The Bible is a very long book. When I have done the ‘read your Bible in a year’ I have found some sections a bit boring … I shouldn’t probably say that! If I was choosing to read parts of the Bible I would perhaps miss those sections out thinking that they were not all that important for me. These chapters in Exodus, talking about the tabernacle and all stuff involved with that, would probably have been one of those sections … but not now. I have discovered that even these bits have treasure that GOD wants me to find.
There are lots of details about the place where GOD would dwell with His people in Exodus. There are details about bowls, basins and lampstands. There are specific weights and measurements. There are also descriptions of what the priest would wear.
15 ‘Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions – the work of skilled hands. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. 16 It is to be square – a span long and a span wide – and folded double. 17 Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. The first row shall be carnelian, chrysolite and beryl; 18 the second row shall be turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald; 19 the third row shall be jacinth, agate and amethyst; 20 the fourth row shall be topaz, onyx and jasper. Mount them in gold filigree settings. 21 There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. Exodus 28:15-21
These stones with the names of the tribes engraved like seals caught my attention. The Priest would go before the Lord to worship and sacrifice. He would wear this breastpiece so that the tribes would be taken with him and be declared clean. This is not the most elegant of my pages but the message is so important! God designed the priestly garments so that the names of His of people engraved on gems held in gold filigree fittings would be carried over the heart of the one presenting the sacrifice.
I may not be one of the original tribes of Israel but I can apply this to my life too. I have been adopted into GOD’s family and I am part of His people. Jesus is called our Great High Priest. He is the one who carries a seal with my name engraved on it over His heart. As Jesus goes before the Holy One, he declares me clean because of his sacrifice. This reminded me of the hymn.
Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea;
The great High Priest whose name is love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written in his heart;
I know that while in Heaven he stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
My name is graven on Jesus’ hands. WOW! When Jesus rose again he could have been completely restored and glorified. He didn’t have to carry the scars from the cross, yet he did. He chose to have a glorified body that was perfect with the scars of sacrifice. My name is written in those scars, his death made a way for me to live. My name is written on his heart so that I can be represented before the throne by a perfect priest with the perfect and everlasting sacrifice. Nothing can tell me to depart. NOTHING! When I’m tempted to believe the lies that I don’t belong, I can look at those scars in Jesus’ hands and know that he makes me alive, I can see my name written over Jesus’ heart and know that I am presented clean before GOD. I can banish the lies that tell me otherwise.