You may have seen the AT&T commercial where the father is going to get his daughter Beth a new iPhone, the younger sister Emily is going to get her Beth’s old phone because she gets all the hand-me-downs, and the oblivious saleswoman tells the younger sister Emily who has the name “Beth” bedazzled on her shirt that she is into bedazzling too. Emily replies, “You admit that?” And she says, “I mean, I used to be into bedazzling.” And the saleswoman turns around to get the new phone and you see the back of her shirt all bedazzled. Well apparently bedazzling goes all the way back to Aaron’s priestly garments. Although instead of cheap bedazzling beads, Aaron’s beautiful priestly garments bedazzled with expensive stones like an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. Aaron would be better dressed than a bride at her wedding or a knight at a tournament when he put on these radiant clothes. The flame-colored linens, another part with bright reds and blues blended together with threads of gold, the precious stones set in gold, and the like, when they were put together would have created the effect of fiery light. Aaron was to be decked out with this beautifully bedazzled outfit so that he would reflect the glory of God – for those who minister in the presence of the glory of the Lord must reflect God’s holy beauty. And today that is you. Everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ unto salvation is a priest. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. But before we look at the bedazzling clothing we get to wear, let’s look at the way Aaron was to be a bedazzling sight to behold.
Like Aaron, you can put on the whole armor of God for spiritual warfare.
Aaron was not dressed so much like a knight for battle as He was dressed like a priest for spiritual warfare. He was a new creation and thus bedazzling because he was re-created in the image of God. And like Adam at the original creation, Aaron and the priests who would follow after him would do battle with the serpent. Not long before this Aaron had been a traitor leading a different religion with the golden calf, but God in His mercy still clothed him as a warrior against the evil one.
And you too can put on the whole armor of God. The cheap bedazzling beads of the culture will not shield you even if they covered your whole body, but the shield of faith can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. And, as the apostle Paul also tells us in Ephesians 6, you can take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and fasten on the belt of truth, and put on the breastplate of righteousness and the readiness given by the gospel of peace as shoes for your feet. Indeed, God moved you into the new creation and re-created your heart in His image and you put your trust in Jesus Christ. Thus you have this bedazzling armor available to wear. So take up the whole armor of God and stand firm against the schemes of the devil and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Now remember the armor of God does not include anything to cover your back nor will any amount of the world’s bedazzling beads on your back protect you from the flaming darts of the evil one. You cannot retreat. You must go forward into this spiritual battle with the serpent: praying at all times in the Spirit and keeping alert with perseverance and praying for all the people of God. And when you do go forward wearing the whole armor of God you do so as a priest reflecting God’s holy beauty. (Then we look into the mirror of God’s word and we see all of our impurities and blemishes and we groan.)
But take heart, like Aaron you will be better dressed than any bride you have seen at a wedding.
The bedazzling of the world is cheap, the bedazzling of Aaron’s priestly garments was precious and more permanent, but you will be bedazzled forevermore. The bedazzling of the world looks good. It is like the furniture in the warehouse store that looks identical to what you saw in the expensive furniture store but it was made so cheap it will not last but a year or two. To the untrained eye the fake diamond will look just as good as the real one. Aaron’s priestly garments were better. They even were made of real gold, precious stones, and expensive linens. But they too were only a replica of what awaits the believer. In Exodus Aaron’s priestly garments were even a replica of the tabernacle. This explains why the apostle Paul easily mixes metaphors of putting on clothing and putting on a tent or tabernacle in 2 Corinthians 5 when he talks about what awaits the believer. He says, “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling.” In other words, you will receive an eternal bedazzling tabernacle – you will receive everlasting priestly garments that shine like the sun.
In fact, you will look bedazzling to Jesus Christ! You will not be wearing some cheap imitation but you will reflect the real glory of God. You will look bedazzling in beauty everlasting! Jesus, the bridegroom, will look upon you the way that everyone looks at the bride at a wedding. The apostle John speaks of the church this way: “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21:2). And when he describes the city he says that it was pure gold, like clear glass, with the foundations of the wall of the city adorned with twelve kinds of jewels including jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, carnelian, topaz, and amethyst. In other words, the church will be adorned like the priestly garments of Aaron. You will reflect the glory and beauty of God’s image for He will remove all your impurities, spots, wrinkles and blemishes and your beautiful Savior will look upon you as beautiful. Thanks be to God. Amen.