Holy – to the Lord!

Exodus 28:36-38 “You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ And you shall fasten it on the turban by a cord of blue. It shall be on the front of the turban. 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.”

The verses above contain one of the most incredible and precious truths in all the Bible. This truth is what is contained in the words that were engraved on a plate of pure gold that was fastened to the high priest Aaron’s forehead as he ministered before the Lord in the tabernacle.  As Aaron represented the people of Israel as he ministered and offered sacrifices for sin on their behalf before the Lord, these words were a representation that the sacrifices, and thus the people themselves, were “accepted before the Lord.” 

The truth of this dawned on me some years ago but I don’t think I’ll ever fully come to grips with the wonder of it.  You see, it all comes down to the meaning of the word “holy.”  If you were to ask someone who they considered to be a “holy” person, you would likely get as many answers as the people you would ask. For a skid row alcoholic, perhaps they would consider a “holy” person as anyone who was more religious than they were, i.e., perhaps anyone who went to church once in a while, or someone who didn’t live in such a destitute condition as they did.  If you asked the typical church-goer the same thing, you might get an answer like “Mother Theresa” or some wonderful Christian example, like Joni-Erickson Tada, who as a paraplegic has given her life to serve the disabled.  But what if you asked God?  What does He see at holy? What is something that is holy “to the Lord”? 

Surely the only one who is holy to God is One who meets His divine standard of moral perfection, i.e., someone who is just like Him. Immediately our thoughts turn to the Great High Priest, Jesus, or to the Holy Spirit, the two who are part of the Trinity with the Father.  But here’s the awesome thing. It is this same holiness that the Holy God sees in every one of His children that has been born again.  You see, it is “for our sake He made Him to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).” There is nothing in all the world that compares to this. 

The apostle Paul realized this when he declared the following words: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith (Philippians 3:8-9).” 

How awesome is this, that we, who by nature are so sinful, can become “holy to the Lord,” because of the sacrifice that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross.  Do you realize this?  Do you want it?  It is your awesome possession if you know Him.  However, if you don’t know Him, you can begin to know Him at this very moment if you will just turn to Him, and repent of your sin. 

Holy to the Lord – it’s such an incredible blessing for every child of God – not because we deserve it, and not because we can ever fully understand it.  Rather, it is only because God has so declared it as a result of the incredible and awesome gift of the life of His Holy and Precious Son.  Jesus, the Lamb of God, Who was given as a sacrifice on the cross, a sacrifice that can completely cleanse all who put their faith in Him of all their sin and make them just like He is, “Holy to the Lord.”

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