Sermon #     21                                                Leviticus Sermons


     Title:       The Glory and Beauty of Our Priest

     Text:       Leviticus 8:6-9

     Subject:  Aaron’s Priestly Garments

     Date:       Sunday Morning – December 2, 2001

     Tape #    W-72a

     Reading: Exodus 28:1-38



(Leviticus 8:1-9)  "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {2} Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; {3} And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. {4} And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. {5} And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done. {6} And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water. {7} And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith. {8} And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim. {9} And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses."


     As we read in Exodus 28, these garments were made specifically for Aaron, to show forth the glory and beauty of his work as Israel’s high priest. But they show more that that. These garments were made for and put upon Aaron to show forth the glory and beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, of whom Aaron was but a type and picture.


Actually, Aaron had two sets of priestly garments. This glorious apparel, which he wore before Israel and before the Lord in his common, daily functions in the tabernacle, and those holy Linen garments described in Leviticus 16:4, which he wore only once a year, on the Day of Atonement. On that great Day of Atonement, when he went in with the blood of the paschal lamb before the Lord God in the holy of holies, Aaron was robed only in spotless white, portraying the personal righteousness and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ, by which he was worthy and able to undertake and accomplish the stupendous work of putting away the sins of his people by the sacrifice of his own blood.


The garments described in our text (Lev. 8:7-9) were specifically ordained of God to show Aaron’s glory and beauty to the people he represented and served as a priest. These garments are described in great detail for us, so that we might see and be assured of the glory and beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ, as our great High Priest.


Aaron wore seven specific, highly symbolic garments: -- A Coat – A Girdle – A Robe – An Ephod – A Breastplate – A Miter, and – A Holy Crown. Let’s look at each just briefly. As we look at these seven priestly garments, I trust that God the Holy Spirit will give us eyes to behold the beauty and glory of our great High Priest, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Proposition: If ever you see him as he is here set forth, you will believe him. – The clearer we see him as he is here portrayed the more fully we will trust him.


I.                   First, Moses was commanded to put a coat upon Aaron.


This was not a coat as we think of it, but an inner garment. It is described in Exodus 28:4 as “an embroidered coat” and in Exodus 28:39 as “an embroidered coat of fine Linen.


     This special broidered coat of fine linen, along with the linen beeeches (pants), were Aaron’s undergarments. They were not commonly seen by the people. I rather doubt that Moses actually put these on Aaron in public, but rather gave them to him publicly and Aaron put them on in private. But they were here held before all the congregation because their typical significance was important.


     The “fine linen” represented purity.


(Revelation 19:8)  "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."


     These undergarments spoke of the personal righteousness of Christ, (Linen is a man made material.) over which all His other perfections and glories were displayed in the outer garments of the priest.


     This embroidered linen coat was a seamless garment, like that worn by our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 19:23). It was worn next to Aaron’s body as he went about his priestly functions.


     Here we see two things. (1.) Our Need: – If we are to come to God and be accepted of him, we must have a complete clothing of righteousness, the righteousness of Christ. (2.) God’s Supply: -- Christ is our Righteousness!


II.    Second, Moses was commanded of God to gird Aaron with a girdle.


This was not just the ordinary girdle worn by the other priests, Aaron’s sons. This was “the curious girdle of the ephod.


(Exodus 28:8)  "And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof: gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen."


In Exodus 28:39 we learn that this girdle was made of "needlework."


The "girdle" speaks of our Savior’s readiness to serve the needs of his people for the glory of God (Ps. 40; Heb. 10). It is written, "Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins" (Isa. 11:5).


(Luke 12:37)  "Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them."


While he was in this world, our Lord Jesus "took a towel and girded Himself, and then He washed the disciple’s feet" (John 13). Today He stands in the midst of His churches, girt about the paps with a golden girdle (Rev. 1:13), ready to serve His people on earth.


In Exodus 28:8 the Lord told Moses, "It shall be of the same, according to the work for thereof." The girdle of the high priest was of the same materials and the same splendorous colors as the ephod itself, indicating in picture that our Savior’s present priestly work in heaven, as well as the work he performed on earth is according to the perfection of his character as the God-man, our Mediator. Though glorified, Christ is Jehovah’s Righteous Servant still. He has gone into heaven to appear in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9:24), having “obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12), and there He "ever liveth to make intercession for us" (Heb. 7:25).


(1 John 2:1-2)  "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: {2} And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."


III. Now, go back to Leviticus 8:7. The third garment Aaron wore was a robe. – Moses clothed Aaron with the robe.


This was the robe of the ephod (the outer apron), worn under the ephod, and had a hem of golden bells and pomegranates (ex. 28:31-35).


(Exodus 28:31)  "And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue."


(Exodus 28:35)  "And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not."


A.    It was a robe that was blue in color; but was woven of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, and was made of fine linen.


·        Gold – Divinity

·        Blue – Heaven

·        Purple – Royalty

·        Scarlet – Blood

·        Fine Linen – Purity.


This robe represents the righteousness of Christ. It is that with which Christ himself is clothed and with which we are clothed in him. It is a robe covering the whole man, from head to foot.


     Bring hither the best robe!” – This was a robe prepared according to the law of God.


B.    The golden bells portray the perfection and sweetness of Christ’s intercession for us.


As Aaron moved about inside the holy place of the tabernacle, the ringing bells told the people, “All is well. Aaron is alive. God accepts your priest.” – They speak of our living, exalted High Priest and the sweet savor of his intercession in heaven for us.


C.    The pomegranates speak of the fruitfulness of Christ’s priesthood. -- If you slit a pomegranate open, you would find it full of seeds in a red fluid!


IV.Fourth, Moses put the ephod on Aaron’s shoulders.


(Leviticus 8:7)  "And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith."


(Exodus 28:6-7)  "And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work. {7} It shall have the two shoulder pieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together."


(Exodus 39:3)  "And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, with cunning work."


     The ephod was the outer apron, which hung over Aaron’s robe. It was made of two parts, covering both his back and his chest. The two pieces of it were joined together at the shoulders by golden clasps. Those golden clasps were the setting for the onyx stones. Like Aaron’s robe, the ephod was made of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. The breastplate with the names of twelve tribes of Israel and the Urim and Thummim (Lights and Perfections) were worn on the ephod.


     Try to get the picture. Here is Aaron, wearing his gorgeous, costly robe, strapped over his shoulder, held by gold clasps is this gorgeous, costly apron, upon his heart and shoulders hangs the breastplate with the names of God’s chosen people, engraved in precious stones, and somewhere on the ephod or breastplate are those mysterious emblems of light and perfection, called the Urim and Thummim. What does all that mean?


A.   The Lord Jesus Christ constantly has his people upon his heart.

B.    He carries us upon his omnipotent shoulders.

C.   He guides us according to the light and perfection of his purpose and grace.

D.   We are the sparkling jewels of his glory and beauty!

E.    We are totally safe, beyond the reach of any enemy.


V.   Fifth, Moses put the breastplate on Aaron.


(Leviticus 8:8)  "And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim."


     I will not say much more about this; but I do want you to see how this breastplate is described in Exodus 28:30.


(Exodus 28:30)  And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.


     Not only does this breastplate upon Aaron’s chest portray our Savior’s constant love for and care of us, it speaks of our constant, perfect, immutable acceptance with God in him.


The names of God’s elect are known to our great High Priest. They are engraved upon his heart, and cannot be erased! He says, “I know them…I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish!” For them he makes intercession (John 17)…


·        Continually. – The Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, bears the judgment of his people before the Lord continually!

·        Personally.

·        Collectively.

·        Effectually!


     Can you see your Priest yonder in heaven, with your name upon his heart? Not only are you, my brother, my sister, beyond the reach of any enemy. In Christ we are beyond the influence of any foe or any evil!


     What a consolation this is to this poor sinner. The Lord God almighty always sees me, and only sees me in his Son, as a sparkling jewel, shining in him gloriously! – In his eyes, I shine with all the brilliance of Christ himself! – Is he precious? We are precious in him! -- Is he accepted? We are accepted in him! – Does he live? We live in him!


     But there, in heaven’s glory, before the dazzling brilliance, brightness and purity of the white light of God’s holiness, things are seen clearly, as they really are. That, my tempted, tried, tempest tossed, heavy hearted, sinning, falling, weeping brother, -- That, my tempted, tried, tempest tossed, heavy hearted, sinning, falling, weeping sister, is the very thing that ought comfort our hearts! – We are jewels in Christ, with Christ, upon his heart, in his heart in heaven. – The more brilliantly the light shines upon a diamond, the more it sparkles with radiant beauty! – He has set us as a seal upon his heart (Song 8:7). – Oh, what grace!


·        What Joy!

·        What Peace!

·        What a cause for whole hearted devotion and consecration to God our Savior.

·        We are, in Christ, made to be partakers of his beauty and his glory!


VI.Sixth, Moses was commanded of God to put the miter upon Aaron’s head.


(Leviticus 8:9)  "And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses."


     The Miter (Turban) was made of white fine linen. It was a symbol both of honor and humility. It was worn, as it still is today among many Arabs, both by kings and by servants. When Zechariah saw the vision of Joshua the high priest standing before the Lord (Zechariah 3:1-5), the first thing the Lord commanded, after he put away his filthy garments was this – he put a holy miter upon his head.


(Zechariah 3:1-5)  "And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. {2} And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? {3} Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. {4} And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. {5} And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by."


     The Lord God has given us his own dear Son to be for us the helmet of salvation. This miter, made of white linen, like Aaron’s robe, portrays that perfect righteousness which is ours in Christ (Rev. 19:8).


VII.         Seventh, Moses put the holy crown on Aaron’s head.


Moses (the law) put the crown upon Aaron’s head. – The very law and justice of God has crowned Christ, our great High Priest Lord and King forever!


(Leviticus 8:9)  "And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses."


     Turn back to Exodus 28, just briefly, and see how this crown is described.


(Exodus 28:36-38)  "And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. {37} And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. {38} And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD."


     Here is a blessed, weighty revelation, given for the comfort of our souls. This golden plate, the holy crown, emblazoned on Aaron’s forehead pictured the perfect holiness of our Lord Jesus Christ.


A.   It is this holiness that made it possible for our Lord Jesus Christ to bear our iniquities. – He not only put away our sins, he has washed away forever the iniquity of our “holy things,” our best deeds of righteousness, faith, and worship.

B.    This holy crown is always upon our Savior’s head!

C.   The Lord Jesus wears this crown, emblazoned before the holy Lord God (“HOLINESS TO THE LORD”), that we “may be accepted before the Lord.


     What rest there is here for our weary hearts. Amid all our failings, in spite of all our sin, though we may be often harassed by hell with doubts and fears, though our hearts are as cold as ice, as hard as steel, and as empty as a broken cistern, our acceptance with God is as unvarying, perfect, and sure as Christ’s!


Application: I have been talking to you about Christ’s glory and beauty. That is what all these garments represent. Do you see how beautiful a Savior the Lord Jesus is? – Hear me, now. God help you to hear me…


1.     His glory and beauty are ours (Ezek. 16:8-14).


(Ezekiel 16:8-14)  "Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. {9} Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. {10} I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. {11} I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. {12} And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. {13} Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. {14} And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD."


2.     Believe him now, and his glory and beauty shall be yours! – “He shall beautify the meek with salvation” (Ps. 149:4).


(Isaiah 61:1-3)  "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; {3} To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."