Thursday, March 08, 2012

120308 - Exodus 28 - Our Great High Priest

Thursday SOAP: The High Priest and the items symbolizing his office. While a prophet's calling is to represent God to the people, the priest's is to represent the people before God. The breastplate of the High Priest was designed in such a way that the stones upon it represented the tribes of Israel, and the Urim and Thummim represented judgment. How does this point to Christ's role as our Great High Priest? (Heb. 4:14-15)
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S: So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them to regular remembrance before the LORD. And in the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron's heart, when he goes in before the LORD. Thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the people of Israel on his heart before the LORD regularly. (Exodus 28:29-30)
O: Israel's High Priest literally bears the names of Israel on his heart. It is the breastplate of judgment because the Urim and Thumim were also there. The High Priest was to bear the judgment of the people of Israel continually.

A: The very clothes and ornaments worn by the High Priest symbolize his priesthood, that is his representation of the people before God, his intercession. All of this makes me think of Christ, our greater High Priest, who bore our judgment and continues to bear our nature before God in intercession. If I'm ever tempted to think He has forgotten me, I can remember this passage from Isaiah:
But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me."
"Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
(Isaiah 49:14-16)

The Lord quite literally had his people engraved on the palms of his hands when He bore our judgment. That's why 1 John 3:16 directs us to the cross when we might be tempted to question His love for us. The question is not His love - it never was. It's my lovability. And those wounds of judgment, which will still be visible at His return, have forever settled the question, "does He love me?" The only one that remains is "why?"
That He represents me before the Father along with the tokens of judgment is a welcome, whereas the entire Old Testament system created a barrier along with the mysterious promise of atonement.

P: Father, thank you that your sacrificial Lamb for me is also my Judge. That my Mediator is both Son of God and Son of Man. And that I am invited to come boldly to your throne of Grace to find mercy because He has made the way clear and lives forever to make intercession for me.

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