“Here is how Aharon is to enter the Holy Place: with a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering. He is to put on the holy linen tunic, have the linen shorts next to his bare flesh, have the linen sash wrapped around him, and be wearing the linen turban — they are the holy garments. He is to bathe his body in water and put them on.”-Leviticus 16:3-4
In preparation for YOM KIPPUR (the Day of Atonement), before entering the Holy Place, we are told that Aaron has to offer up a HATTA-AT (Purification Offering) and an OLAH (Burnt Offering).
From this point, a radical departure from the normal way of doing things takes place.
Aaron has to change from his normally flamboyant High Priest garments consisting of a blue robe, the jeweled chest plate, and the costly and exquisitely woven fabrics into very plain and simple white linen clothing.
There is some interesting spiritual meaning attached to Aaron’s High Priest garments that I want to explore.
First, when the High Priest went about his normal duties in front of the people, the expensive and glorious clothing he wore served as a clear line of demarcation between him and the common folks.
The High Priest’s clothing communicated the fact that Aaron was the holiest man in Israel and that it was he who was the CHOSEN MEDIATOR between God and man.
On the other hand, when Aaron changed into the plain white garments woven out of fine linen, this now symbolized the lowly status that even God’s chosen mediator, the holiest man on earth, held in comparison to the HOLINESS of the one and only living God.
This is an interesting contrast.
The usual garments Aaron wore for his normal duties signified how much holier he was than the common Israelite, but the humble white linen garments he wore for Yom Kippur signified how less HOLY he was when compared to HASHEM.
And before changing into his white garments, we are told that he had to cleanse himself in water and it is a given that he bathed himself in MAYIM CHAYIM (living water) to remove his impurity.
We should not be surprised that the Lord had Aaron put on humble plain white garments for the service he was to render for Yom Kippur.
In other books in the TANACH (the OT) like Daniel and Ezekiel, we are told that the angels who will stand before the Lord will be wearing spotless and pure white garments.
And the book of Revelations makes it clear that the righteous saints will be wearing fine white when they stand before the Lord.
The Bible makes it pretty clear that the color white symbolizes PURITY, CLEANNESS, and undefiled HOLINESS.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“He who overcomes will
thus be clothed in white garments;
and I will not erase his name from the book of life,
and I will confess his name
before My Father and before His angels.”
“And the armies which are in heaven,
clothed in fine linen,
white and clean,
were following Him on white horses.”
“And He was transfigured before them;
and His face shone like the sun,
and His garments became as white as light.”