Summary: #14 in the Series on the Tabernacle in the Wilderness dealing with the Garments of the High Priest. Before we can go into the presence of God beyond the veil we must make sure that we are clothed in the right garments.
#14 Proper Attire Required for Entrance
The Tabernacle in the Wilderness Series
Garments of the High Priest
By Pastor Jim May
Before the first High Priest of Israel, who was Moses’ brother Aaron, was ever allowed to step beyond the second veil before the Holy of Holies, he had to be clothed in the right garments. These garments represented so much that we won’t be able to cover it all, but I do want to show you some of what was symbolized in them. Every High Priest, from the time of Aaron, until the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, has had to wear similar garments. Anyone attempting to minister to the Lord without the proper attire would face rejection and death.
As we begin let me remind you of the parable of the parable of the wedding feast that Jesus related in Matthew 22:10-14. Here is what He had to say. "So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen."
In light of this passage and others, we must realize that before any human being can pass beyond the veil of death and stand in the presence of our Holy God, that person had better make sure that they have on the proper garments. One day soon there will be another wedding feast. It’s called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and no one will be there without the proper garments. Those garments will be robes of pure white, made clean by the Blood of the Bridegroom.
2 Peter 3:13-14, "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."
Ephesians 5:25-27, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
Looking now at the Tabernacle and the high priest, we must remember that there was one man who was ultimately responsible for the Tabernacle, its daily offerings and functions and also its regular Feasts.
Three times a year he would personally offer the sacrifices and make sure that every ordinance of the Temple were observed: at Passover, at Pentecost and at Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. Of course, at the moment Yom Kippur ended, the week long time of joy and celebration began as the Feast of Tabernacles was observed, so he was likely involved in that feast also.
On the Day of Atonement, it was his personal responsibility to take the blood of the sacrifice into the Holy of Holies on behalf of all God’s people so that they could receive forgiveness of their sins.
His responsibility required that he would be a sanctified person and that he would be dressed in "holy garments".
The uppermost holy garment is called the Ephod. On top of the Ephod there was a square breastplate, with twelve precious stones mounted in the center of it. On the shoulders are two additional precious stones. The blue garment is called the robe. Under the robe the high priest wore a white linen tunic. On his head is the white linen turban. Round the base of the turban is the crown of gold, a golden band inscribed with the words, "HOLY TO THE LORD".
All of these garments and items have great significance. Hopefully I will relay to you through this lesson, some of the things that these garments tell us about our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is now seated with power and glory at the Father’s right hand in Heaven.
The description and instructions for making the garments are found in Exodus 28:4-43. For the sake of time, I won’t read this passage to you. Read it for yourself later. But I will show you what it says and hopefully reveal some of its great symbolism.
The Ephod had four colors in it: blue, purple, scarlet and white of the fine linen. These are the same colors, if you will remember, that were on the Door to the Outer Court, the Door to the Sanctuary and in the Veil. All of these colors represent Jesus as Very God in the blue; Jesus as King of King and Lord of Lords, in the purple; Jesus as the Sacrificial Perfect Lamb of God, in the scarlet: and Jesus as the Righteous Judge in the white Lenin.