I love my kids and my grandkids to bits. They are all wonderful people. All three of mine had the same genetic start in life, born in the same place, brought home to the same environment, raised by the same parents. Same goes for my three grandkids. Yet they are sooooooo different. So individual. So individually precious. It would be impossible to choose one above another. Human family love is weird, how you can love people absolutely equally, but in different ways. How you relate to each other might be different, but no less profound.
Was this what God was getting at, in his instructions to Moses regarding the breastplate they were to make, for Aaron the High Priest (Exodus 28:15-21)? They were to mount twelve stones in four rows of three, with the name of one of the twelve tribes inscribed on each. The purpose was clarified in verse 29 – “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.” It was a continual reminder that he represented the people. All of them. Not just the leaders, not just the rich, not just the ones with the loud mouths.
It tells me too, that God saw the people as individuals. Those stones all had to be different. But all precious. And while they were all materially different, there was to be a unity – all together on the breastplate, in an order. Each one carefully positioned, each one needed, each one with its own role. Each one individually precious. And each one close to the heart of Aaron the High Priest. Each one fully visible to God.
So Jesus our great High Priest wears us close to his heart, and holds us up before Father God. I can imagine him saying, “See, here is my precious one, my jewel. She is not like any of the others. I don’t need to compare her. She is just where I want her to be, where I have placed her, to fulfil all I have planned for her. Close to my heart.”
What a privileged position we hold. Never underestimate how much he loves you. He died to bring you into that place, and he lives to hold you there.