“And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty…. And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.”-Exodus 28:2,5.
The Old Testament abounds with types, shadows and figures of the coming King. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul referred to them as “patterns of things in the heavens”(9:23), “figures of the true”(9:24), and “the example and shadow of heavenly things”(8:5). The person of Christ, the story of redemption, how it would be carried out were meticulously played out by the Hebrews as they worshipped under the law. This is important to us today. It reminds us that that the plan of redemption was thought out and planned before creation; the full story is found in the innocent victims that were offered, in the furniture and vessels in the Tabernacle, and in the priests themselves performing the office. Furthermore, it reminds us that Old Testament is more than an outdated history book as our enemies would have us believe. God was preaching salvation through the Messiah long before the New Testament Church!
How beautifully we see our Lord depicted in the person of the High Priest! He alone could enter into the most Holy place and offer the yearly atonement for the chose tribe. We see Jesus in the very garments he wore, beautifully designed according to the pattern given to Moses on the mount.
The golden thread running through the garment depicted His suffering. It was beaten from fine gold to accomplish its fitted task of holding the whole garment together, a figure of His redeemed family. Which gold also represented His value to the Father and every believer. God is a precious metal that will not perish, representative of His deity that could not be destroyed by the hands of wicked and cruel men. He would continue a priest forever, victorious, triumphant.
The blue represents His origin, heaven itself. From His own mouth He declared, “I came down from heaven not to do my own will”. His own people rejected His testimony and many today say He was just a good man with some good ideas. Should they not look back and see the figure written thousands of years ago that declared His Godliness?
The purple is indicative of His royalty. He has always been King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Even as a babe the angelic host worshipped Him and declared “glory to God in the highest”. His kingdom is not of this world, He reigns in the minds and hearts of every believer and one day He shall return to claim what is rightfully His and on that day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
The scarlet depicts the price of redemption, His blood. We are not redeemed with corruptible things, traditions and ordinances. “But with the precious blood of Christ”. The thousands of gallons of blood, offered by the priests from their slain beasts, could never take away a single sin. It could not even roll sin back. It was a perpetual reminder of their need for a perfect victim whose blood was incorruptible. Surely, what He has paid for with this great price needs no further payment.
Finally, the fine linen represents His purity. He is and was, “holy, harmless and undefiled”. An eternal Lamb without blemish was the necessary price of atonement. How well Satan knew this as he tempted our Lord. Yet, all that He did was without guile, malice and sin. What a wonder Savior we have as we see His beauty so wonderfully displayed in the shadows of our Lord!