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Old Testament High Priest Pictures Christ Our High Priest

Exodus 28:4 (ESV) … “These are the garments that they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a coat of checker work, a turban, and a sash. They shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons to serve me as priests.”

Under the Mosaic economy, the priests were a special class appointed to minister unto God on behalf of the people. They enjoyed privileges which were not shared by others. Theirs was a nearness to Jehovah peculiar to themselves. They were vested with an authority and were permitted to do that which was not given to those whom they represented. But at the Cross a radical change was brought about. The old order ended, and a new one was inaugurated. Judaism ceased, and Christianity was introduced.

Coming now to the robes of Israel’s high priest we would call attention once more to the order of Jehovah’s instructions to Moses. In Exodus 29 we have an account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons to their holy office. But before this is given, in Exodus 28, a description is furnished of the various garments they were to wear. First, the vestments of the high priest are detailed, and then those of Aaron’s sons. The anointed eye may easily discern the propriety of and the reason for this. Typically, the garments foreshadowed the manifold glories of Christ, the great High Priest, which glories and perfections manifested His fitness for that office. The holy garments of Aaron were “for glory and beauty”: they gave dignity to his person, being suitable apparel for his position. In figure they pointed to Christ in all His perfections with the Father before He was “consecrated” to His work for us.

How profoundly thankful should each Christian reader be for that wondrous grace which has enabled him to flee from the wrath to come and to lay hold of eternal life! What praise is due to God for the great High Priest which His mercy has provided for His feeble and failing people: a Priest who is fully qualified, through His personal perfections, not only to supply our every need, but also to meet every requirement of a holy and righteous God![1]

[1] Pink, A. W. (1962). Gleanings in Exodus (p. 262). Chicago: Moody Press.

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