The Bible is full of different themes and images that foreshadow Christ’s work to save people from their sins. When we think about the role of the priest, for example, we can pretty quickly jump to Jesus being our perfect priest. And while this is true, there’s also an aspect of the priesthood that is fulfilled in God’s intention for His people.
In the Old Testament, God established the priestly system because human sinfulness prevented direct access to God. The priests of Israel served as mediators, standing between God and the people. In both the tabernacle and later the temple, a curtain prevented access into the holy of holies, the place where God’s presence dwelt in both structures. Only a priest could enter in, and even then his access was limited.
But this wasn’t God’s desire or intention for humanity. Instead, God intended for humanity to be a kingdom of priests, able to come to Him directly with every need.
When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain separating God and His people was torn in two. The holy of holies was visible to all. And because of the mediating work of Jesus, Christians have no need for another priest. Our sins have been taken away. No more sacrifices are needed. God’s presence is not cut off from us. And we are free to approach God with boldness (Rom. 5:1-5; Heb. 4:14-16).