In Exodus 28:15-30 we find the directions given to Moses from God concerning the breastplate Aaron the priest was to wear when he walked into the Holy of Holies. On the breastplate God commanded that there be 4 horizontal rows containing 3 precious jewels. 28:21 says that each stone was to represent one tribe of Israel. Exodus 28:29 than proclaims a truth that not only has bearing on the present, but the future as well,
Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
You see it? The meaning for the present audience of Israel was that by wearing this breastplate holding a stone for each tribe of Israel, Aaron was representing all of Israel before the presence of God in the Holy of Holies. This is called intercession, meaning that Aaron was bringing the people’s concerns before God, Aaron was praying for his people. Aaron as priest, brought his people before his God. So too, in a greater meaning Jesus as our priest does the same for us. Two truths illustrate this:
1) Christians are in Jesus
When I say this I mean just that. When we place our faith in Jesus we enter into a union with Christ that nothing can separate. At the moment of salvation our sin is placed upon Him and His righteousness is placed upon us, so much so that when God looks at us now He sees His Son in all His glory. This is what is meant in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God IN Him.”
2) Jesus intercedes for His own
Just as Aaron brought his people before his God, so too Jesus does the same as our priest. Hebrews 7:23-25, “The former priests, on the same hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him (or in Him), since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Jesus as our priest, brings His people (us!) before His Father.