Friday, January 15, 2010

The Gems of Exodus and Revelation - Jasper

It's notable that the exact identity of a few stones mentioned in Exodus 28 and Revelation 21 are uncertain and differ from translation to translation. Since many of the stones are now contemporary birthstones, I will highlight them in the months in which they correspond, not necessarily in the order they are mentioned in scripture. It's also notable that the number 12 (the number of perfection in government, and completion) is a key theme throughout these particular posts.

The Gems of Exodus and Revelation - Jasper

Jasper is an ornamental rock composed mostly of chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz, in association with other minerals, which give it colorful bands and patterns. Jasper was a favorite gem in the ancient world; its name can be traced back in Hebrew, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Latin. Jasper is often named according to its pattern: landscape jasper, the most popular, offers a small panorama in stone. Ribbon jasper, picture jasper, and orbicular jasper are the names of other varieties. Jasper is found in many countries. It is sometimes used to create bowls and other objects and to adorn buildings, such as the Saint Wenceslas Chapel in Prague.

It's interesting that this stone which is mentioned last (of twelve stones) to be placed in the breastplate of Aaron in Exodus, is mentioned first (of twelve stones) in the foundation of the walls of the New Jerusalem in Revelation.

This reminds of Jesus' teaching from Matthew 20:16 NIV in which He stated "the last will be first and the first will be last." Because Jasper can take on so many different patterns and names, it reminds me of what Jesus said in John 8:58 NIV "I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!" Just like so many different patterns, Jesus is the answer to so many different needs; when we say "Lord, I need...(fill in the blank), Jesus says "I Am...(the answer to whatever is in the blank). Just like so many different names, Jesus is known as Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Lion of Judah, Star out of Abraham, Lamb of God, Son of Man and on and on. And just like Jasper, Jesus was First (as God in Heaven) - became Last (as man on earth) - and now is First again (at the right hand of the Father).
Jasper represented the tribe of Benjamin (of the 12 tribes of Israel) in the breastplate of the High Priest Aaron when God established the Old Covenant Church, and represents Peter (of the 12 apostles & Matthew 16:18) in the first of 12 foundations of the walls in the New Jerusalem in God's establishment of the New Covenant Church of which Jesus is The Great High Priest. Jasper's placement in both the breastplate and the foundations makes it a cornerstone.

In a day and age when we consider many stones much more precious than jasper, is it any wonder God does not?

NEXT POST: Amethyst and The First Miracle remix

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