When the first people chose to turn away from God, God formulated a plan to draw people back to him. He chose a family to build into a nation.
And that family would bless the whole world in two ways. First, they would be the people that would produce Jesus, the Promised One. And he would pay the penalty for sin, and build a bridge so people could return to fellowship with the Father.
Second, it was intended that this nation would demonstrate what to meant to live in relationship with the Father. Other people would see how they were blessed by their relationship with the Father. They would see the benefit, wisdom, and freedom of living as God designed.
And God’s chosen people succeeded. Then, they failed. Then, they succeeded. Then, they failed again. And given time, they managed to fail more than they succeeded. And it got so bad, that God was unable to use them as an example to the world.
So, God scrapped his plan … right? No. He selected a new people.
God also intended that all of his chosen people were going to be his priests. Priests are people with a special access to God. They represent God to people, and people to God. They facilitate the process of achieving peace and favor with God. And he intended that all of his people were going to fulfill that role.
But most of his people rebelled, and they lost the privilege of being his priests. Only a subset, who had remained faithful, were allowed to be priests. And that priesthood was tied to, first, the tabernacle, and then the temple in Jerusalem. So, when the temple was destroyed, because of further unfaithfulness, there was no priesthood.
So, God scrapped his plan … right? No. He selected a new priesthood from his new, international family. A priesthood, whose role was not based on the temple, but on Christ’s work on the cross. Anyone who gives his allegiance to Jesus, who chooses to follow Jesus, are his priests. So, all the members of God’s family are his priests. All have special access to him. All represent God to people, and people to God. All facilitate the process of achieving peace and favor with God.