(Continued from page 492)Aaron and the priest's garment
with grief and began to grab his high priestly garment at the neck to "rend his garment," as was customary at that time to demonstrate utter grief and mourning. Moses quickly stopped him, commanding: "Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die" (vs. 6). When we go back into Exodus 28:321 to see the significance of this prohibition when we read the description of how the garment should be constructed:
32 "And there shall be an opening at its top in the middle of it; around its opening there shall be a binding of woven work, as it were the opening of a coat of mail, that it may not be torn.
The high priestly garment was not to be torn, even in mourning, and Moses warned Aaron not to tear it "lest ye die." In Matthew 26:64 we read of the encounter between Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, and Christ, at the illegal kangaroo court of the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:53-65). Jesus had just answered the question as to whether He was the Son of God by stating (vs. 64):
Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
In response, verse 65 informs us, "Then the high priest rent his clothes." Orthodox Christian belief widely acknowledges that, when Caiaphas rent the high priestly garment, he ended the Jewish priesthood. A very few hours later, (Matt. 27:51) we read that "the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." So, within the span of 24-hours, between the time when Caiaphas rent the high priestly garment and the veil of the temple was rent, Jesus Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice on the cross of Calvary and became our High Priest in the New Covenant:
"There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:121).
There is "one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:51).
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