DECEMBER 12: FOUR ROWS OF STONES

FOUR ROWS OF STONES
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"And thou shalt set in it settings of stone, even four rows of stones.
... And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
... And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart before the Lord continually."
Exodus28:17,21,29
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Today's Read: Exodus 28; 39; Revelation 21
Picture the top of an apron running across the breast, extending down to the naval approximately, with pure "weighted" priceless jewels in rows of four adorning the priestly garment.
The jewels, composed in squares of perfect symmetry, would have been absolutely bedazzling and spectacular to the eye:
The stones signified the twelve tribes and were listed in the order of the twelve sons of Jacob which is the nation of Israel:
First Row:
Reuban - Sardius
Simeon - Topaz
Levi - Carbuncle
Second Row:
Judah - Emerald
Dan - Sapphire
Naphtali - Diamond
Third Row:
Gad - Ligure/Jacinth
Asher - Agate
Issachar - Amethyst
Fourth Row:
Zebulun - Beryl
Joseph - Onyx
Benjamin - Jasper
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God designated the "High Priest" as the official Mediator between Himself and man in the Old Testament. The High Priest bore and wore garments that carried and conveyed the entirety of a nation upon both breast and shoulders.
The High Priest was appointed and ordained by God through the paternal line of Aaron, the eldest brother of Moses, who served as the first High Priest anointed, appointed, and elected of God.
The unusual responsibilities that attended him was a "foreshadowing" of all that only Christ could ultimately fulfill ... in the end.
The High Priest was a visible, faulty, flawed BUT temporary human representation of Christ and he must be remembered as such, for he himself required a purging from sin before offering sacrifice for sin on behalf of the people.
Still, his role is remarkable and worthy of consideration, for he leads us into an understanding of the redemptive process as God determined it.
-The High Priest carried the weight of an entire nation on his fleshly body.
-The High Priest offered atonement for sin through the sacrifice and blood of animals interceding for man on God's behalf.
-The High Priest made intercession for sinful man and allowed for relationship with God.
The absolute beauty and wonder of God's provision for man and his sinful state ... and the need to deal with that sinful state was what the priesthood served to symbolize.
The priest acted as a "flawed and temporary" solution to relationship with God through redemption;
But Christ acted out an "unflawed and eternal" solution to man forever.

Christ was the Redeemer, Definer, and Fulfiller of Redemption ... and there is no earthly priest after Him.
"For such a High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. Who needeth not daily, as those (past tense) high priests to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word fo the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated evermore."
Hebrews 7:26-28
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Many people yawn through the book of Leviticus finding it boring, meaningless, and irrelevant; and they assert this about other books of the Old Testament as well.
These are "dim-lit" and "dim-witted" individuals composed of ignorance and void of its power, authority, and witness to God.
All of God's word is prescribed as ordained, needful, and necessary for man's soul;
Delve into the "whole" of it and not "portions" of it or you will miss out on the redemptive purposes and purity of God.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
2 Timothy 3:16-17
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As we study the stones we are provided an ultimate revelation into the "True Stone" Jesus Christ ... and we learn that the symbolism contained in the stones and behind the stones  secures and provides a story pointing us to the "Living Stone."
Be filled with wonder and give heavy regard to the Stone that carries and conveys "you" on His chest before the Father and makes personal intercession for "you."
What the High Priest did in the Old Testament,
Christ now has fulfilled for us permanently in the New.
Understand the plan of true Redemption;
Discover the realities of God's true Testaments.
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Three Study Suggestions:
1) Consider reading through the Gospel with an accompaniment of the book of Leviticus in order to understand the role that Christ plays as "High Priest" in your life.
2) Record the names of the stones listed above, representing the twelve tribes, and consider your own name as it is now recorded on the breast and shoulders of Christ and all that it signifies for you.
3) Gather twelve stones and place one larger prominent one in the middle and remember the "True Stone," the Living Stone as Jesus Christ ...
And give Him thanks.