December 27, 2021
8 They fashioned the breast-piece — the work of a skilled craftsman. They made it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. 9 It was square — a span long and a span wide — and folded double. 10 Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. The first row was carnelian, chrysolite and beryl; 11 the second row was turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald; 12 the third row was jacinth, agate and amethyst; 13 the fourth row was topaz, onyx and jasper. They were mounted in gold filigree settings. 14 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.
15 For the breast-piece they made braided chains of pure gold, like a rope. 16 They made two gold filigree settings and two gold rings, and fastened the rings to two of the corners of the breast-piece. 17 They fastened the two gold chains to the rings at the corners of the breast-piece, 18 and the other ends of the chains to the two settings, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front. 19 They made two gold rings and attached them to the other two corners of the breast-piece on the inside edge next to the ephod. 20 Then they made two more gold rings and attached them to the bottom of the shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the seam just above the waistband of the ephod. 21 They tied the rings of the breast-piece to the rings of the ephod with blue cord, connecting it to the waistband so that the breast-piece would not swing out from the ephod — as the Lord commanded Moses.
The breast-piece is one unit, yet having twelve precious stones. One unit, yet representing all twelve of the tribes. The high-priest would where the breast-piece and the ephod as he performed his duties in the tabernacle. Representing all of the people before God. As he made sacrifices they were for all of the people. Atonement was made for all and forgiveness and grace were then offered to all out the work of the tabernacle.
In Hebrews 4.14-16 we see the great high-priest. “Therefore, since we have a great high-priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high-priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
All of us are represented by this great high-priest. We are all able to receive forgiveness, God’s mercy and grace, through the final sacrifice by, and of, the final, great high-priest. We receive life through this one high-priest forever. No need for continuous sacrifices and endless atonement offerings for our sins. All is now done as he has represented us all in the offering of the final sacrifice for all sin. Life is certain forever. We live in his grace at all times.
Song – Grace Flows Down
God of love, all year long we pursue power and money, yet you come in weakness. All season long we covet great material gifts, when you alone offer what is lasting. Through the work of this Lord Jesus, who comes among us full of grace and truth, forgive us, heal us, correct us. Then open our lips, that we may sing your praise with the angels, and remake our lives, that we may witness to your transforming love. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.