Exodus 28:1-43; Matthew 25:31-26:13; Psalm 31:9-18; Proverbs 8:12-13
Isn't it funny the things the Bible goes into details about? Jesus' whole childhood is summed up in something like 2 verses that say he grows in stature, wisdom, and favor with man, or some such general synopsis. Yet, here in Exodus, we have whole chapters devoted to how long the measurements of the curtains were in the Tabernacle, or what the posts in the courtyard should look like, or what kinds of yarn are to be used in the priests’ garments. When I get to heaven, this will definitely be one of the aspects of Scripture I ask the Lord about.
So I pulled out my commentaries today, trying to get a little more insight into what is the significance of Exodus 28. And it was actually very interesting. I will attempt to summarize the significance of the priestly garments, but for a more in depth look, Matthew Henry's Commentary is easy to read and helpful and you can view it here.
First, we need to understand what is happening in Exodus at this point in time. They are setting up a nation, a system of government, the general rule of how things will work for this massive group of people. So we see all these instructions about buildings, clothing, various laws, etc. Thus far, the heads of the families had acted as the priests- being the ones to bring sacrifices and represent their families to the Lord. Now we see that responsibility being passed on to Aaron and his sons, and to the Levities, and so it continue until Christ comes. As the ultimate High Priest, Christ does away with the need for priests. When he comes we no longer need someone to represent us to God or bear our names on his shoulders or breastplates. Christ does all that on the cross. In understanding these Old Testament systems, we actually begin to understand the significance of the cross to greater and greater degrees. Now we can enter the holy of holies in our morning pajamas with a cup of coffee, rather than having to be all decked out as these priests were.
And one day all the nations will gather before him as we see in Matthew 25. Around his heavenly throne, he "separates the sheep from the goat" (Mt. 25:32). This passage can be a bit unsettling as we think of one day standing before God and being judged on what we did or did not do. (Can't you just hear that Keith Green song in your head when you read this?) How will I respond to this passage? For me, it begins in prayer. It begins with me going into the holy place to meet with God, just as the priests of old did. To discern (we don't need the Urim and Thummim now) where God is at work, where the people are who need clothing, who are sick, or imprisoned. And then praying for boldness to act on their behalf.
Lord Jesus, show me how I can love the stranger or the poor and needy person in my life today. Thank you for the freedom to come into your presence. I can anoint you and “do beautiful things" (Mt. 26:10) for you and for your children. Give me the eyes to see and the courage to act.
- Mary Matthias
How did God speak to you in Scripture today? Click here to share your reflections on God's word or read past posts. We'd love to hear from you.