Rev. Joel W. Meyer, pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Prairie City, MO, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Exodus 28:1-14 and Exodus 39:1-7.
When Israel arrived at Mt. Sinai, the LORD declared them a kingdom of priests. They would intercede for the LORD before the world. Yet Israel too needed a priest, someone to intercede between them and the LORD. Aaron and his sons were given that role by the LORD. This was not an office of their own choosing, but a gift bestowed upon them by the LORD alone. Their various garments were a visual, tangible reminder of that truth. Although they were not worthy because of their iniquity, the LORD covered their sins and brought them into His presence. The materials used for the priestly garments was the same as the materials used for the tabernacle, connecting the place the LORD was at work for salvation with the men through whom He was at work to accomplish that task. Similarly today, the pastor’s vestments mark him as the man called by God to proclaim His Word and administer His sacraments.
Aaron’s ephod, the first garment described, was a vest of sorts on which he carried the names of the sons of Israel engraved on two stones on his shoulders. As representative of His people, Aaron bore their sins into the LORD’s presence, where He forgave them through the sacrificial blood. All of this points forward to Christ, who is our great High Priest. He has carried the sins of the whole world on His shoulders in order to clothe us with Himself. Clothed with Christ in Baptism, we now are priests who intercede before God on behalf of the whole world.
“The Saga of Salvation” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that takes a step-by-step walk through the book of Exodus. This premier account of salvation in the Old Testament proclaims that the LORD is the one true God, the Creator and Redeemer, who alone is worthy of our worship and faith, all the while pointing us forward to the ultimate deliverance He gives through the exodus accomplished by Christ.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
The Priests’ Garments
28 “Then bring near to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel, to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 2 And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. 3 You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood. 4 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. 5 They shall receive gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen.
6 “And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and of fine twined linen, skillfully worked. 7 It shall have two shoulder pieces attached to its two edges, so that it may be joined together. 8 And the skillfully woven band on it shall be made like it and be of one piece with it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. 9 You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, 10 six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, in the order of their birth. 11 As a jeweler engraves signets, so shall you engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall enclose them in settings of gold filigree. 12 And you shall set the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel. And Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders for remembrance. 13 You shall make settings of gold filigree, 14 and two chains of pure gold, twisted like cords; and you shall attach the corded chains to the settings.
Making the Priestly Garments
39 From the blue and purple and scarlet yarns they made finely woven garments,[a] for ministering in the Holy Place. They made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
2 He made the ephod of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. 3 And they hammered out gold leaf, and he cut it into threads to work into the blue and purple and the scarlet yarns, and into the fine twined linen, in skilled design. 4 They made for the ephod attaching shoulder pieces, joined to it at its two edges. 5 And the skillfully woven band on it was of one piece with it and made like it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
6 They made the onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold filigree, and engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. 7 And he set them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
- Exodus 39:1 Or garments for worship
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.