The Linen Garments: Part 1 of 6 – High Priest’s Garments Series

Leviticus 16:3-5
3 “Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. 4 He shall put the holy LINEN tunic and the LINEN trousers on his body; he shall be girded with a LINEN sash, and with the LINEN turban he shall be attired. These are holy garments. Therefore he shall wash his body in water, and put them on. 5 And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering.”

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How many times have you read through your Bible and wondered why all these instructions to ancient Israel are so detailed?  It’s amazing!  Everything had to be made exactly the way Moses was instructed on the mountain.  From the smallest implement in the Tabernacle, to their sacrifices, the way they dressed, and even how they treated one another, all were prescribed by God.  Why all the excruciating detail?

It’s All About Jesus!

Whenever you are studying any part of the Bible, keep one thing in mind:  It’s all about Jesus!  It then becomes crystal clear what, or more to the point,”Who,” is on God’s mind!  The same is true for every part of the tabernacle:  The furnishings, the implements, and Aaron’s priestly garments.  Everything shows us more of the beauty and glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Qualities Of Linen.

The foundation of the garments of all the priest’s was LINEN; and not just linen any type, but “Fine linen.”  This is not the kind we know today.  Back then, it was a VERY expensive commodity.  Only the ultra rich or royalty could even afford it.


Why linen?  Because it is a very unique fabric which keeps the wearer cool in hot weather, and warm when it is cold, very practical qualities when you live in a hot climate.  But God had a couple of other things in mind, which also help explain why He chose linen.

Every part of his the High Priest’s garments describes some aspect or attribute of our Lord Jesus.  Now, of course, He isn’t dressed like this in heaven. These pictures are just visual aids to teach us about our Great High Priest and are recorded for our learning and benefit.  The more we learn about Him, the more grace and peace are MULTIPLIED to us according to 2 Peter, verse 2.

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Underwear.

Aaron, like every high priest, wore a linen turban on his head and linen breeches under everything. Yes, God invented underwear!  All priests wore these fine linen breeches in addition to a long-sleeved, ankle-length tunic called a “Kettoneth.” Imagine the hefty price tag on that clothing line!


(For more on the topic of the kettoneth, follow the link below:

https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/the-coat-of-many-colors/)

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Kodesh LeYahweh

Attached to the front of Aaron’s turban was a solid gold band with the words, “Kodesh leYHVH,” [קֹ֖דֶשׁ לַֽיהוָֽה] which means, “Holiness to the LORD,” in Hebrew.  He was to wear it at ALL times because as long as the turban with the golden band was on his head, his thoughts were counted as holy before God.  His thoughts were considered representative of all the thoughts of the entire nation, and as the High Priest goes, so goes the nation.


(For more on that topic, follow the link below:

https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/as-the-high-priest-goes-so-goes-the-nation/)

Purity.

White also speaks of purity and righteousness. Every high priest was literally covered from head to toe in Jesus’ purity and thus counted as pure and righteous before God. Just as his thoughts were representative thoughts, so his representative righteousness was credited to the entire nation.

As it was then, so it is now, only our Great High Priest lives FOREVER, and actually IS pure, righteous and holy!  As our High Priest goes, so goes, the “nation: the Church!” His righteousness, purity and holiness are credited to us! AMEN!  And just like Him, all Christians are kings and priests after the order of Melchizedek.

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Robes Of White.

The pure white garments of the priests are the very same as the pure white robes of the saints mentioned in the the book of Revelation; the white robes of righteousness given to every believer.

Though we are perfectly holy and righteous to God in our spirit, while we are in this unregenerated body, we still sin from time to time. But we have Jesus’ covering over us so that our Father sees us IN Christ!

His entire life, Jesus did no sin, He knew no sin, and in Him is no sin.  So at the cross, how did Jesus become sin?  Did He commit sins?  NO!  Our sins were placed on Him like a garment.  He paid for our sins, “In His body,” (See 1 Peter 2:24), and His “soul became an offering for sin.” (See Isaiah 53:10), but Sin did not touch His spirit.  He had sin “On Him,” but IN HIM there was no sin.  We have sin “IN us,” but we have His righteousness “ON us.”  Remember, IN our flesh dwells no good thing.

The Order Of Melchizedek.

As the Levites were priests of the old covenant, so believers are ALL–every one of us–priests and kings, not after the order of Levi, but after the order of Melchizedek.  We are ministers of the New Covenant.

Melchizedek comes from two Hebrew words: Melchi meaning “King,” zedek meaning “Righteousness.”  He was The King of Righteousness but also the King of Salem, which means, “Peace.”  Who does that sound like?  Jesus!  I believe, based on this, that Melchizedek was one of the many theophanies of Jesus in the Old Testament.

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No Sweat.

Linen has a unique quality that keeps the wearer cool in hot weather, warm in colder temperatures.  It is a message from God to those in ministry.  He wants His ministers to have cool heads—hence the turban—and cool passions, the purpose of the breeches. In other words, He wants His ministers to be even-tempered.

But God had another very compelling reason why He chose linen found here in this curious passage in Ezekiel 44. I have capitalized a few word for emphasis.
Ezekiel 44:17 &18
“When they (the priests) come through the gates of the inner open space, they will be dressed in LINEN clothing. They must NOT wear any WOOL while they are serving inside the gates of the inner open space or in the house. 18 They will wear LINEN head-coverings (turbans) and LINEN underclothes. They must not dress in anything that makes their bodies wet with heat. (SWEAT)

God is concerned that His priests…US…..not sweat. Why? Because HE HATES SWEAT!!!, or at least, what it represents. It was part of the curse from the garden.

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Now, God HATES sin, YES!….but He doesn’t want to punish us; He wants to bless us. Unfortunately, under the old covenant, the people were cursed more often than they were blessed. THAT’S WHY GOD FOUND FAULT WITH THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, as it says in Hebrews 8.

That is also why Jesus came and took ALL OUR PUNISHMENT for us; so Abba could have His heart’s greatest desire: To bless and bless and bless and bless and bless!!!

Rest In Him.

Now, it is not actual sweat that God is against.  But it is quite possible to appear outwardly calm, cool and collected while, inside, your mind and emotions are racing and churning, your heart pounding with worry and fear. Sweat represents human works, human effort, human reasoning, human striving, human worrying, etc. God, FIRST AND FOREMOST, wants us to REST in Him. That’s why we are “SEATED” in high places with Him. Seated means we are at rest.

That does not mean that we sit around all day and do nothing, of course.  But as we walk through our daily lives, we are resting in Him, not worrying what we shall eat or drink or put on.  As God clothes the lilies of the field, much more will He take care of us, according to Matthew 6.

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He Redeemed Our Sweat.

But HALLELUIA!!! When great drops of sinless blood mixed with the great drops of sweat of the second Adam, Jesus, in the second Garden, He redeemed OUR sweat–human works, human effort, human reasoning, striving, worrying, etc.  He bequeathed to us His rest and peace as documented in this verse in John 14:27.


“My peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid.”

He wants, above all, for us NOT to be worried or afraid; to rest in Him and not “sweat;” to trust Him and be at rest.

What wonderful pictures of Jesus the Holy Spirit has painted for us!  They are included in the Bible to help you and I see Him more clearly and so that we will rest in Him.  These are some of the things we can learn from the Linen Garments of the High Priest.

Follow this link to Part 2.  We’ll be talking about the blue Tekhelet and the great significance of the color BLUE:

https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/tekhelet-part-2-high-priests-garment-series/

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