In our continued study of the garments of the priesthood, we first need to remember what the garments are used for. We read in Exodus 28:2, “and thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for Glory and for Beauty.” What do we know about the attributes of glory and beauty? As we know, garments cover people, places, and things. Clothing reveals a lot about our personality and character. Spiritually you are clothed by your thoughts, speech, and actions, revealing and concealing what you want people to perceive about your personality and character.
As a priestly people, we need to remember when we put on the clothing of our Melchizedek high priest Jesus, we are to wear them with the same purpose as He asked Moses to dress Aaron. His purpose was for the Glory and Beauty, revealing God’s nature and character. It does not take long before we realize that the only way to do this is as a born again spirit filled Christian. Here are some examples we can learn from Romans 13:14, “PUT ON the Lord Jesus Christ…” or in Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ HAVE PUT ON CHRIST.”
Now let us look at the Breastplate of judgment. In Exodus 28:28-30 it reads, “and thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. … And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod. And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.” This a picture of what Jesus our high priest does for us. First let’s look at the breastplate of Judgement. This breastplate has twelve precious gemstones with the names of the children of Israel named on each stone. Curiously, it’s called the breastplate of judgment and it was kept on the heart of the high priest. The word judgment in Hebrew is mishpat (מִשְׁפָּט Strong’s H4941) meaning presented for judgment.
Each of us is listed in the breastplate of judgment, and we are guilty before the Lord. Even if we had done everything correctly in our lives, we have a nature that is fallen from grace. The judgment that should have been passed on us is “GUILTY” and our sentence should have been death. Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This gracious gift that we have received is because Jesus our Melchizedek high priest took on our sin nature.
As a priestly people, we are to do the same for others. We are to forgive as he has forgiven us, love as he has loved us, judge has he has judged us with righteous judgment. John 7:24 reads, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” This is the nature and character of Jesus our High priest which we need to imitate. Rom 5:6-8 reads, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” As priest and kings of almighty God, we are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and wear His garments. We are to live it out with our actions and supplication and prayer, with every beat of our heart for the soul of Israel depicted n the twelve precious gemstones carried on your heart into the holy place, proclaiming the good news that has come to each of us through the cross.