“Then he placed the turban on Aaron’s head and set the gold plate, the sacred diadem, on the front of it, as the LORD commanded Moses.” – Leviticus 8: 9
When we reflect upon this chapter, we may find ourselves struggling to grasp the relevance of these words in our lives. Living in the 21st century, many traditions and customs have been “lost in translation”, such as the significance of the priestly garments, which reflect the importance of priesthood and, furthermore, communion with God. Aaron and his sons were endowed with vibrantly decorated and colorful garments, such as the ephod, breast piece, and the sacred diadem to be placed upon Aaron’s head. Though at first glance one may view these garments as a glorification of a position, there’s a deeper meaning to each garment.
The ephod contained shoulder pieces where two onyx stones were placed, each bearing six names of the sons of Israel serving as a memorial before the Lord. The breast piece also contained twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes, signifying that Aaron would bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart whenever he entered the Holy Place. Every decision Aaron made kept the needs of the Israelites close to his heart. The sacred diadem, a plate of pure gold, had upon it engraved “Holy To The Lord”, and was placed on Aaron’s forehead. Though it may be misconstrued as a pendant of exultation, it served as a reverent reminder that the priest is consecrated for the Lord and the priest bore the guilt involved in the gifts offered by the Israelites to the Lord.
Though this ideology may sound outdated to many, the passage speaks to our lives today. Priesthood represents a bridge between God and his people that, once broken, is restored by the blood of the Lamb. This restoration reveals to us that these words, these reminders, are written in our hearts and the veil of sin no longer shrouds communion with Jesus, who is the ultimate High Priest. Our priests, set apart for the ministry of God, encourage and strengthen us on earth to maintain and develop our relationship with Him and that in Christ, we are set free.
Prayer: Lord, let us pray for the priests within our church and that you guide and let them unveil the shroud that prevents us from having a relationship with You. Help us to remind ourselves that we are free in You and we are valuable in Your Eyes. We thank you for your Presence in our lives. Amen.
Thought for the Day: The gap between God and us has been restored with the blood of Christ. Our priests have been chosen to minister the mission of the Gospel and help restore our relationship with God.
Robin Varghese, Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, NY