The Clothing of the High Priest (Part 1)II Tim 3:16. CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
eThere are many wonderful examples of typology in the Bible. In this lesson we are going to look at the garments of the High Priest from the Old Testament and how they are a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must remember that just about everything in the Old Testament Levitical priesthood pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ and how after his death burial and resurrection he would become our High Priest eliminating the need for the Old Testament Levitical Priesthood.
In 1 Timothy 3:16 we see a mystery that was revealed to Paul. It is not a mystery in the sense that we do not know what it was but it is a mystery in the sense that we do not fully understand how it can be. The mystery here is called the mystery of Godliness. This mystery is the fact that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh. Simply put Jesus was God and Jesus was man. Now that is not easy to reconcile in your mind which is why it is called a mystery.
With the mystery of Godliness we see that Jesus would have existed as the 2nd member of the trinity back before the world was founded. And as the second member of the trinity he would have possessed all the glory of the heavenly father. This is seen in the garments of the High Priest. The garments are said to be for glory and beauty, thus representing the glory that Jesus held before he came to earth in the form of a man. But also as will be shown in the second part of this lesson there was a plainer set of garments that was worn on the Day of Atonement by the High Priest and these will represent Jesus Christ coming to this earth as a man to be the eternal sacrifice for sin.
The Garments of Glory and Beauty: (Exodus 28:1-43)
The garments are called holy garments and are said to be for glory and beauty. If you include the linen breeches found at the end of the chapter then there will be 7 pieces total. These will be covered starting on the inside and moving outward.
1) The linen breeches (verses 42-43)
- Fine linen is said to be the righteousness of the saints (Revelation 19:8).
- This is interesting because the linen breeches were to cover the nakedness of the High Priest. This points to the inward righteousness that Jesus Christ, he was born of a virgin and never sinned.
- This also shows a very interesting picture of man needing righteousness. Man is born in sin and this is shown by him being born naked. Before Adam and Eve sinned they did not know that they were naked. But as soon as they sinned they made themselves coverings of fig leaves. This was a type of their self righteousness.
- Without the righteousness of Jesus Christ we have no covering for our sin. That is why fine linen is said to be the righteousness of the Saints.
2) Broidered Coat (verse 39)
- This would be the inner most garment worn by the priest. It was also made of linen representing inner righteousness.
3) Robe of the Ephod (verses 31-35)
- The robe of the ephod is to be made of blue. This pictures the heavens for when we look toward heaven the sky is blue.
- Note that this garment was to be made of one piece and have a hole in the top of it. It would resemble a poncho today.
- In verse 32 the word of God says the garment is not to be rent. This is interesting because in Leviticus 21:10 the High Priest is commanded not to rend his clothes. Now in John 19:23,24 the soldiers that took Jesus’ clothes would not rend his coat, instead they cast lots for it. Therefore Jesus’ coat was a picture of the ephod. What is even more interesting is that when the High Priest was questioning Jesus before the crucifixion he rent his clothing at the answer of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:57-56). Symbolically this would disqualify him from being the High Priest but that is perfectly alright because the man who would become the perfect High Priest for evermore was standing right there about to assume the position.
4) The Ephod (verses 6-14)
- This garment was a vest or wainscot worn over the robe of the ephod. Note that it had onyx stones connected at the shoulders. The stones were to have the names of the tribes of the children of Israel engraved upon them. Six on one and six on the other.
- Therefore the high priest was to bear the names of the children of Israel upon his shoulders when going about the office of the High Priest. This is a type of Jesus for he will bear the government upon his shoulders when he reigns (Isaiah 9:6).
5) The curious girdle (verse 8)
- The girdle was worn around the ephod and the breastplate was connected to it to keep it secured to the chest of the high priest.
- In his commentary on Exodus Dr. Ruckman says “Christ’s loins were girded with waddling clothes when he lay in Bethlehem’s manger. Theyer were girded with a working towel when he set the pattern for service; they were girded with our sins when he died on the cross, and they well be girded for battle wehen he returns in blood fire and smoke.”[Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, The Book of Exodus, The Bible Believer’s Commentary Series, 687]
6) The Breastplate (verses 15-30)
- The breastplate was about nine inches square. It had twelve stones one for each tribe of Israel. They were placed in 4 rows of 3.
- Also in the breastplate were the Urim and the Thummim these were to additional stones that were placed in the breastplate.
- The breastplate and the ephod which it was attached to seem to be connected with getting answers from God in the Old Testament. (Numbers 27:21 ; 1 Samuel 23:9 ; 1 Samuel 28:6 ; 1 Samuel 30:7)
- This is interesting because Satan in his original position has stones within him (Ezekiel 28:13). Today he is the great counterfeit High Priest. The stones on the breastplate were to have a name of the tribe of Israel on each one, thus this is where the birthstone comes from. Since the breastplate and the ephod were connected with getting answers from God in the Old Testament, then Satan has counterfeited this with modern horoscopes based on your birth and looking to the heaven (his abode) for answers. Remember this should be no surprise as he tempted Eve in the beginning with knowledge.
7) The Mitre (verses 36-37)
- This was the head piece worn by the high priest. It was a type of wrap around turban. It was made of linen as type of righteousness. It had a golden plate upon it which was engraved with the words HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
- This represent the righteousness with which Jesus Christ will rule as both priest and king.
Clearly the garments point to the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the next lesson we will look at how these were set aside for him to do something extraordinary for mankind.