By Not Known
I remember the good-old days of “dressing up” in the Officer Cadet School (OCS) – shining boots and belt buckle, stiff upright collar, well-ironed uniform and well-seasoned beret. The Warrant Officer often reminded us that what we wore must project what we represent – an officer and a gentleman. Indeed, I graduated from OCS thoroughly conscious about my dressing. But what was more important than the dressing was the ability to command the respect of the soldiers I would lead and to lead them well to accomplish military missions.
When God commanded that sacred garments be made for Aaron (Ex 39:1), its sheer intricacies would have challenged even the most skilled tailor and gem-stone setter in town. One can only imagine the amount of thankless dressing up Aaron endured just to enter God’s presence in the Tent of Meeting, not to mention all other cleansing ceremonies that had to be performed. It would have been so easy to miss the whole point of his calling as the High Priest.
Fortunately, the central pieces of Aaron’s priestly garment were intended to remind him of who he was to represent. On the ephod, they mounted the onyx stones in gold filigree settings and engraved them like a seal with the names of the sons of Israel (Ex 39:6). On the breastpiece, there were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes (v14). Above all, they made the plate, the sacred diadem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal: “HOLY TO THE LORD” (v30). The High Priest of God was to represent God’s people as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex 19:6).
Today, Christian people approach God with dressing that is not made by human hands. Rather Romans 13:14 tells us to clothe [ourselves] with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Jesus is our Great High Priest who represents us before the holy God. We are to be clothed in his righteousness (Rom 3:22). But that also demands that we repent of our sins and keep fighting them or flee from them. At the end of the day, when people look at our lives, will they be able to see clearly who Christ is and what Christians represent?
I’m still conscious about “dressing up” today when I come to work and to service… but will the world see beyond the outward to the Christ who loved me and died for me?