What does it say?
From the tabernacle itself, the instruction turns to those who minister within it. God selects Aaron and his descendants to be priests. Aaron, the high priest, is adorned with beautiful, special clothing filled symbolism (Exo 28). Close to his heart, the breastplate carries stones engraved with the names of Israel’s tribes. Special priestly clothing also distinguishes Aaron’s sons who are priests.
Just as beautiful and special as the ceremonial clothing, is the consecration ceremony itself that sets Aaron and his sons apart for their ministry in the tabernacle (Exo 29). The blood of the sacrifice is applied to the altar itself and to the priests.
What does it mean?
Aaron, as the high priest, pictures Christ to come (Heb 7-9). After Christ’s finished work, we go to God through him, our only mediator. Aaron’s sons picture our ministry under the great High Priest. We are all priests in that we need no other mediator, but are free to go directly to God, offering him our sacrifices and prayerfully interceding in prayer for others. Today, we should not be known for our clothing, but for being clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Paul told the Ephesians and Colossians that we are to put on Christ.
Hebrew priests did not attend seminary or special schooling to become priests, but by birth into Aaron’s family. Similarly, every believer in Christ is a priest before God by virtue of being born into his family through the new, or second, birth.
The consecration ceremony for priests focused on applying the blood of sacrifices. The blood was applied to Aaron and his sons on the right ear and thumb of the right hand and big toe of the right foot. In our case, the blood of Christ opens our ears to God’s word, prepares us to serve him with our hands and to walk in his ways.
How will I respond?
If I were to see the Hebrew High Priest for the first time, I would know that he was something special without words or explanation. No matter my dress, hair, the color of my skin, the language I speak or where I am in the world, would someone recognize that I am clothed in Christ’s righteousness, even without words of explanation? That person may never had heard of Jesus Christ, but should be able to distinguish something special by Christ in me.
Is Christ’s righteousness visible in me? Is my ear open to his word, my hand ready to serve and my feet to walk in his paths? Why, or why not? Who will see Christ in me today, and how?