The Garments for Glory and Beauty

 •  13 min. read  •  grade level: 7
"And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother fol. glory and for beauty.
"And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
THE garments for glory and beauty are next directed to be made, that Aaron might be consecrated, in order to minister in the priest's office. Thus Aaron was fitted, by reason of his garments, for this holy office. They dignified his person, covering him with a glory and beauty, which in himself he possessed not. To all this, the priesthood of the Lord stands out in bright and blessed contrast. The dignity and glory which are His, and which were His from everlasting as the Son, magnify the office which He holds. His life of obedience, and his death upon the tree, making Him manifest as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, proved Him to be worthy of the highest exaltation at the right hand of God; and that He had the heart of a priest, and of a good shepherd, who would care to the uttermost for the sheep of God. The office added dignity to Aaron: whereas Christ dignifies the office.
It may be well here to point out some of the contrasts drawn in the word of God, between the priesthood of Aaron and that of Christ. Aaron was called to be priest whilst living amongst men. The Lord Jesus was called by resurrection from among the dead to be a high priest. The fact of resurrection, when God said to Him, " Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee," constituted Him high priest; for sonship is the great element of the heavenly priesthood. Indeed the whole Epistle to the Hebrews, turns upon that especial name of the Lord Jesus, " the Son." All the beauty and glory of the Gospel is connected with that name. It is the name which the. Lord holds because He is God; and therefore when a believer is baptized, he is baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; the names forming but one name of the Godhead.
The love of God in the gift of Christ all turns upon that wondrous truth, that He was and is the only-begotten Son of God; not because made of a woman; not because made flesh; but because of His eternal relationship of wondrous divine existence, to the Father; incomprehensible indeed to us, as is the whole mystery of the Sonship; (for none knoweth the Son, but the Father;) but received by faith. The love of God in the gift of Christ depends upon this great truth. It was not a love which merely caused the incarnation of the Word, and thereby established a new relation of Sonship, which had not previously existed. Had this been the case, it would not have been true that God sent, or gave, his only begotten Son. He could not give, or send, a Son whom He possessed not. Neither did any fresh love spring up in the heart of the Father towards the Word made flesh. No new affection of Father towards Son commenced, when the blessed Lord was born of the Virgin. But that eternal love towards His Only-Begotten, the ever existing One in the bosom of the Father-that love which God had reposed in Him who was ever the Son, the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person-that love manifested itself towards poor ruined fallen creatures; so that God has proved, in the gift of Jesus, that He has loved us, worms of the dust as we are, as He loves Him, the only begotten One in His bosom. It is also said that by Him, the Son, " the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, " God made the worlds. Heb. 1 (In our translation of the 2 verse," his Son " is substituted for "the Son.")
The same truth is expressed, Col. 1:15-1715Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:15‑17), "Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things; and by him all things consist." Here the Lord Jesus is declared pre-eminent, because born before all creation; proved by His creating all things. All fullness dwells in Him; fullness of Sonship; fullness of every glory.
Again: the Lord Jesus is addressed by the Father as God, because He is THE SON. " Unto the Son, he saith: Thy throne, 0 God, is forever and ever.. and, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands. They shall perish; but thou remainest: they all shall wax old as Both a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same; and thy years shall not fail." Heb. 1:8-128But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 10And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (Hebrews 1:8‑12). To the Son, He saith, Thou art the same. Thus, incarnation did not create Sonship; but, the Son was the same from everlasting, is the same now, and shall be forever.
The Son of God was indeed manifested in incarnation: (1 John 3:88He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8).) and the love of God was manifested towards us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. And we have seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (4. 9, 14.)
The revelation of the Father could only be made by the Son. He declared Him. " He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father." And the truth of the pre-existence of the Father would be destroyed, were there a doubt as to the eternity of the Son, as Son. In one remarkable text, He is called " the Son of the Father,"-" Grace be with you, mercy and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father." 2 John 33Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (2 John 3).
And the truth of the eternity of the Sonship is really the doctrine of Christ: as it is written, " He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." v. 9. The Lord Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, in His divine eternal relationship to God the Father. When born of the virgin, the name " Son of God " was again given to Him:-" that holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God." And again, when raised from the dead, God said unto Him, " Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee." It is to be observed in the end Psalm, that two words are employed in the original; the one a Hebrew, the other a Chaldee word for Son. " Thou art my Son:" Ben is Hebrew. " Kiss the Son:" Bar is Chaldee. Is not this change made, because the proclamation of the Son, to be worshipped and obeyed, is given to the Babylonish kingdoms of the world, which are described in the image, and the four beasts of Daniel; the princes whereof crucified the Lord of glory?
Again: this truth of the eternal Godhead of the Son, as the only begotten of the Father, is intimately bound up with the presence and power of the Holy Ghost in the believer. " The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of His Son;" and as such, He teaches us to cry, "Abba, Father;" to use the same words, as the Lord Jesus Himself could use; to know the same love, as the Son Himself knows; not the love of God to a mere creature; but the love wherewith God loved His Son from everlasting; a love which chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world; which predestinated us, to be conformed to the image of His Son; and which we shall taste to the full, when that which is in part shall be done away, and that which is perfect shall come. God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh; in our likeness; having predestinated us to be conformed to His likeness.
The Holy Ghost, the spirit of sonship, beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; the inheritance is ours, because we are sons, as the inheritance is Christ's because He is the Son: according to Heb. 1:44Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:4), where it is said, "He bath inherited a more excellent name" than angels; not received it for the first time by incarnation; for then it would not be inherited.
Many more texts might be quoted, to establish this leading truth of the Gospel: but these may be sufficient. God grant that no child of His, may through carnal reasoning, or the self-will of the flesh, lose in any degree fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ; through not holding the eternal Sonship of Christ, as declared in the Word of God.
But to return to the contrast between Aaron arid Christ. Aaron was taken from among men, Heb. 5 I. He differed in no respect from the men, for whom he was ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices. He was compassed with infirmity, like they were, and therefore as much needed to offer for his own sins, as for those of others. (v. 3.)
Christ, on the other hand, was not taken from among men. He was raised from the dead, the Son of God. No infirmity ever clave to Him. No trace of sin, or mortality (the result of sin) attached to Him. He was born that holy thing, the Son of God. He was raised from the dead, by the decree, " Thou art my Son."-called of God, a high priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek; called up in resurrection, glory, and power.
The High Priest, under the law, had compassion on the ignorant, and on them that were out of the way, because he was conscious of infirmities in himself. The very fact of being himself a sinner, was one qualification for that priesthood.
The Lord Jesus, through His life of sorrow and temptation, was perfected for priesthood. He is able to sympathize, because He has been tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He suffered, being tempted; and is therefore able to succor them that are tempted. The dreadful whisperings of the enemy, which He was called to endure, filled his soul with holy abhorrence, and taught Him to feel pity for us, who are subject to the assaults of that fearful foe, and who, alas! too often yield a response in our hearts to his evil suggestions.
The dreadful death under curse, the full wages of sin, which ever presented itself in anticipation to the heart of the Lord, cast a sorrowful shade over His holy devoted life; and in humble obedience and submission to the will of God, He pursued his pathway to the cross, where at length He tasted the reality of that which no anticipation could equal; and was heard, by being raised from the dead, the great High Priest of His people. His life was a life of learning obedience by the things which He suffered; in contrast with the life of a mere human priest, who, if he learned anything, was constantly discovering disobedience and sin, even though lifted up into a high place, and thereby exempted from much of the suffering around him.
The priests of the house of Levi were made without an oath; and in consequence, some of them were cut off from the priesthood, as in the case of Nadab and Abihu, and Eli's line.
The Lord Jesus was made priest with an oath; " the Lord sware, and will not repent:" the unchangeableness of God's word and oath established the Lord Jesus as the surety of a better covenant. The priesthood, under the law, passed on from father to son. But this One, the Lord Jesus, because He continueth ever, bath an unchangeable priesthood; that is, one that is not transferred, or, passed not on. The Aaronic priests were sons of Levi: our Lord sprang out of Judah, the kingly line. Aaron was, in many respects, as to the ministrations he fulfilled, a shadow of Christ. But Christ himself arose after the similitude of Melchizedek. This is doubly interesting: for Melchizedek himself is presented to us in Scripture without any pedigree; " without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life;" and in these respects, made like unto the Son of God. Thus, before the incarnation of the Son, Melchizedek is presented, a type of Him, as to his eternal Godhead as the Son; the only human being in the Bible, who has the aspect of divinity cast around him, in order that he may represent the Son. Some have imagined, that Melchizedek was Christ himself. But it is clear, from this passage, and from the other already quoted, that he was only a type of the Son of God; and that the words " without father, without mother, &c.," allude to his sudden appearance, as narrated in Genesis, where no parentage is recorded, and no time of his birth or death, and no mention is made of his age. Thus Melchizedek was made like unto the Son of God; and Christ arose, a Priest like Melchizedek. There is a double reflection.
Aaron was made a priest, after the law of a carnal commandment; that is a commandment, which had reference to his origin in the flesh from the tribe of Levi. Whereas Christ became High Priest after the power of an endless life; the glorious eternal power of resurrection. Life received out of death, and making manifest His victory over death, constituted Him the great High Priest.
These appear to be some of the leading features of contrast between the priesthood under the law, and the priesthood of Christ. Other particulars will, from time to time, present themselves to our notice, as we pursue this deeply interesting subject.
" These are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, and a miter, and a girdle." Without these, Aaron could not be priest: they form a sevenfold completeness; and typify the various powers, responsibilities, and qualities, connected with that office. Again: Aaron's sons are associated with him in the directions given-" and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons:" and the sentence which has been before commented on, is repeated;-" that he may minister unto me in the priest's office."