains “better promises” for God’s people. Paul testifies that it is Jesus.
Hebrews 5:8 Son though he was, he (Jesus) learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Then now who are the people chosen by God as priests in the Order of Melchizedek which was established by Christ? According to the bible all God’s people are now called priests of God serving God in spirit and in truth.
1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 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.
The Reality of the Sacred Food
Then there remains one question, that is, “What is the sacred food that we have right to eat as people chosen as God’s royal priesthood?” According to the regulations of the old covenant, the food or offering coming from the sanctuary or temple was considered holy and sacred because the sanctuary itself was holy and sacred.
Then we have to eat the food coming from the heavenly sanctuary? Then what is the heavenly sanctuary, the reality of the earthly sanctuary. Jesus teaches us the reality of the sanctuary:
John 2:18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
Here Jesus reveals the reality of the temple, that is, his body. Christ’s body was the temple of God because the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit were dwelling inside the body of Christ. Through this we can see that Jesus himself was the reality of the temple came down from heaven.
Then what is the sacred food that we as priests of God have to eat? Jesus let us know the most sacred food coming from his body of temple? Then what is it?
John 6:53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
Passover, the Most Sacred Food
The most sacred food that comes from the temple was the flesh and blood of Jesus that we as priests have to eat to receive blessings of God, eternal life. In the Book of Matthew Chapter 26, Jesus teaches us the way we can eat from his flesh and blood through one regulation.
Matthew 26:17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
Matthew 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
On the night of the Passover, Jesus gave the regulations to eat “the real food”. By eating the Passover bread and wine, we can participate in the flesh and blood of Christ, which is the most sacred food allowed only to the royal priests of God. Jesus sealed this ceremony as new covenant, the laws pertaining to the ministry of the Order of Melchizedek. (Luke 22:20)
God’s royal priests who took part in the new covenant will go back to the kingdom of heaven and will reign there forever and ever.
Revelation 22:5 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
God allowed us a wonderful promise of eternal life and heavenly royal priesthood to be kings and queens in heaven, reigning forever and ever. Now let us take part in this promise by keeping the Passover the new covenant and by participating in the flesh and blood of Christ, which is the most sacred food allowed to the heavenly priests chosen by God.