Exodus 28:29-30    “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD.  Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the LORD.  Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD.”
The design and manufacture of the priestly attire are given in great detail, and the garments and attachments were very elaborate, impressive and interconnected.  The priestly function was to bring the people into God’s presence and all this costly paraphernalia served to remind everyone that, although God is approachable, he is also transcendent and holy. 

It is very significant, therefore, that the names of the tribes of Israel are ‘over his heart on the breastpiece of decision’.  God’s glory is unapproachable by sinful man, but he desires to have a loving, personal relationship with his covenant people, he knows them by name, they are close to his heart, his purposes (decisions) are centred on their needs and their welfare!

Perhaps the Apostle Paul, the erstwhile Jewish Pharisee, had this picture in mind when he wrote: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).  All this is pointing us to Jesus, our Great High Priest, who brings us to God by the sacrifice of himself, and whose personal perfect righteousness is foreshadowed by Aaron’s elaborate regalia.  In him, we are made priests to God (1 Peter 2:9), and our ‘vestments’ are his righteousness in which we become ‘clothed’ through faith (Isaiah 61:10; Philippians 3:9).  (It is sad that today many professing Christian traditions forget all this and want to dress some people in ‘Aaron’s robes’ which no longer point us to Christ but, instead, only glorify the institutions of man!)
– Bruce Christian