Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
On the beautiful breastplate that God ordained for Israel’s high priest to wear when he ministered to the Lord in the temple were four rows of precious stones. From the King James Version, here is a list of those stones (Ex. 28:17-20):
In the first row were these three stones: a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle.
In the second row were these three stones: an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
In the third row were these three stones: a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
In the fourth row were these three stones: a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.
No one else was allowed to wear such a breastplate; these were holy things that belonged only to God’s high priest.
It isn’t clear that it holds any great mystery, but it should be noted that Satan was created “perfect in beauty” and that part of his perfect beauty was that he was covered with precious stones that are remarkably similar to those on the breastplate of Israel’s high priest. Moved by the holy Ghost, Ezekiel gave us the names of the stones that covered Satan (28:13): “You have been in Eden in the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold.”
The only difference, then, between the stones of Satan’s “covering” and those on the high priest’s breastplate was the third row of stones in the breastplate. I do not even attempt to explain this similarity; if there is any “deep” meaning to the similarity, I could only speculate as to what it is. All I can do in cases such as this is to be aware of the facts and to wait on God for any further understanding of them. I want you to be aware of the biblical facts, too.
God designed the garments of Israel’s high priest to be beautiful, and they were. God also designed those garments to speak of Christ and his glory, which they did. Satan was created a perfectly lovely creature. His loveliness and great wisdom were given to him to enable him to bring all the more glory to God, but he did not. It is among the greatest of all tragedies that Lucifer became proud of his own beauty (Ezek. 28:17) and, instead of glorifying God, he sinned against Him and was cast out of the only eternal kingdom.