Monday, August 01, 2011

Exodus 28

I spent the last week of my life on the Outer Banks catching fish, getting tan, watching Phineas and Ferb, and generally doing nothing. But it's Monday morning and I'm back in the office bright and early. I have a very serious project that needs to be started and my inbox has infinity emails that need to be answered, but before I get into all of that I wanted to share an insight that I had this morning as I prayed.

This morning I was reading from Exodus 28 which is all about the special outfit that Aaron must wear as a priest. It must have really been something to look at. The color scheme was blue, purple, and red. There was a gold seal worn as a crown on his forehead. A breast piece with 12 stones, each engraved with the name of the tribe of Israel. And to top it all off a stylish sash. Then after Aaron had put all that on they would anoint him with oil and on the seventh day of his consecration they would sprinkle blood on him. Now try to picture what you would look like in that!

If you can't imagine it, you would look like this guy with oil and blood on his clothes...
But more to the point. I don't think you can read about Aaron and the priesthood without thinking about what Hebrews says about Jesus being our great high priest. Aaron and the priests went to all this effort to bring the presence of God to His people. They would be unable to approach or have any access to God without the priests intervening on their behalf. God was, quite simply, unapproachable because of their sin.

But. Jesus is the one who didn't need to be consecrated or set apart because he was already holy. He was stripped of his garments and he was beaten until he was blue, purple, and red. Instead of a crown of gold he wore a crown of thorns. And instead of a breast piece bearing the names of Israel's tribes, He himself stood in for Israel to take their punishment. But why?

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. - Galatians 3

So that we could exchange our filthy rags for robes of pure white. Aaron wore clothing that gave him glory, honor, and respect. But this was just a shadow of the glory, honor, and respect that is due to the ultimate high priest, Jesus. Yet Jesus did not cling to glory, honor, or respect, but rather gave them all up so that our filthy rags could be traded for robes of pure white and our decaying bodies could be clothed with immortality. We have a great high priest who knows us and who suffered so that he could bring us into the presence of God without spot or blemish.

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. - Ephesians 5

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