EXODUS 28:33-35 AMPLIFIED BIBLE:
 And you shall make pomegranates of blue, and scarlet [stuff] around about its skirts, with gold bells between them;  A gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, round about on the skirts of the robe.  Aaron shall wear the robe when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes [alone] into the Holy of Holies before the Lord and when he comes out, lest he die.”
I just finished my study and investigation of God’s Word in the Book of EXODUS. There is so much symbolism, pictures connecting the OT with the NT. The three verses referenced above in Exodus 28:33-35 and Exodus 39:24-26 are no exception. Can we take the PRIEST’S ROBE description and find some “hidden wisdom” to apply to our own spiritual life?
“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all of the words…” (Deuteronomy 29:29 AMP).
THE PRIESTLY GARMENT:
Everything about the high priest and his garment described in the referenced verses is a picture of our eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ and every item of the garment holds a TRUTH.
Now you might be thinking at this point, “What does the details of the priestly garment in Exodus have to do with my role in the New Covenant?” Scripture is quite clear in the answer:
“You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood…” (1 Peter 2:5)
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Our Representative in Heaven and HIGH PRIEST:
TODAY, Jesus entered the true Holy of Holies in heaven, representing us before God, as the Perfect Man, the eternal High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:5, 10; 6:20). His work on the Cross is so perfect–this High Priest did no sin, knew no sin that He is perfectly qualified to represent ALL the believers of the world.
Because of the perfection and the eternal nature of this High Priest of ours, we are eternally SAVED and BLESSED.
Today, we don’t see JESUS in the natural but He is representing us as the PERFECT HIGH PRIEST in heaven.
RING THOSE GOLDEN BELLS!
There’s a quotation from Judaic writings (the “Talmud”) that fits in nicely with the golden bells on the hem of the High Priest’s garment:
“The BELLS said to the fruit-bearing tree,
‘Why do you not make any noise?’ They replied
‘Our fruits are sufficient advertisement for us’.”
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)–
On the Day of Atonement, once per year, the high priest would undress himself of the glorious garments in the Holy Place to make a SACRIFICE. He wore only the “holy” coat of fine-twined linen with the hat/skull-cap (the mitre).
The high priest dress was ALL WHITE entering the Holy of Holies, the presence of God; whereas, the Tent of Meeting, he wore blue, purple, scarlet, and gold. But this is only a visible difference…because “WHITE” is the sum of the other colors.
The ‘Tinkling’ Bells…
All year-long, until this day, the BELLS on the high priest’s robe of blue would ring clearly and the children of Israel know that he was ministering before the LORD MOST HIGH for them.
When the priest put on the garments once again for glory and beauty after the ritual was completed (Leviticus 16:23), the BELL would ring out to God’s people who the SACRIFICE made earlier had been accepted by GOD on their behalf and that their high priest was still alive.
DISCLAIMING THE FABLE…
According to the fable spread throughout Christianity today,
“…so awful was the presence of Holiness in the Holiest Place and so fearful were the Jews, that the priest who entered into the Holiest might not be approved of by God from a committed sin, that there was a long rope tied to his ankle which extended into the outer Court as he would walk into the Holy Room beyond the Veil. After a certain amount of time, if they failed to hear the BELLS on the hem of his garment ringing and he failed to reappear, he was assumed dead and was pulled from the Room by this rope, since no one dare enter the “…Holiest Place to secure the dead body of the priest” [*See Footnote [i]].
Aren’t you glad that when you enter your church on Sunday morning, or you kneel next to your bed at night to worship and praise God, someone doesn’t attached a rope to your ankle just in case your SACRIFICE of Worship isn’t worthy?
God’s Word Is Always Specific in Detail–
If a rope was to be tied on the ankle, God’s Word would state which ankle, how much time to wait, and how long the rope would be and what it would be made of. Furthermore, the Glory Garments were not worn in the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood on this one-time-a-year ritual.
Our Great High Priest in Heaven…
Remember everything about the high priest and his garment is A PICTURE! So what do the GOLDEN BELLS mean to believers today?
GOD speaks of divine RIGHTEOUSNESS–
It’s the BEAUTIFUL gift of righteousness by FAITH given to every believer. THE BELLS make a chime that always conveys a message.
JESUS said in the gospel of John that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and the BELIEVERS of righteousness because Jesus goes to be with the Father.
What was Jesus talking about?
The GOLDEN BELLS–
The Holy spirit is pictured by the Wind, “Ruach” in Hebrew. When the BELLS ring out from the Holy place, a message is conveyed– every believer is righteous because JESUS’ perfect work on the Cross.
Today, the Holy spirit convicts the believer, not of sin, but of righteousness, even when we sin, because JESUS is still alive representing us perfectly before the Father in the Holy of Holies in Heaven.
Also, the “gold bells” is a picture of our mouth and tongue inside. In fact, in my detective work, I found the hanging part within the BELL is called the tongue! That certainly gave me a vivid picture.
The Gospel Ringing Out!
I believe the “golden bells” are an emblem of the Gospel, as preached by Christ Himself, His apostles and ministers; your pastor and yes, even you and I as we should be demonstrating the Gospel Message in word and deed to those around us!
The “Sound” of the Gospel Needs to be Heard…unless of course, the church is DEAD!
This “sound” is not a musical sound. The “SOUND” I’m referring to is a sound that “describes”: THE SOUND OF LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, PEACE, PARDON, RIGHTEOUSNESS, LIFE, and SALVATION; music to one’s ears when heard.
AND JUST IN CASE…DON’T FORGET THE POMEGRANATES!
They were also shadows and types of, and of Jesus Himself, of VIRTUE, ODOUR, FRAGRANCY…
— His SUFFERINGS, SACRIFICE, INTERCESSION, also of the CHURCH…called an “orchard of pomegranates” (Song of Solomon 4:13; John 15:5; Ephesians 5:9).
The ORCHARD OF POMEGRANATES consisting of various members, as the pomegranates of various seeds, or grains that should perpetuate the fruit’s effectiveness to all–growth, spiritual fruit, harvest, etc..
JESUS speaks to all us when he says “…every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit” [“pomegranates”] (Matthew 7:17).
The JUICE of the FRUIT which the blood of Christ may resemble and their hanging on the hem of the garment may signify the ACCEPTABLENESS of them through the righteousness of Christ Jesus and the GOSPEL MESSAGE produces; and particularly the BELLS and POMEGRANATES signify together the SOUND DOCTRINE (Titus 1:9)–a savoury life and conversation to those around us–believers and unbelievers.
CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS ARE GOD’S PRIESTS ON EARTH:
“You are a CHOSEN race, a royal priesthood…” (1 Peter 2:9).
We are dedicated as PRIESTS to be ministers of God’s Word.
Are your garments in order? Are the “golden bells” ringing out in your community, your church, your family?
Are the “pomegranates”, the fruit of your faithfulness, your righteousness demonstrating who you belong to in this world?
If your answers to the questions are “NO” or “SOMETIMES”….the people that live near your church may just think you’re DEAD!
And just maybe, for a visual effect for emphasis, there could be a tub full of ROPES at the sanctuary entrance this next Sunday– to slip around some ankles, just in case of an emergency.
The New Year Is Coming–
So in this upcoming New Year, the ringing of your golden bells should be heard; the Word Seed of the pomegranates should be spoken: separated and planted. And perhaps, as people drive by, maybe even stop in the parking lot, they might hear the gold bells ringing and see the orchard of pomegranate trees planted all about the grounds!
Footnotes & Credits:
Robe of High Priest Image: http://www.mishkamministries.org
Photos: Photo Pin
Footnote [i] – http://www.delrifkah Feb. 12th, 2011.www.
Commentaries: Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible – Exodus 28:34 Commentary.
Bible Translation: Amplified Bible.