Human beings are not animals. That is not the direction of today’s blog, but I did want to point that out because there is a striving that takes place within a man’s soul to be singularly unique and universally accepted simultaneously; a trait demonstrated nowhere in the animal kingdom. The idiosyncrasy is best observed in any teenager (again, not an animal) with the irony being in their resolve to be one-of-a-kind, they typically end up looking and behaving like one another. As onlookers we might be quick to propose the behavior as inane, but the reality is God knowingly integrated this characteristic into our framework for the purpose of bringing honor, glory, and praise to Himself.
The garments of the high priest bear witness to this truth—the notion that both individuality and oneness go hand-and-hand within the body of Christ. As a body of believers; a corporate entity, Christ bears the weight of the Church upon His shoulders, much in the same way He bore His own cross. Because of His singular efforts, oppression and encumbrance are choices for the believer rather than realities—if in Christ we suffer in these things, it is because we have chosen to.
It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. Isaiah 10:27
And yet Christ still confirms our individuality, so much so we are portrayed in this priestly garment as being continually over His heart. We are sanctified; set apart both corporately and independently—one body, yet singular in composition. Individually we are as the gems on Aaron’s breastplate; all reflecting and refracting light differently, all valuable, but yet as a singular garment positioned over His heart eternally.
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one…so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Hebrews 2:11-13, Romans 12:5
Do we see ourselves as God sees us; gems born upon the shoulders of His Son and across His breast? Do we understand that if we are sapphires, we cannot be amethysts and that both are of equal value to God? Do we see our brothers and sisters in Christ in this same light?