Exodus 28:1-3,9-10,15,29,35-36,38,41 “Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron, to give him dignity and honor. Tell all the skilled men to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest... “Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel in the order of their birth—six names on one stone and the remaining six on the other... “Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions—the work of a skilled craftsman. Make it like the ephod... “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD... Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die. “Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD... It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the LORD... After you put these clothes on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.
How interesting that God chose Aaron and his family of Levites to become the priests of Israel. Moses was the priest this far and now the mantle was going to be passed on to his older brother and his family.
Again we see God describe every garment, including undergarments and accessories in a precise manner and all with great significance. We don't need any of this today to worship God and so how is this chapter relevant to us in today's day and age?
One of the first thoughts that come to mind is role of a high priest. Aaron was chosen of man by God to serve as His high priest. The role clearly was to intercede for God's people with God, to be the epitome of holiness and to lead his family in the same way.
The holy garments certainly distinguished the priests from the Israelites but it was not for that purpose alone. They were emblems of holiness that defined people ordained by God to serve Him or they were scorned.
Wearing these holy garments did not make one holy but the wearer was chosen by God and had to live a life of holiness that complimented the value of the garment in God's sight.
The ephod was the outermost garment of the high priest and it was buttoned together by precious stones that carried the names of the 12 children of Israel. God certainly has a beautiful way of remembering His chosen ones and these stones holding up the Ephod reminds the Israelites of their heritage and God's faithfulness.
Jesus Christ's coat was seamless like the ephod, he was of the lineage of Abraham and therefore carried the heritage and did not require golden bells on his coat because He was God's own son who was sinless and holy in God's sight!
Like the ephod, the breastplate also contained the names of the 12 tribes of Israel on 12 precious stones which shows how to God and Christ, there is great value in remembering and recognizing their own. Jesus not only carries them in His mighty arms but also carries them in His bosom with tender affection.
The robe under the ephod reached down to the knees and were without sleeves. It reminds us that we need to serve God in holy fear because we need to remember that we deserved to die for our sins but for Christ's intervention that spared us and instead gave us eternal life in His presence!
The golden plate on Aaron's forehead is to remind us that we are called to be holy and devoted to the Lord. Christ did not have to wear the plate on His head because He was and is and will always be Holy for He is God's own flesh and blood.
Clearly the high priest's garments typify the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the fulfillment of God's high priest just as He was the fulfillment of the long-awaited messiah and the perfect and final sacrifice referred to as the lamb of God.
In Him alone and through Him alone do we have access to God the father and I pray that each of us would greatly value Jesus for all that He is and submit to His Lordship in reverence, humility and totality.
For those of us who have been saved by Jesus' blood, I hope that we see clearly that God forgets not, loves much, remembers all and is valid today and tomorrow just as He was back in the Mosaic times.
In His Loving Service,
Hebrews 5:4-6 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
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