The High Priest Dress

The High Priest Dress

Aaron the high priest symbolizes Jesus our High Priest. His outward dress consisted of three items. First of all a tunic made of fine white linen symbolizing the righteousness of Christ. Over that he had to wear a blue robe, with bells and figures of pomegranates alternately hanging all round the bottom of the robe. Blue is the color of the sky and speaks and speaks of heavenliness. The pomegranates symbolized the fruit of the Spirit, and the bells the gifts of the Spirit. Jesus had both the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit in this life- and we need both as well, if we are to serve God effectively. On top of this robe, he had to wear a multi-colored apron called an ephod.


The ephod had three items that came along with it: Two shoulder-plates having the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; a breastplate having 12 stones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel; and the “Urim and Thummim” place in a pocket of the ephod. (We don't know what exactly the Urim and Thummim were. But they were used by the high priest to find God's will for the Israelites. They were like traffic lights that told the Israelites when to “Go”, when to “Stop” and when to “Wait”.


These three items symbolized Christ's power supporting us, His love caring for us, and His wisdom guiding us. These three are brought together in 2 Timothy 1:7 as the virtues that the Spirit of God communicates to us today. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of sobriety/self control/sound mind."


The shoulder-plate teaches us that we too, as God's priest, must carry other people on our shoulders, lifting their burdens, like we carry little children on our shoulders. The breastplate teaches us that we too must carry God's people on our hearts, and love them and have a concern for them.


A priest, will carry God's people on his heart and also have God's word in his heart.


The high priest also had to wear a golden plate on his forehead (attached to his turban) that had these words engraved on it, “HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD”. Thus Aaron was to bear the guilt found in “the holy offerings” of Israel (28:36-38). There is a sin even in our “holy offerings”! Jesus carried not only our filthy sins, but also the sins in our holy things. Some examples of the sins in our holy activities are: preaching to get honor or money, praying to impress people, doing good things with selfish motives, etc.


On the day of atonement (which was once a year), the high priest took all theses colorful clothes and went into the most holy place wearing only a simple white dress. When he came out of the most holy place, he had to put on this colorful clothes once again before going before the people. "And when they shall go forth to the outward court to the people, they shall put off their garments wherein they ministered, and lay them up in the holy chamber of the sanctuary, and they shall clothe themselves with other garments: and they shall not sanctify the people with their vestments." (Ezekiel 44:19).


This symbolizes that when we go before the Lord, we must go in simplicity and humility and brokenness. But when we come before the people, we must anoint our face, and hide our sacrifices and our praying and our fasting from them. Our holy white dress must be worn before God alone. We must appear to men as though we have been feasting, not fasting.


Three Levels Of Christian Living


The three parts of the tabernacle- outer court, holy place and most holy place- can also be taken to symbolize three levels at which we can live the Christian life- in the following seven different areas:


(a) Three stages of spiritual growth:

  1. forgiven by God

  2. serving God

  3. fellowshipping with God


(b)Three types of Christians

  1. a carnal Christian

  2. a soulish Christian

  3. a spiritual Christian


(c) Three ministries of the Holy Spirit

  1. born of the Holy Spirit

  2. powered by the Holy Spirit

  3. led by the Holy Spirit


(d) Three attitudes toward God

  1. thanksgiving

  2. praise

  3. worship

In thanksgiving, we think of God's gifts that we have received and been blessed by, In praise, we think of God's greatness and almighty power that are exercised on our behalf. But in worship, our focus shifts to God Himself, and we adore Him for Who He is.


(e) Three levels of light

  1. human reason

  2. the teaching of God's Word

  3. God's nature

All of us live our lives by the understanding that we receive from one or more of the above three sources. The light in the outer court and holy place was created light-sun (outer court) and lampstand (holy place). But the light in the most holy place was uncreated light of God's own presence.


(f) Three levels of fruitfulness:

  1. thirty-fold

  2. sixty-fold

  3. hundred- fold


(g) Three levels of Christian maturity

  1. babes

  2. young men

  3. fathers

Babes are dependent on others. Young men are zealous, fathers are full of love and wisdom (1 John 2:12-14)


The way into the most holy place is through the rent veil of the yielded human will. That veil does not have to rent today, for it has already been rent by our Lord (Hebrews 10:20). But we have to walk that way every day, if we are to fellowship with the Father ion the most holy place. God's will is that we should live in His presence every day.


The way of the cross is a way and not a goal. Our goal is not death to self, but fellowship with the Father. May we live in that blessed fellowship all our days.




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