On Sunday, April 26, 2009, I was ordained as a pastor and now I am authorized to administer Word and Sacraments. Immediately after my ordination, a seminary classmate posed a light-hearted but interesting question to me. He asked: “Was there an ontological change after ordination?” Theologically-speaking, I don’t think so…or at least I didn’t feel any different after being ordained. Roman Catholic theology speak of an ontological change effective at the sacrament of ordination but Lutherans and Anglicans do not see ordination as a sacrament or see the pastor any different before one was ordained. Calvin and Luther saw that the only thing different is that one is called to a task that is set apart from that of the lay person.
Is “once a priest, always a priest?” Psalm 110:4 and Hebrews 5:6 says: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” However, this refers to Jesus himself
Peter says: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…” (1 Peter 2:9, TNIV). This verse refers to God’s holy people.
Hebrews also refers to Jesus as the great high priest, but to also to an earthly high priest in Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10. “Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins” (Heb. 5:1, TNIV).
So who can be a priest? Do we only have one priest in Jesus, or can we have many priest, as in the priesthood of all believers? Can ordination make one a priest before God?