Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In typology garments signify expression. This is especially true of the priestly garments, garments that were for glory and beauty. Beauty and glory are both for expression. In a foregoing message we pointed out that, humanly speaking, garments are for covering, for warmth, and for beauty. But in the record concerning the priestly garments, the emphasis is on beauty and glory. Beauty is human, and glory is divine. Hence, the priestly garments are the expression of Christ’s human beauty and divine glory.
The garments worn by the high priest were unusual. First, there was a tunic, which may have reached the ankles. Over the tunic there was a robe, which reached to the feet, and upon the robe there was the ephod. Upon the ephod there were the breastplate and the two shoulder-pieces. All these garments contain significant aspects of typology regarding Christ with the church.
Christ is the expression of God. The incarnated Christ is the embodiment of God, and this embodiment is an expression. No one has ever seen God, but the Son of God, the only begotten, has manifested Him (John 1:18). This manifestation of God in Christ is God’s expression. This means that Christ is the expression of the invisible and mysterious God. As the expression of God, Christ makes God visible and practical. When we contact Christ, we contact the visible, practical God. Now God is no longer only mysterious and invisible; in Christ, He is practical and visible. Christ as God’s expression has made God visible and practical to us.
The expression of God is both individual and corporate. As God’s expression, Christ is not only individual, but also corporate. When Christ was on earth, He was the individual expression of God. But after His death and resurrection, this expression became corporate. In the four Gospels we see the individual Christ. But in Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation, Christ is no longer merely individual, for He has become corporate. In the Epistles and Revelation we see the corporate Christ.
In this message we shall consider the robe worn by the high priest. What does this long robe signify in typology? To find the answer, let us turn to Isaiah 6:1: “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” According to this verse, Isaiah had a vision of the Lord sitting in the temple. The word “train” here refers to the skirt of the Lord’s long robe. Isaiah does not tell us how long this skirt was, but he does say that it filled the temple. No one has ever seen a bride whose wedding garment was so long that it filled the place where the wedding was held. No bride has such a fullness. But because the Lord is so full, His skirt fills the temple, His dwelling place.
What does this long train signify? It signifies the expression of Christ’s virtues (see John 12:41). The Lord’s fullness is shown in all His virtues. Suppose the Lord was very much lacking in virtue. In that case He would not be expressed by a long garment with the train filling the temple, for He would not have any fullness. If someone were to wear a garment that did not properly cover his body, this would indicate that this person was short of virtue. But if he is properly covered, this shows that he is full of virtue. The Lord is full of virtue. Therefore, when He sits in His dwelling place, His long train fills the temple. This means that the Lord’s dwelling place is full of His virtue.
Psalm 133 also refers to the long robe of the high priest. When the divine anointing oil was poured upon Aaron, the high priest, that ointment ran down from the head to the beard and then to the skirts of his garment. Furthermore, in Revelation 1:13, the Lord Jesus has a garment reaching to the feet. This is a sign that the Lord’s virtues are so extensive that they become His fullness.
We should never think that the Lord’s long robe is devoid of significance. Based upon biblical usage, such a long robe surely signifies the virtues of Christ, and these virtues are His expression. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He expressed God in the divine virtues. If His human living had been short of these virtues, it would not have been possible for Him to express God. God was expressed in Jesus through the divine virtues. As He walked on earth, He walked in a way that was full of virtue. His expression certainly had a long train. For example, when He was in that little cottage in Bethany, His train filled the room. Likewise, when He walked on the streets of Jerusalem, His virtues filled the city. That was the expression of God. Therefore, in the Bible a long garment with a long skirt signifies the fullness of the virtues of the one clothed with that garment.
In this universe what is the fullness of Christ? Ephesians 1:23 says that the church is the fullness of the One who fills all in all. How great Christ is! He is all-inclusive and all-extensive, filling all in all. Because He is so great, inclusive, and extensive, He surely needs a fullness to express what He is. This fullness is the church.
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