The Holy Garments
Scripture reading for January 29th: Exodus 28-31
One of the main duties of a priest is to represent men before God. A priest must care for people and their needs and be able to help them connect with God. Without help, we as humans are in a difficult position with our Creator. We are born in sin and darkness, caring only about ourselves. Our sins separate us from God and we have no way in ourselves to approach God. (Isaiah 59:2) But a priest who understands and knows God and is trained and equipped to contact God for us can bridge the gap! God provided such a Priest in Jesus Christ!
The Levitical priesthood was to have special clothes made of fine linen. These clothes were designed to give them dignity and honor before God and man. (Exodus 28:2) They must be properly dressed and their clothes were designed to help them with their work. The first piece of clothing was the ephod made of gold, blue, purple and scarlet yarn. This ephod was to be made by a skilled craftsman and fashioned to fit the priests. Two black onyx stones engraved with the names of the twelve sons of Israel were to be fastened on the shoulder pieces of the ephod. Aaron, the high priest, was to bear these as a memorial before the Lord. (Exodus 28: 12)
In addition to the ephod, a breastpiece was also part of the clothing. This breastpiece was to be made like the ephod of the same kind of colored yarn. It was to have twelve precious stones mounted on it in four rows of three stones each. These stones each represented one of the sons of Israel and their offspring. The priest was to bear these stones on his chest, symbolically carrying them on his heart before the Lord. (Exodus 28:29)
Jesus Christ is now our High Priest. He knows how we feel and represents our needs before God, His Father. (Hebrews 4:14-16) He carried our black sins on His shoulders to the altar of the cross. He carries each person as a precious jewel on his heart before the Father. He is now dressed in robes of perfect righteousness because of perfect obedience. He enables all who trust in Him to become priests as well! He dresses us in His holy garments! We become the righteousness of God in Him! (2nd Corinthians 5:21)