A Royal Priesthood

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Exodus 28:31-35 (NIV)
“Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar around this opening, so that it will not tear. Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.”

Exodus 28:31-35 (MSG)
“Make the robe for the Ephod entirely of blue, with an opening for the head at the center and a hem on the edge so that it won’t tear. For the edge of the skirts make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet material all around and alternate them with bells of gold—gold bell and pomegranate, gold bell and pomegranate—all around the hem of the robe. Aaron has to wear it when he does his priestly work. The bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place and comes into the presence of God, and again when he comes out so that he won’t die.”
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“And you shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. There shall be an opening at its top in the center [for the head], with a binding of woven work around the opening, like the opening in a coat of armor, so that it will not tear or fray. You shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric all around its hem, with gold bells between them; a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the [bottom] hem of the robe. Aaron shall wear the robe when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes [alone] into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he will not die there.” –AMPLIFIED

We have already looked at the High Priest’s breastpiece and ephod; now we will look at the special robe that he was to wear under the breastpiece and ephod. This was a robe; in the Torah was known as the Me’il.

This robe was to be made entirely in azure blue or in Hebrew it was called techelet. There are various thoughts on why it was to be “blue”. Many theologians feel that the blue was a representation of the law. They base this off of Numbers 15:37-41, “God spoke to Moses: “Speak to the People of Israel. Tell them that from now on they are to make tassels on the corners of their garments and to mark each corner tassel with a blue thread. When you look at these tassels you’ll remember and keep all the commandments of God, and not get distracted by everything you feel or see that seduces you into infidelities. The tassels will signal remembrance and observance of all my commandments, to live a holy life to God. I am your God who rescued you from the land of Egypt to be your personal God. Yes, I am God, your God.” -(MSG)

This simple, blue robe was to be made seamless; out of one whole piece of material. “This was most likely done on a loom and is called a double weave, where the top and bottom pieces of the fabric are woven at the same time and joined on each side. This would be the same type of robe worn by Messiah on the night and morning of his betrayal and death.” -Christian Churches of God

It was only to have one opening, at the very top for the priest’s head to come through. “There shall be a woven edge like a collar around this opening, so that it will not tear.” There is a correlation between the color blue being associated with the law and the fact that the robe would not tear; it was to remind the people that there was to be no imperfections, rents or tears in the law.

There was to be only one part of decoration on this garment; it was to be along the hem of the robe. There was to be alternately; pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric all around and bells of gold. Jewish tradition tells us that the pomegranate was an emblem of righteousness and it is quite fruitful. It was believed that each pomegranate had 613 seeds. This number corresponds with the 613 commandments of the Torah.

The golden bells were placed on the hem of the robe for the sound that they would make. Jewish tradition tells us that one end of a rope was timed to the ankle of the High priest as he entered into the Holy of Holies. If the sound of the bells ceased the priests on the outside would know that something had happened to the High Priest and they would gently pull him out by pulling on the other end of the rope.

Over and over again we see the reinforcing of the fact that the priests were called to live a holy, sinless life. They were to be living examples before the people of what God was expecting of them too. Notice, even the priestly garments set them apart from everyone else.

The Apostle Peter reminds us that we too are part of that royal priesthood. “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” -1 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG)

Peter also reminds us that we need to be living a holy, sinless life; just as the priests of old were asked to do. “So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” -1 Peter 1:13-16 (MSG)

My Prayer:
Lord, help me to live my life holy and acceptable to you. You have called me to be set apart and this may mean that I may have to dress differently, speak differently, and even act differently. You have called me to a higher standard because I am to be a representative for you. Help me to not rebel against this calling, but accept it as my reasonable service to you. I am yours, Lord!

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