The Shadows and the Substance

So I have been studying Exodus all summer, which has been incredibly convicting and challenging. In the past few weeks I have hit “the instructions” chapters of Exodus, you know the long descriptions of the poles of Acaia wood for the tabernacle and the curtains that are such and such cubits doubled and embroidered and such. Admittedly, it has been tough to not just skip over these chapters and get back to the narrative meat of the book. However, my dead buddy A.W.Pink has been super helpful to open up the significance of these seemingly endless chapters through the lens of Christ!

All that to say, I was so encouraged by a few things that I just had to share them! In studying all the ritual clothing that the High Priest was to wear, specifically the Breastplate and the onyx stones that were supposed to go on his shoulders, there is so much encouragement there, of all places! On both of these there were precious stones engraved with the names of the Tribes of Israel, which represents the fullness of all believers. So why the shoulder and the breastplate? What does that mean? “In its typical application to the saints today, this tells of their perfect security. The shoulder is the place of strength (Is9:6) and tells us that the omnipotence of Christ is engaged on the behalf of His people. It is not our strength, but His.” A.W.Pink. Another dude with initials C.H.M. said, “The shoulder which sustains the universe (Heb1:3) upholds the feeblest and most obscure member of the blood-bought congregation.”

That image of the shoulders made me think of our boys sitting on G’s shoulders, help up high, protected, smiling, secure.  So we are, in essence, on Christ’s shoulder or arm, which is His strength, and also on His heart (the breastplate). About the placement of the stones on the Breastplate, Pink says, “God’s people were thus doubly represented: first upon the shoulders, the place of strength; and then upon the heart, the seat of affection. Lovely type was this of our Redeemer in His present Heavenly ministry, exercising His power to uphold His poor people; and His deep, tender, unchangeable love embracing them, binding them close to His heart, and presenting them to the Father.”

C.H Bright said this of the same chapters: “There are times when we forget that we have One on high whom, in grace, cares for and watches over those who are treading the path of faith He once trod on earth. And there are times when, though we remember this, we limit wither His love or His power.”

That dead theologian had me pegged right there! That is so me! It has been sweet to meditate this week that I am on Christ’s shoulders and over His heart.

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