If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Exodus 28, John 7, Proverbs 4, Galatians 3. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Exodus 28.
The chapters we’ve been reading in Exodus this week recorded in great detail the instructions God gave for making the tabernacle and everything associated with it. Today’s chapter discussed the garments that the priests should wear. Verse 2 tells us the purpose of these garments which is “to give him [Aaron, the high priest] dignity and honor.” Instead of telling him to wear a black tuxedo (or whatever the equivalent outfit would have been in their culture), God gave specific instructions for tailoring “a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash” (V. 4). In other words, it wasn't just fancy clothes that Aaron was to wear but a unique uniform revealed by God's word that was to be worn during his active duty as priest.
Though it has been a long time, occasionally I have heard comments about the fact that I don’t wear a tie (or even a jacket, sometimes) on Sunday morning. Or, more generally, someone will say that we should dress up for church because "we have an audience with the king of kings; if we would dress up to meet the president, how much more should we dress up to bring our worship to the Lord!" This sounds like a weighty argument, at first. However, it is helpful to remember that Christ is our high priest, not me (thankfully…). Aaron needed every bit of help he could get because he was a sinful man standing in a precarious position between God and man. Even with perfect washing and a special uniform, only God's mercy gave him, a sinful man, standing in the presence of God. Christ, however, needed no special garments because he was the perfect God-man, able to represent us before God through the merits of his own active and passive obedience. When we approach God, therefore, we do not come to him like a man on death row who is seeking a pardon from the President. Rather, through the pardon that Christ secured for us, we come to God like Sasha and Malia come to President Obama. Even in the Oval Office, he’s dad. Worthy of respect as a father, for sure, but not someone we need to impress. Instead, he’s someone who loves us and is delighted to hear from us—not because we are so delightful but because we are redeemed by his perfect son and accepted by adoption into his royal family.
Note also verse 29: “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord.” This is symbolic of Christ’s personal love of each of us; as Christ made atonement for our sins on the cross, it was for each one of his own people, whom he chose by grace.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.