Tetzavvel (Exodus/Shemot 27:20 - 30:10)
For the week of March 7, 1998
9 Adar 5758
Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the
sons of Israel
over his heart (Exodus/Shemot 28:29).
Aaron, the brother of Moses, was the first Israelite priest (Hebrew: Ko-hen). The above statement captures the essence of the priest's role in Israeli society. By bearing the names of the people of Israel over his heart, Aaron was the people's representative before God.
God was then, as he is now, accessible to all people. Yet the establishment of the priesthood put limits upon that accessibility. God's nature demanded that certain measures had to be taken to get near to him. Some may not like the idea of a specially appointed person representing us and our needs before God. But the reality of the situation is that because of our sinful nature we can not handle being in God's presence.
God's desire was not to be distant form us. On the contrary, God wants to be with his people. He wants every barrier between us and him removed. But until we recognize this distance, we will never be near to him.
If we could accept that our present moral and spiritual condition prevents us from entering God's presence, we may also be ready to accept God's provision of an appointed representative.
The priesthood, however, never brought us closer to God. Year after year it was only the priest who drew near. But their ministry was not an end in itself. It foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah.
Yeshua embodied the ancient priesthood. He gave himself sacrificially so that we could gain full access to God's presence. What the priests illustrated, Yeshua actually did.
And today, like Aaron of old, Yeshua bears the names of his people over his heart.