Our Great High Priest

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Our blessed Lord Jesus is the anti-type or fulfillment of all the types of the Old Testament. This is very interestingly seen in the garments and work of Aaron.
I. The Day of Atonement.
On this day once a year, the high priest, clad in a pure white robe, entered into the holy of holies, with the blood of the sin-offering, and sprinkled of the blood upon the mercy seat and seven times before it. The pure white speaks of the sinless purity of our Lord— “holy, harmless and undefiled,” who was thus fitted to be both the sacrifice and priest.
II. The Garments of Glory and Beauty.
When it is a question of access to God, the emphasis is put upon the sinless purity of Him who has offered Himself as a sacrifice, and thus entered the presence of God with the witness of His work. But in the daily ministrations of the high priest, the emphasis is upon the glories and perfections which He exhibits before God. These are set forth in the gorgeous robes described in Exodus 28.
1. There was (taking them in inverse order) first of all the white “linen garment,” next to His person. This speaks of the personal purity and perfection of our Lord, without spot— “Jesus Christ the righteous.”
2. Next to this was “the robe of the ephod,” all of blue, with an opening at the neck, like a coat of mail, bound around so that it could not be rent, and adorned about the hem of the skirt with golden bells and pomegranates in alternate order. The blue speaks of heaven, and suggests the heavenly character of our Lord, in which He ministers in His priestly office. Nothing can rend or mar the robe of heavenly blue—He “abideth a priest continually.” The bells and pomegranates upon the hem seem to speak of the testimony of the Spirit that our Lord has entered within the veil, and the fruit which He takes from this earth as the result of His death, is His beloved people.
3. Next to that was “the ephod”—the characteristic priestly garment. This was a sacred garment, never used except in connection with the priestly service—or that which intruded into it, as in the book of Judges (chaps. 8, 17, 18). We may say it designated the priesthood much as a crown would the king. It was an elaborate garment, composed of four materials, blue, purple, scarlet and fine linen, curiously wrought or embroidered with gold thread. It was composed of two parts, the front and back, with clasps to hold it at the shoulders and a girdle wherewith to bind it at the waist. Everything here is significant of the priestly service of our Lord.
(1) The gold speaks of His divine glory, as set forth in the first chapter of Hebrews. Our Priest is divine.
(2) The blue tells of His heavenly character and position, as the blue robe has done.
(3) The purple speaks of Gentile royalty, of His worldwide glory—King of kings, and Lord of lords.
(4) The scarlet tells of His royal dignity and glory, as King of Israel.
(5) The linen, like the robe of the same texture, reminds us of His sinless purity.
These were curiously wrought or blended together to make a harmonious and yet variegated garment, in which all these characteristics were present. So in Him of whom they speak no attribute or grace was lacking—all was there, harmoniously blended into one perfect priestly garment.
Upon the shoulders the ephod was held together by the clasps of gold in which were set onyx stones graven with the names of the twelve sons of Israel. If these clasps were taken away the ephod would slip from the shoulders. The shoulders speak of strength, and our Lord bears His people up by His own strength. If one of the feeblest of His people were to be lost, it would rob the Lord of His priestly glory.
Similarly the names were encased in settings upon the breastplate, and in the breastplate “Urim and Thummim” (“lights and perfections”). As the shoulders speak of strength, the breast speaks of love, and that, in our Kinsman-redeemer, fails no more than the power
“Whose love is as great as His power
And knows neither measure nor end.”
The girdle of the ephod reminds us that our Lord is still the intercessor for His people, girded to serve even in glory.
4. The miter with its golden crown tells of the full priestly dignity. As the crown designates the King, so the miter does the Priest. All speaks of that dedication to God in perfect holiness which marks Him out in the unique perfection of His love and grace.
“With joy we meditate the grace
Of God’s High Priest above.”
“Seeing then that we have a Great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:14-1614Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14‑16)).