Lace of Blue: the Priest With Urim and Thummim: No. 1

Exodus 28:30
If we turn to Neh. 7 we shall find that one sad effect of seventy years' captivity, and mingling in Babylon, was this—that many of the children of Israel could not find their register. "And these were they which went up also from Tel-melah, Tel-haresha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not show their father's house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel." "And of the priests:.... these sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. And the Tirshatha [or ruler] said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim."
Has there not been a very similar effect produced by the eighteen centuries of the church's captivity and mingling with the world? The great mass are in the indifference of profound sleep. But there are not a few awakening to search and inquire; and what would they give to be quite certain they were the children of God, and that their names were written in heaven! A lady said the other day, after the preaching, "Oh, how can I get to know with certainty that I am saved—that I am really a child of God?”
Just as there were many of the priests in this sad dilemma, so there are many who are quickened souls who are the children of God, and yet cannot find their register. These never enjoy the most holy things of certainty, acceptance, and worship.
Since these things, then, were written for our instruction, what may we learn from the words of the Tirshatha, " that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim"? There can be no question that the priest was a type of Christ, and therefore the lesson to be learned is this—that we could never find our register in heaven, until He, our Priest, stood up with Urim and Thummim. And before we turn to Exodus, to meditate on Christ as set before us in the type of the high priest with Urim and Thummim, let us note carefully that Jesus is our High Priest, having first accomplished eternal redemption for us. Not as He was on earth, "For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest." " We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." (Heb. 8)
Now we will turn to Exod. 28 What a picture of that same Jesus raised up from among the dead—our great High Priest! Notice the garments. (Vers. 4-6.) The body prepared for Him. The same materials as those found in the veil, that is to say, His flesh; but with one addition—the gold. " And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine-twined linen," &c. The same Jesus, the same pure, holy, heavenly, righteous One; but gold added divine righteousness accomplished, subsisting. We see Him, the gold, our divine subsisting righteousness. Blue, the Lord from heaven; purple and scarlet, Lord of lords, and King of kings—all royalty, Jewish or Gentile, shall find its center in Him; fine linen, the spotless One, without sin.
u The curious girdle of the ephod which is upon it shall be of the same." It is ail Himself; of the same glories and excellencies of His blessed Person. And now as to the names of the children of Israel. They must be engraved, not written so as to be obliterated! No, never. Engraved in onyx stones. Over and over is this instruction given, and how secure they must be set in ouches of gold! No rubbing out; no getting loose. Names engraved, and set in gold—set in divine righteousness. And where are they to be placed? Where the same blessed Shepherd places the lost sheep—on His shoulder. Kept by the power of God. Chains of pure gold. Not only placed there in security; but now look at that wondrous breastplate to be placed on his heart. Each of the materials again set forth, the same great High Priest passed into the heavens—gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine-twined linen. Look at those twelve precious stones set in gold. "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 then what chains and rings of gold—how secure the fastenings must be! Yes, chains of pure gold—the righteousness of God revealed—and rings of gold (no hooks and eyes), but everlasting righteousness in subsisting, everlasting love; yes, every word is a golden link in the believer's security. Engraved on the heart of our great High Priest, bound in divine, everlasting love. " And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof, unto the rings of the ephod, with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod." Blue is the heavenly color. What a thought!—yea, what a fact!—the believer is tied, is bound on the heart of Christ with a heavenly tie—the lace of blue! What God joins together, let no man put asunder. It is all the work of God. Has He not thus blest us in the heavens in Christ? (Eph. 1:33Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3).)
" And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.
And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually." Thus God explains to us, and assures us, that whilst our high priest is in His presence, our names must be on His heart for a memorial continually. They are bound there. He cannot be there without them. God has tied them there with a lace of blue, that they may not be loosed. What a memorial, too, of how He has borne our judgment! In this breastplate were placed the Urim and Thummim—light and perfection. The radiance of that light could not shine on Aaron, without shining on every name in that breastplate. The radiance of the glory of God cannot shine on our exalted High Priest without shining on every name engraved on His heart, and that also continually.
But how am I to know that my name is registered there, is engraved on the heart of my great High Priest, in heaven? Let us first examine as to the Urim. If we read carefully 2 Cor. 3, we find the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. Their minds were blinded. " But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their hearts." This must be the case if we are under law. Can any man approach the light of the presence of God on the ground of his responsibility? Surely the light must crush us with condemnation. If, then, you are still under law, you can only find condemnation. On that ground no man can find his register! If under the administration of law, the veil is on the heart, and we are blinded. How different with believers. " But we all, with open [or unveiled] face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord." This, then, marks a believer—an unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord.
" But if our gospel be veiled, it is veiled to them that be lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light [radiancy] of the glad tidings of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." Thus the Urim, the light, or radiancy, of Jehovah, that shone upon the breastplate of the high priest, was a striking type of the radiancy of the glory of Christ. " For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light [radiancy] of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." We can thus understand why Satan, by his ministers, should have been so diligent to place souls under law; it is to blind them, to put the veil on the heart. It is not here a question of God's acceptance of my works, or of my person. " For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord." Whether we believe, or not, He has made reconciliation for sin. He has glorified God as to the whole question of sin. He has finished the work of eternal redemption. His precious blood has been shed; full, infinite propitiation has been made once, never to be repeated. Would you find your register? Look entirely away from self, and law, and works; gaze on Him alone. Can you say, He has been delivered for my offenses—He bowed His head in death for me? We think we hear you say, I have not a doubt as to that. Yes, once He bore my sins in His body on the tree, in the midst of that awful darkness; no radiancy shone on Him there—He was forsaken of God. Oh, fearful hour, when my sins were laid on Him! The Father alone knows the suffering of that hour of darkness, when His soul was made an offering for sin. Reader, do you believe all this? And further, when that holy head had bowed in death, and those blessed words fell from His dying lips, " It is finished," did not man even then pierce His side with cruel spear, from which flowed blood and water? After this the nails were drawn from His hands and feet, and that precious body was laid in a new sepulcher. But is that all? If that be all, there is nothing that answers to Urim and Thummim—no light, no radiancy, in the dark sepulcher.
Do you believe God that raised Him from the dead for our justification? Where is He now—in the darkness of the grave, or in the radiancy of the glory of God? Now, as surely as it was for us He suffered thus, so surely it was for us God raised Him thus. Both are equally true. Behold Him, once on the cross, our Substitute; with unveiled face, behold Him now in the radiancy of the glory of God—our Representative, our great High Priest. Now we are assured, believing God, for God raised Him from the dead, that we are justified by faith, and have peace with God. Yes, we share the peace of His complete victory. And that completeness is now unfolded in the glad tidings of the glory of Christ. And we with unveiled face behold the glory of the Lord. How blessed the radiancy of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ! He who bare our sins in the midst of darkness is now in the radiancy of the glory of God—that radiancy, that Urim, has shone also into our hearts. Aaron was not a perfect figure of our High Priest; he had to stand, bearing the names of the children of Israel on his heart continually. But our High Priest has sat down. But more of this when we consider the Thummim.
Has God by the Holy Spirit removed the veil from your heart? Do you behold the Priest who has been raised up from the dead with Urim and Thummim? Can light be more perfect than the radiancy of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ? Then let us remember the rings of gold, and lace of blue. Yes, all is of God. He who laid our sins on Him has bound us to His heart continually, that we may not be loosed. All the powers of earth and hell can never untie the heavenly knot. Rings of divine righteousness and everlasting love. The radiancy that shines on the risen Christ, in the glory of God, must shine on the feeblest believer written on His heart. And oh, sweet word, continually. He ever there, we ever accepted in Him, the Beloved. Yes, He says, " And the glory that thou hast given me, I have given them." It is not at the foot of the cross we find our register, but above all heavens, on the heart of our great High Priest, in the midst of the radiance of the Urim of God. Tied on His heart with a lace of blue, and kept by the power of God, as the onyx stones were placed on the shoulders of Aaron.
Yes, beloved reader, if you are a believer, such is your place in the radiancy of the glory of God. What a contrast to man's blue ribbon, badge of man's effort to save himself! No, the lace of blue sets before us the precious lesson of divine grace. All, all of God. He who gave His Son to die for us has set our names on His heart, never to be effaced; like the engraving of a signet, where the radiancy of the glory of God forever shines. In our next we shall hope to dwell on the Thummim in the breastplate of Aaron. C. S.