Exodus 28* Aaron and his sons set apart for the priest's office, Theirgarments. (1-5) The ephod. (6-14) The breastplate, The Urim andThummim. (15-30) The robe of the ephod, The plate of the mitre.(31-39) The garments for Aaron's sons. (40-43)1-5 Hitherto the heads of families were the priests, andoffered sacrifices; but now this office was confined to thefamily of Aaron only; and so continued till the gospeldispensation. The holy garments not only distinguished thepriests from the people, but were emblems of that holy conductwhich should ever be the glory and beauty, the mark of theministers of religion, without which their persons andministrations will be had in contempt. They also typified theglory of the Divine majesty, and the beauty of completeholiness, which rendered Jesus Christ the great High Priest. Butour adorning under the gospel, is not to be of gold and costlyarray, but the garments of salvation, the robe of righteousness. 6-14 This richly-wrought ephod was the outmost garment of thehigh priest; plain linen ephods were worn by the inferiorpriests. It was a short coat without sleeves, fastened close tothe body with a girdle. The shoulder-pieces were buttonedtogether with precious stones set in gold, one on each shoulder,on which were engraven the names of the children of Israel. ThusChrist, our High Priest, presents his people before the Lord fora memorial. As Christ's coat had no seam, but was woven from thetop throughout, so it was with the ephod. The golden bells onthis ephod, by their preciousness and pleasant sound, wellrepresent the good profession that the saints make, and thepomegranates the fruit they bring forth. 15-30 The chief ornament of the high priest, was thebreastplate, a rich piece of cloth, curiously worked. The nameof each tribe was graven in a precious stone, fixed in thebreastplate, to signify how precious, in God's sight, believersare, and how honourable. How small and poor soever the tribewas, it was as a precious stone in the breastplate of the highpriest; thus are all the saints dear to Christ, however menesteem them. The high priest had the names of the tribes, bothon his shoulders and on his breast, which reminds us of thepower and the love with which our Lord Jesus pleads for thosethat are his. He not only bears them up in his arms withalmighty strength, but he carries them in his bosom with tenderaffection. What comfort is this to us in all our addresses toGod! The Urim and Thummim, by which the will of God was madeknown in doubtful cases, were put in this breastplate. Urim andThummim signify light and integrity. There are many conjectureswhat these were; the most probable opinion seems to be, thatthey were the twelve precious stones in the high priest'sbreastplate. Now, Christ is our Oracle. By him God, in theselast days, makes known himself and his mind to us, #Heb 1:1,2;Joh 1:18|. He is the true Light, the faithful Witness, the Truthitself, and from him we receive the Spirit of Truth, who leadsinto all truth. 31-39 The robe of the ephod was under the ephod, and reacheddown to the knees, without sleeves. Aaron must minister in thegarments appointed. We must serve the Lord with holy fear, asthose who know they deserve to die. A golden plate was fixed onAaron's forehead, engraven with "Holiness to the Lord." Aaronwas hereby reminded that God is holy, and that his priests mustbe holy, devoted to the Lord. This must appear in theirforehead, in open profession of their relation to God. It mustbe engraven like the engravings of a signet; deep and durable;not painted so as to be washed off, but firm and lasting; suchmust our holiness to the Lord be. Christ is our High Priest;through him sins are forgiven to us, and not laid to our charge.Our persons, our doings, are pleasing to God upon the account ofChrist, and not otherwise. 40-43 The priest's garments typify the righteousness of Christ.If we appear not before God in that, we shall bear our iniquity,and die. Blessed is he, therefore, that watcheth, and keepethhis garments, #Re 16:15|. And blessed be God that we have a HighPriest, appointed of God, and set apart for his work; furnishedfor his high office by the glory of his Divine majesty, and thebeauty of perfect holiness. Happy are we, if by the lawspiritually understood, we see that such a High Priest becameus; that we cannot draw near to a holy God, or be accepted, butby him. There is no light, no wisdom, no perfection, but fromhim; no glory, no beauty, but in being like unto him. Let ustake encouragement from the power, love, and compassion of ourHigh Priest, to draw near with boldness to the throne of grace,that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time ofneed.
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