The Vail

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"And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made." -Ex. 26:3131And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: (Exodus 26:31)
"And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work."- Ex. 36:3535And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work. (Exodus 36:35)
Fine Twined Linen
One material only is specified in the construction of the Vail, " fine linen:" the blue, purple, and scarlet, were simply colors. Upon this ground-work of fine linen these colors were displayed so that the observer would be first arrested by the beauty of the blue, the depth of the purple, and the brilliancy of the scarlet, before he perceived the material, over which these tints were spread. Does not this aptly exemplify that wondrous truth, " God was manifest in the flesh?" " The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
The Wife, in Rev. 19:77Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7), is represented as having made herself ready for the marriage supper, and it is added in the succeeding verse, " To her was granted, that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean, and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." ver. 8. Here a twofold, yet united, aspect of the truth is beautifully presented: the Church makes herself ready, and yet she is clothed by another. So in Rev. 7;14, believers are said to have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb: while, in chap. i. 5, it is written " Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." We may view the saint as clothing or washing himself; for he may be regarded as, by faith, appropriating to himself the precious blood of Christ; or, we may consider the work as all accomplished for him by the Lord Jesus, through the grace and mercy of God. The word " righteousness of saints " is remarkable, being in the plural number; it may be rendered righteousnesses;' the fine linen displaying every form of bright and holy purity; righteousness in every aspect; according to that beautiful word " Thou art all fair, my love: there is no spot in thee." But whence were these garments derived? If we turn to Jer. 23:66In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Jeremiah 23:6), " This is His name, whereby He shall be called, Jehovah our Righteousness." Jehovah Jesus is the righteousness of the saints. He is the spotless robe; they are clothed with Him; they stand accepted (graced) in the Beloved. God has made Him to be unto them " righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," and His name is placed upon them; as, in Jer. 33:1616In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness. (Jeremiah 33:16), Jerusalem on earth will have " Jehovah our Righteousness " as the name whereby she shall be called.
The fine linen of the Vail seems, then, especially to present to us " the Righteous One," who in His life of toil and sorrow, and most especially in His death of shame and suffering, manifested that unsullied purity, that perfect obedience, and that delight in accomplishing the will of His Father, whereby He
has earned for Himself a name, which is above every name, the name of Jesus; " who was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
The Colors
BLUE.-This Ranks Pre-Eminent, Being Always the First Mentioned in the Frequent Enumerations of the Colors Given in the Latter Chapters of Exodus. It Attracts, Without Dazzling the Eye; and the Epithet Lovely Is Very Appropriately Attached to It. It Is Seen Spread Over the Expanse of Heaven, of Boundless Extent. When the Thunder-Cloud Vails the Sky, and the Tempest Bursts in Fury on the Earth With Its Desolating Power, This Serene Color Is Concealed; but We Hail Its Gradual Reappearance As a Sure Presage of the Returning Calm, and of the Sun's Genial Beams. It Is Peculiarly a Heavenly Color; and Throughout These Types, Is Closely Linked With Gold. Thus in Ex. 28:66And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work. (Exodus 28:6) and 15, the Word " and " Is Omitted Between the Gold and Blue; so That the Passages May Be Read As Follows: " They Shall Make the Ephod of Gold, Blue, and Purple; the Curious Girdle of the Ephod Shall Be of Gold, Blue, and Purple, &C. Thou Shalt Make the Breast-Plate of Gold, Blue, and Purple, &C." the Same Order Is Precisely Repeated in Chap. 39:2, 5, 8, the "and" Being Again Omitted Between the Gold and Blue. Taches of Gold Were Inserted Into Loops of Blue, Connecting Together the Curtains of the Tabernacle. Laces of Blue, Passing Through Rings of Gold, Fastened the Breast-Plate to the Ephod, and a Lace of Blue Bound the Golden Plate to the Miter of the High Priest. the Golden Vessels of the Sanctuary, With the Exception of the Ark, Were All Covered With a Cloth of Blue. If the Gold Was a Type of the Glory, Majesty, and Eternity of the Son of God, Blue Will Fitly Represent the Grace and Love He Manifested As Declaring the Character of God. "God Is Love." so Inseparably and Exclusively Is This Blessed Attribute Descriptive of Him, That He Affirms It to Be His Very Nature. It Is Not of Earth. As the Blue Vault of Heaven, With Its Vast Dimensions, Defies Our Puny Measurements, so the Breadth, and Length, and Depth, and Height of the Love of Christ Passeth Knowledge. the Thunders of God's Wrath and Holy Indignation Against Sin, May for a Time, Seem to Obscure His Love. but " His Anger Endureth but a Moment." Judgment Is " His Strange Work," for " He Delighteth in Mercy."
The dark cloud only intimates a passing storm, needful, it may be, to purify the air. Compared with the azure depth beyond, it is but superficial and momentary. And, since we have known the full outpouring of His wrath upon His Son, no cloud, however black, can cross our sky, without the heavenly blue being seen in the bow, which God has set there as a token of eternal mercy, that judgment once poured out shall never more be repeated.
In looking at the Vail, the first color, which would draw the attention of the beholder, was the Blue. The sinner's first glance of faith on the Lord Jesus recognizes Him as from above, " God manifest in the flesh," " the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Grace is ever the attraction to one who is burdened with guilt. The woman who was a sinner, Luke 7:37-5037And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. 40And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 44And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (Luke 7:37‑50), despised and shunned by her more decorous neighbors, broke through all restraints, to welcome Christ. She heard that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house. God had, in very deed, come down to visit fallen man: but no thunders of Sinai, no fearful voice of stern rebuke, no trumpet sound of judgment heralded His approach. He came upon one errand, that of mercy. He made known the depth of God's heart, and the woman felt she had a claim above all others upon His compassion, for she knew herself most guilty. Conscious of her unfitness for His presence, and yet assured that her very unfitness had brought Him down from heaven-loathing herself on account of her sin, and yet aware that her loathsomeness was her best plea to be in the company of Christ, she rushed, unbidden, into that assembly; all considerations of propriety giving way before the one engrossing thought, that it was her Savior, her God, who sat there, neglected by all but herself: and there she remained, satisfied with her nearness to Him; lost to all around her, her heart more broken, the more she tasted His love; arrested by the heavenly beauty of Him on whom she gazed. At length, she heard words which could come from no lips but those of the Son of God: " Thy faith hath saved thee: go in peace." Well might she have exclaimed, "Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips." (Psa. 45:22Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. (Psalm 45:2).) She recognized the loveliness of the blue.
It would be deeply interesting, to trace through the Gospels this beautiful color, exhibited in the ways of the Lord; and above all, its intensity, in those last scenes of anguish and distress, when He proved how He loved us. But this may suffice to direct others into these green pastures, and to the still waters, where refreshment and rest are found.