Today's Manna

March 1, 2017
Our Great High Priest
by Eric Doucet
Scripture Reading: Exodus 28

Hebrews 3:1 …consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

There are three offices mentioned in the Old Testament - prophet, priest, and king. The prophet represented God to the people; the priest represented the people to God; and, the king ruled over the people for God. In Jesus Christ all three of these rolls find their perfect and ultimate fulfillment.

In Exodus 28, the garments worn by Israel’s high priest, the first of which was Aaron, are described in great detail. In much of the description of the garments and the office of high priest it is easy to see the person and work of Christ. For example, the colors and materials used to make the sacred garments perfectly describe Christ, if only in shadow. Gold refers to His deity; blue speaks of His heavenly origin; purple is a picture of His royalty; scarlet reminds of His suffering and shed blood; and, the linen points to His perfect humanity.

There are two verses in this passage that are of particular interest to believers because they remind us of the intercessory work our great High Priest carries out continuously on our behalf. First, Jesus bears our burdens. Verse 12 mentions that the two onyx stones engraved with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were placed on the shoulders of the High Priest so that he could “bear their names before the LORD…as a memorial.”

Thus, the stones serve as a reminder to us that Jesus Christ sympathizes with our weaknesses and wants to bear our burdens for us because He became one of us, yet without sin. Therefore, He wants us to boldly approach His throne to find grace to help in our time of need. (Heb 4:15-16; 1Pet 5:7)

Next, verse 29 points out that the high priest also carried twelve jewels, each engraved with the name of a different tribe. He carried these stones in the “breastplate of judgment over his heart when he [went] into the holy place, as a memorial before the LORD continually.”

The fact that these names were carried over the heart of the high priest reminds us of the unconditional love that Christ has for believers. The jewels point out how Christ views those for whom He intercedes continually. He sees us as jewels, not junk; as saints, not sinners, as sons, not slaves. He sees believers this way because of who He is and what He has done for us, not because of who we are and what we have done.

Heb 10:21-23 (21) and having a High Priest over the house of God, (22) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (23) Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

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