Old Testament: Exodus 28:1-43
Exodus 28:1-43 Men of the Cloth
Worship for the Jews was such an affair,
That the priests had to be very careful what they wear.
And you thought Joseph had some pretty cool duds? This part of the chapter describes the beautiful details of the priests’ garb who were to minister in the tabernacle. I saw a very well-dressed couple at a restaurant after church recently. Surprised that someone would dress up for church in this day and age, I commended them. They said, “Only the best for God!” True. There is a lesson here.
The priests’ jobs were to burn incense, maintain the lampstand and offer the sacrifices. The high priest was Moses’ brother, Aaron. The other priests were Aaron’s two infamous sons, Nadab and Abihu. Don’t name your kids Nadab or Abihu! You’ll find out why in Lev. 10:1-2. Aaron’s youngest sons, Elezar and Ithamar, had to take over for them. That should whet your interest.
The garments of the priests set them apart from the other Israelites. The clothes were made of the same material as the curtains described in the last chapter with some gold added. The best craftsmen were to be the haberdashers. This chapter contains the details of the various pieces and jewels that were used.
Note the “Urim and Thummin” (v. 29, 30) were two stones that the priests used to obtain direct wisdom from God to make decisions for Israel (cf. Num. 27:21).
28:36-38. The turban and the tunic of the priest were to be made of linen (v. 39). The turban was to have a plate that stated HOLY TO THE LORD. God takes holiness seriously (1 Pet. 1:16). You can’t get hats like these at Lids.
Not approaching God in proper attire could result in death (v. 43)!
God gave very specific instructions to the priests to wear certain garb in worship at Temple.
New Testament: Matthew 25:31-26:13
Jesus separates the goats and sheep,
It’s the hungry and down and out He expects us to meet.
Not to help could result in Hell,
Caiaphas comes out to answer the bell,
Mary is responsible for a glorious smell.
25:31 Judgment: Why Are No Sports Teams Called The Goats?
No one names their team “The Goats.” To be fair, no one names their team after sheep either. Jesus says there will be a judgment. Can’t say we weren’t warned. It will be better to be with the sheep at that time than the goats. (Are Christians supposed to be conservative? Notice the “sheep” are on the “right.”)
25:34-40 How To Help Jesus
Jesus commends those who feed the hungry, homeless, badly clothed, imprisoned, or sick during this time. The setting is still the seven-year Tribulation when those who follow Christ are apt to be in special need. By way of application, all of this is also true today. Do you make sure your pastor has transportation, clothes and food? Some churches, in trying to save a buck, do not care for their ministers in this (Laodicean) age. Jesus says that as you treat His brothers (cf. Heb. 2:11, “For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one [Father]; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren”), so you have treated Him.
25:41-46 Persecutors Prosecuted
This does not teach “works salvation.” Salvation is always by faith. What it does show is that those who are truly saved will take care of their own who are going to be persecuted during the Tribulation. Those who do not help the persecuted believers will end up in H-E- double hockey sticks. Isn’t ignoring those who need help during this time (and any time!) a form of persecution?
Notice Hell was not created for human beings. God does not hope for ANY human being to be doomed to Hell (2 Pet. 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”). Hell is created for “the devil and his angels” (v. 41). Another word for the devil’s angels? Demons.
26:1-5 The Passover Plot
The successor to Aaron at this time was Caiaphas. (Ciaphas was probably a little more like Nadab and Abihu than Aaron.) Jesus warned his disciples that the time was very near for His crucifixion. He indicated it would be at the time of the Passover. We’ve looked at the Passover in our study of Exodus so you can see the parallel.
Showing that the nation had truly rejected Christ, their representatives, “the chief priests and the elders of the people” were looking for an opportunity to kill Him that wouldn’t rouse the people.
26:6-13 A Dab’ll Do Ya?
There was a hair tonic ad long ago, “A little dab’ll do ya.” The woman (Mary, Martha’s sister, John 12:3) who came to the home of Simon the leper (not of American Idol fame) apparently had not heard this ad. She slathered Jesus with very expensive ointment (a “year’s wages” worth, cf. John 12:5 NIV). The disciples, in particular Judas (cf. John 12: 4), objected to the waste of money. Jesus used the episode as an object lesson to show that He was going to die soon and that the story of the woman would be told around the world. No sacrifice made for Christ is wasted. Mary was the only one who anointed Jesus. (The women went to anoint Jesus but He had arisen already, cf. Luke 24:1-3). She was the only one who understood that Jesus was going to die.
When Christ comes back, He will sort out the lost people from the saved. During the Seven-Year Tribulation in the future, Jesus expects believers to help other believers. It will be a time when many will have need of basics. Jesus would help them and he expects able believers to help the downtrodden believers during that time.
The High Priest, Caiaphas, began to plot Jesus’ death. The nation of Israel had clearly rejected their Messiah at this point. Martha’s sister, Mary, anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive ointment in preparation for His death and burial.