Holy to the Lord

Exodus 28:36-38 – 36 “You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ 37 And you shall fasten it on the turban by a cord of blue. It shall be on the front of the turban. 38 It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall bear any guilt from the holy things that the people of Israel consecrate as their holy gifts. It shall regularly be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.

In Exodus 28, we see the instructions for the crafting of the clothing of the high priest, Aaron. God tells the people through Moses how to make the priest’s robe, how to add the bells at the hem, how to make the ephod and the precious stones with the names of the 12 tribes. And here we see instructions for the headpiece.

What grabs my attention is that the priest wears a label on the forehead of his turban, An engraved medallion of gold. This piece reads, “Holy to the Lord.” And that label is necessary for the high priest to be able to enter into the holy place and make offerings on behalf of the people.

Aaron, while I’m sure a godly man, was not able to call himself holy. He was a sinner who needed to have sacrifice made for his own shortcomings. But God placed upon Aaron a label declaring that his actions as high priest were holy to the Lord.

This is a beautiful picture for us of something that the Lord Jesus would be and that he would do. In his identity, the Lord Jesus is what Aaron’s label could only declare. Jesus is holy, utterly and perfectly holy. While Aaron needed a label to shield him from having his sinful identity stand out. Jesus brought genuine holiness into the mix as God the Son. When Jesus entered the heavenly holy of holies, he entered worthy.

The label also reminds me of what Jesus would do. Jesus hangs a label of holy on all he forgives. The Savior’s righteousness is imputed to all who come to him for grace through faith. Jesus is the only holy one. Jesus calls all who are his, “Holy to the Lord.” Thus, though we do not wear Aaron’s outfit, we are under the sign of the holiness of Christ.

I know, not all of us love to read about the garments of the priest or the curtains in the tabernacle. But, dear friends, these things point us to Jesus. And this is no symbolic stretch. Jesus is holy. Jesus declares those who come to him for forgiveness as holy. And that holiness is the only way we will ever enter the presence of the Lord. May we let this call us to praise our Lord as we give him thanks for the label, “Holy to the Lord.”