Ex. 28:15 “You shall make a breastpiece of judgment … 29 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.
Read Exodus 28:1-30:38
I remember when I was a teenager taking my dog for walks in the park. On one of those days a large German shepherd came and attacked my dog. Instinctively, I rushed to Fuzzy’s defence. Fuzzy was trying to defend himself and bit the first thing he could fix his teeth on, unfortunately, that was me. With a sharp kick I separated the German shepherd, who was twice the size of Fuzzy, from my dog. My dog was now safe, but I had 4 holes in my forearm from his canine teeth. From that day onward I would carry four holes in my left forearm. I would always remember that story and loving rescue. Scars tell stories. Scars bring to mind.
After receiving instruction on how to construct the tabernacle, God gives Moses three chapters’ worth of painstaking instruction on how to create the priestly garments for Aaron. The details are meticulous. We could easily miss the meanings of every single thread of the garments if we skipped past every verse. Let’s just take a small look at the “ephod” or breastplate that the priest was to wear. The priest is asked to wear 12 unique and precious stones. Each stone is to have one of the names for the twelve tribes of Israel. This breastplate is to symbolise the concept of bearing the tribes before YHWH already expressed in verse 12, whether the idea is bearing their guilt, or simply interceding for them in prayer.
Whenever the high priest went into the Holy of Holies, the very heart of the tabernacle and the center of God’s presence in the wilderness wanderings, he did not go in alone. He went in as the representative of his people. He would speak on their behalf to God and God would speak to Aaron on Israel’s behalf.
The writer of Hebrews shows us the deeper meaning of this text. “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, … he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”(Heb 9:11-12)
No longer are our names written on pieces of stone which may weather and fade. Our names are written on the very palms of God’s hand.
Have you ever wondered why God being all powerful, chose to retain the scars of His crucifixion? The answer is he wanted to remember you. Scars tell stories.
“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.
16Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;