In the Bible, it’s not always funny whenever the cloth of an anointed man of God gets ‘TORN’!
‘…The priest who is the highest among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not uncover his head NOR TEAR HIS CLOTHES…’ (Lev 21:10)
When an anointed priest ‘tears his clothes’…it always has a serious consequence. There was a time Saul out of his unstable emotion, mistakenly tore the garment of Samuel (who though was a prophet, performed priestly duties in offering sacrifices to God). See what happened:
‘…As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, AND IT TORE… Samuel said to him, “The Lord HAS TORN THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL FROM YOU today and has given it to one of your neighbors—TO ONE BETTER THAN YOU…’ (1 Samuel 15:27-28)
It comes with a consequence. The consequence could be immediate death or a transference of office to another person!
‘…Then Moses said to Aaron … “Do not uncover your heads NOR TEAR YOUR CLOTHES, so that you will not die…’ (Leveticus 10:6)
A priest or high priest must never tear his clothes. In fact, the clothes of the high priest were made in such a way to make it difficult for him to tear his clothes…so he doesn’t suffer a serious consequence:
‘…There shall be an opening at its top in the middle of it; around its opening there shall be a binding of woven work, like the opening of a coat of mail, SO THAT IT WILL NOT BE TORN…’ (Exodus 28:32)
Now I want to introduce you to one of my Biblical friends named ‘Caiaphas’. Caiaphas was the High Priest during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. (Mt 26:57) After Jesus was arrested at the garden of Gethsemane, He was brought bound to the temple in order to be examined by Caiaphas the High priest who was ready to find a fault in Him so as to condemn Him to death…. But Jesus refused to answer the accusations against Him. The High Priest then used the NAME OF GOD to command Jesus to answer him!
‘…The high priest said to him, “I charge you UNDER OATH BY THE LIVING GOD: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God…’ (Matt 26:63)
So Jesus answered the High priest:
‘…You have said so,… But I say to all of you: From now on you WILL SEE THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE MIGHTY ONE and coming on the clouds of heaven…’ (Matt 26:64)
‘Sitting at the right hand of God’ simply means He is going to be the new High Priest!‘…We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty…’ (Heb. 8:1) Jesus was saying: I am taking your office of the High Priest from you VERY SOON! Guess what the High priest did after Jesus answered Him…? Read the next verse carefully:
‘…Then the high priest TORE HIS (own) CLOTHES…’ (Matt 26:65)
Ah ah! Out of annoyance and emotional instability, Caiaphas the High Priest has just done the unthinkable! ‘…tore his clothes…’!!! Since Jesus had given a clue as to what to expect soon, the consequence Samuel proclaimed on Saul should apply here.
‘…“The Lord HAS TORN THE HIGH PRIESTHOOD OF ISRAEL FROM YOU today and has given it to one of your neighbors—TO ONE BETTER THAN YOU…’
Wouldn’t you agree that the upcoming High Priest (Jesus) who is standing before him IS BETTER THAN this high priest that just tore his robe? I wanna show you why you should be convinced on this! Fast-forward this scenario and quickly see what later happened when Jesus was on the cross:
‘…When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they DIVIDED HIS CLOTHES among the four of them. They also took HIS ROBE, BUT IT WAS SEAMLESS, woven in one piece from top to bottom…’ (John 19:23)
Don’t miss this at all! There were 2 clothes that Jesus had at the time of His crucifixion… The outer garments consisting of the girdle, fastenings etc. This was shared by the soldiers. But… They now took his robe (INNER GARMENT) and wanted to TEAR IT!!! Ah!
‘…They also took his robe, BUT IT WAS SEAMLESS, WOVEN IN ONE PIECE from top to bottom…’ (John 19:23)
Oh, I love the Bible! It was seamless and woven in one piece! That was the very way God commanded the High Priest’s robe to be sown!
‘…the robe that is worn with the ephod from A SINGLE PIECE of blue WOVEN CLOTH, with an opening for Aaron’s head in the middle of it. The opening was reinforced with a woven collar SO IT WOULD NOT TEAR…’ (Exodus 39:22-23)
‘…There shall be an opening at its top in the middle of it; around its opening there shall be a binding of WOVEN WORK, like the opening of a coat of mail, SO THAT IT WILL NOT BE TORN…’ (Exodus 28:32)
In fact, I love how Albert Barnes commentary explained this ‘seamless’ robe of Jesus:
‘…Josephus (Antiq., b. 3 chapter 8, Section 4) says of the garment or coat of the high priest that “this vesture was not composed of two pieces, nor was it sewed together upon the shoulders and the sides; but it was one long vestment, so woven as to have an aperture for the neck. It was also parted where the hands were to come out.” IT SEEMS THAT THE LORD JESUS, THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST OF HIS PEOPLE, HAD ALSO A COAT MADE IN A SIMILAR MANNER…’
Can you see what is going on here? Jesus had a ‘similar’ High Priest robe!
‘…The soldiers also took his robe, BUT IT WAS SEAMLESS, WOVEN IN ONE PIECE from top to bottom…’ (John 19:23)
Wow! The current High priest had already torn his own robe! What about this ‘better’ High Priest? Will the Soldiers tear His robe??? The next verse states:
‘…So they said to one another, “LET US NOT TEAR IT, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”…so that is what the soldiers did…’ (John 19:24)
Wow! Untearable! What a priestly robe! That was how the ‘tearable’ High priesthood of the LAW bowed out and gave way to the ‘untearable’ High Priesthood of Grace! Thus the better High Priest took over PERMANENTLY from the former high priest! Hallelujah!
The High priesthood has changed! Your new High priest’s garment was NEVER torn! Therefore His High priesthood continues forever! And because His High priesthood lasts forever, your ETERNAL SECURITY in Christ is forever guaranteed!
‘…HIS PRIESTHOOD LASTS FOREVER… Therefore he is able, ONCE AND FOREVER, TO SAVE THOSE WHO COME TO GOD THROUGH HIM. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf…’ (Heb. 7:24-25 NLT)
Wow! I hope this really blessed you. Celebrate your High Priest wherever you are. Keep enjoying the blessedness of the ‘untearable’ Priesthood in Christ Jesus.